Sunday, February 28, 2010

Senior Day

 

UConn Versus Louisville Recap





 

Rudy Gay with hustle dunk

Hilton Armstrong: Never Give Up

Hamilton dishes to Villanueva

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Work Still To Do


Who saw this coming? This team sure knows how to add drama to their lives. Digging themselves a huge hole, UConn did what seemed impossible, winning two road games, one against a top ten team, and a home game against another top ten team. They’ve played themselves into consideration, but still have work to do. The resume wins are there to differentiate themselves from Marquette and Cincinnati, but if they don’t finish in that seventh spot in the Big East standings, they’ll leave themselves a chance to be knocked off the bubble. But to do what they have done in these past three games is simply amazing and UConn fans should be extremely proud. They’ve showed a lot of fortitude throughout this season and put things together when they could’ve folded up.

Dyson made some beautiful drives around the rim, none better then the spin move that left his defender in the dust, but he is still missing a ton of free throws. He was spectacular on defense and is a warrior out there, playing through pain throughout the game. He has really stepped up to be a true leader on this team.

Walker was simply amazing. He buried an early 3-ball and that gave him the confidence to be aggressive. He was fouled seven times while driving to the basket in the second half and was awesome at the line. He has really come a long way. Other then two bad passes in the first half, he took good care of the ball and made smart decisions. UConn’s turnaround can be pointed to Walker’s emergence as a star.

Robinson did a great job on the boards and had several put-backs. He found his outside shot, but he is struggling from the line. It was great to see him more aggressive with the ball in his hands. He had a beautiful acrobatic lay-up and took the ball to the rim several times. He was much more active in this game and needs to remain so.

Edwards had a great first half hitting a hook shot and lay-up, rebounded well, and made his free throws, but he was in foul trouble all game and in the second half, he wasn’t effective other then some free throws and some boards. Oriakhi had a put-back and made his free throws, but also struggled with foul trouble. Majok didn’t have a chance, not with the game being called like it was. He normally has trouble staying in games. He had a massive block and had a dunk, but never got into any flow. Okwandu played sparingly.

Coombs-McDaniel was aggressive and was fouled twice driving to the rim but only made two out of four from the line. He needs to sink those. While he missed his only shot from deep, it was a good shot and he needs to keep shooting those. Beverly did a good job in reserve at the point and played solid defense, but he wasn’t comfortable taking a shot.

This was a slug fest with two teams not budging an inch on defense and the referees were calling every bump, hold, and nudge. The game never had a flow to it, but UConn did what they had to do, sink free throws, protect the ball, and rebound. It is amazing the run that this team is on, but they can’t relax yet. There is still much to do and to have them slip up now after coming this far would be an utter shame.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rudy Gay is a thief

Time Will Tell


Every game is a most win at this point in the season and UConn continued their strong play with a great performance on the road, a rare occurrence this year. They hung their hat on defense and made Rutgers work for every shot. Everyone made a conscious effort on the glass and scrapped and clawed their way to second and third chance points. The offense took some time to get going, getting their first jumper at the twelve minute mark, their was too much dribbling to set up their offensive sets, and they were lucky to have a couple of sloppy shots turn into points, but they did a great job of limiting the turnovers to give themselves the opportunity to put up a shot. This was a team victory. Everyone had a hand in this win from Beverly and Coombs-McDaniel to Dyson and Walker, which is a great sign. The bench is finally getting results for all the effort they showed out there and it is coming at the right time.

Dyson is in a bit of a shooting slump, though he did hit a three ball and a mid-ranged jumper, but he has become a bit inconsistent from outside. He had a powerful block and a pretty up and under move, but what was most impressive was that he made his free throws down the stretch. It is good to see him sink those and hopefully it lifts his confidence in those situations. It was a bit concerning though to see him limping when he was heading to the bench at the end of the game.

Walker wasn’t as dominating as he was against Villanova, but he didn’t need to be. He was aggressive on defense, creating a charge and snagging steals. His jumper has come a long way since the beginning of the year and he has such a sweet stroke that if he stays four years, he will have a deadly jumper. Kemba has the ability to take over the game at any moment but he just doesn’t realize it yet.

Robinson is returning back to what he does best, sticking his nose into the paint for put-backs and rebounds. His outside shot has slipped a little but he is making up for it with helping solidify the rebounding which was killing UConn for the past two months. He also took much better care of the basketball, made his free throws, and was roaming in transition to steal the ball.

