Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tom Moore Leaves Uconn For Quinnipiac

Tom has decided to take the job at Quinnipiac, leaving an opening for assistant coach on Uconn's coaching staff. He signed a 6 year deal worth $300,000. His thirteen years at Uconn, starting in 1995, saw two national championships for the club. He will be missed and the best of luck in his deserved coaching job.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Uconn starts the offseason with a splash

Uconn received a verbal commitment from Nate Miles, a shooting guard. At 6-6 and 173 pounds, Miles has a fluid shot and is a natural scorer. He is rated as one of the top ten players in the ‘08 class. Adding another scorer to the club will add depth and at his height and a little extra weight, he could possibly play the small forward spot, or give Calhoun a chance to run a three guard offense with Dyson and Miles as the wings.

With Garrison possibly leaving, Calhoun has stressed that point guard is the next area of concern and Connecticut is looking into point guard, Donnell Beverly. He isn’t a blue chip and was expected to go to the Mid-Major level but has great court vision and passing skills, though his shot is lackluster.

Another player Uconn is looking at is Ed Davis, a power forward and southpaw but lacks the post game. He’s 6-8 and 215, but plays facing the basket. Connecticut has fierce competition for his services; UNC is also recruiting this top five rated player.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ben Eaves Transfering

Ben has made the decision to transfer to another institution. His role with the team was minor, relished to a backup to a backup. There were just to much talent at his position for him to make headway on the team. His departure allows Uconn to sign a player.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jeff Adrien

Jeff Adrien wins player of the year, racking up 13.1 points a game, 9.7 boards, 1.4 blocks, a shade under 1 steal and one assist a game. He remained the only consistent player on the floor for the Huskies and shot the ball well from the field at .497 a game. Showing range this year by making the elbow jumper and a low post soft touch, Adrien became Uconn’s only low post offensive threat.

Adrien needs to improve on his receiving skills, often times loosing balls that should have been caught. But the worst part of his game was passing. His lazy passes out of double teams resulted in easy turnovers and droughts. His help defense on the pick and roll were atrocious and at times played the pick soft, allowing guards to roll to the rim.

Adrien remains a consistent player, yet not a main threat. An anchor in the center that will give you the hustle plays and emotion needed to be a leader but not the threat of putting up 30 points.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Can't Even Make The NIT

Uconn has entered the off-season early and will put this disappointing season behind them.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Dream Is Over

Syracuse 78 Uconn 65

The second halves have killed Uconn all year. They play well and are in the game but they can’t put the ball in the basket to save their lives com the second half. Tipped balls roll off the rim and shots clang. The young cubs throw poor pass after poor pass, forcing things instead of patience and crisp passing.

Talent wise, Uconn is loaded but fundamentally sound, they are light years away. They were gobbled up on pick and rolls and the big men showed poor help defense and played the pick to soft. There has to be some blame on Calhoun for not trying the zone when Syracuse had lay up after lay up.

Its been years since Uconn has had a good free throw shooting team. There blocking is phenomenal over the past decade but the free throw shooting has remained a weak point. It’s easy to get down on the team but they have never lacked the effort and intensity when playing. All great franchises have a year like this, especially with the exodus of experienced players. Maybe if Uconn was in a different conference than The Big East then they could’ve squeaked into the NCAA tournament. That just attests to the strength of the conference and that’s a great thing.

The NIT is going to be a stepping stone into next season and a confidence boost. Don’t fool yourself, you knew that Uconn hadn’t a chance to win in the NCAA tournament since the West Virginia loss.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Backing In

Georgetown 59 Uconn 46

46 points. That’s all this team could muster in 40 minutes. The last game of the year and Uconn has learned nothing. They are still forcing the ball, not holding on to passes, taking early shots, looking around instead of running back and NOT MAKING FREE THROWS.

Poor Calhoun, who has changed his style since the beginning of the year with subbing with every mistake. He now lets players stay in the game longer and doesn’t yell. But it makes no difference. While playing a solid 17 minutes, the cubs managed to squander opportunities on offense. Uconn finds themselves with non-passers dishing the ball. Robinson, Adrien, Johnson and Wiggins are not passers and found themselves in situations that had them in bad positions, creating consecutive turnovers.

Uconn protected the guards from finding lanes off the pick and roll but left driving lanes in post up moves. Which allowed Hibbert a 7 for 12 night with 18 points. Thabeet had a good game to his standards against a legitimate big man and held his own defensively. Adrien is the anchor of the team and did all he could to pull out a win but didn’t get any help from the back court.

Dyson, Price, Wiggins and Austrie shot 6 for 25 with 15 points. Pitiful.

The small forwards did contribute early and helped fuel the offense but disappeared in the second half. Coincidently that was when the drought occurred. Robinson and Johnson went 3 for 6, 6 boards and 8 points.

The bench player of the game goes to Curtis Kelly, who came in and got into the game right away. Even if Thabeet leaves for the NBA, Uconn still has a bright future with Adrien, Mandeldove, Edwards and Kelly. They have also entertained recruiting another 7-footer next year.

Regressing in your last game doesn’t pose well for the upcoming Tournament but we all know that this team doesn’t have a shot even if it gets in. It might be a blessing in disguise. Uconn can ill afford another exodus of players into the NBA. They need experience and leadership if they want to contend for another championship.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

No Jumping for Joy

Villanova 78 Uconn 74

Uconn’s fate has been sealed for two games now. They know that their only shot at securing a NCAA Tournament spot is to win their tournament. Since they have locked themselves in, the wins and losses don’t matter but what does is improving. They just can’t put it all together. One night its their lack of offense, another it’s the defense and its always the free throw shooting. Horrible beyond horrible, 24 for 44. You can’t leave twenty points on the table.

An encouraging sign, is the emergence of a star in Dyson. He is a gunslinger but has a craftiness to his game. He finds ways to get to the line even when he has an off night shooting. Another sign is Thabeet’s intensity. His shove was a tad weak though, but his huge frame made it look more menacing. He found ways to hold on to the ball for hard rebounds and made assertive moves to the basket. When he attempted his first attempt, I held my breath in disbelief.

Curtis Kelly is the worst free throw shooter on the team hands down. He hasn’t made a free throw in four games but he did come out and hit shots and grab boards in limited action.

The mystery to this team is the small forwards. When will Robinson hit a three? Or when will Johnson hit jump shots? If Calhoun finds the answer than this team can stand toe to toe with Georgetown.

The defense was horrible, giving Scottie Reynolds whatever he wanted. Adrien had a terrible game defensively with helping on the screen and roll. Thabeet also let him slip inside and around him.

Though they have lost again, the team is improving and getting an identity. One more game to sharpen their fangs and then its for real.