Edwards had a rough start, getting benched right away after his sloppy hands made an appearance and had his shot blocked, gave up an offensive board and shot an airball, but he didn’t give up. He battled hard, had a pretty spin move, had some dunks, and rebounded solidly. What has been disconcerting with Edwards game, besides his hands and passing, has been his descending free throw percentage. He started the season as UConn’s best free throw shooter and now he is missing a ton of them. He was another Husky that looked banged up, shaking his wrist and flexing his fingers.

Oriakhi continues to be inconsistent. He traveled, didn’t block out, had horrible position on defense and gave up a lay up, and missed his free throws. He did have a put-back and rebounded well, but UConn needs more from him. Majok did well and had an early put-back dunk, but he didn’t show much after that other than a held ball. Okwandu had a sloppy pass and an over the back foul and wasn’t seen from again. They all need to do a much better job.

Beverly played a solid game and he is really settling into his role. He had a prayer 3-ball, a put-back, steal, and helped out on the boards. It was his most effective minutes he had played all year. It was good to see Coombs-McDaniel come in and sink an open three, putting together back-to-back solid games. He also played solid defense creating an offensive foul and was fouled driving to the basket. He needs to continue to look for his shot, especially driving to the rim.

The team is definitely headed in the right direction at the right time, but they left themselves little room for error. Every game is a must win at this point because a bunch of teams are battling for that elusive seventh spot in the Big East standings. Anything below seventh will not be enough to get in alone. The great thing is that they are playing their best ball of the year through solid defense, attacking the glass, making their free throws, and sinking some jumpers, which is something they had trouble doing all year. The question remains: Is this the real UConn team or is it the team that played against Providence and Cincinnati? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stepping Up


What a way to get your first road victory of the season, even though it was a bit late in the season. No one expected this team to come out like they did especially after the performance against Cincinnati. The energy level was a stark contrast right from the tip. Everyone was flying to the ball, diving on the ground, and aggressive on both ends of the court. The main difference though, the jumpers. They sank ten in this game and their confidence grew with each one. The defense was good, though the bigs struggled in keeping Villanova’s guards from penetrating off the pick and roll. It put undo pressure on the frontcourt and put them in foul trouble early. But they kept the 3-ball from hurting them, which against a team like Villanova, it can kill you. Everyone stepped up, played with pride, and came out with their best performance of the year.

Dyson struggled with his offense. His jumpers weren’t sinking, but he remained aggressive and was fouled six times driving to the rim. He was solid on the defense end, creating a charge and several steals. His major issue was at the line down the stretch where he was only making one out of two. He needs to drain those and put these games away. He did a much better job of pulling the ball out and not having those costly turnovers.

What more can you say about Walker? If he is hitting his jumpers, he is hands down the best player on the court. He was hustling all over the place, getting steals and diving to the ground. He sank three 3-balls that put UConn ahead for good, but he was aggressive all game and stepped up when Dyson was struggling. He was fouled seven times driving to the basket, and was perfect down the stretch from the line. It’s great to see him emerge like he has, it is just too bad that it happened this late in the season.

Robinson was a turnover machine. He had four horrible passes, a backcourt violation, and lost control of his dribble. He needs to do a much better job at controlling the rock. He did better rebounding and had his usual dunks, but he wasn’t effective with the ball in his hands and he rushed his shots. It was nice to see him hit the elbow jumper and dive to the ground for a loose ball, but he could've had a much better performance.

Edwards did a better job with controling of the ball. He had a pretty hook shot in the post and had a key rebound to seal the game. He did have a few sloppy passes and some rebounds being poked out of his hands, but overall he had a much better game. He needs to build on this game.

Oriakhi had his starting position taken from him and he still struggled on defense, especially against the pick and roll. He was out of position to contain the dribble penetration and time after time he left a wide open lane to the rim. He did have a few dunks and blocks, but he needs to do much better. Majok had a hard time staying in the game, but when he does, he plays with a lot of energy. Okwandu had a tough time staying in the game also, but had a put back and made a free throw.

It was good to see those shots sink for Coombs-McDaniel. Hopefully this will turn the rest of his season around now that he has found a little confidence. Beverly missed his only jumper and had a bad pass, but what he does doesn’t show up in the stats sheet. He is the third guard in a the three guard line-up and is the only pure point guard off the bench.

This was a great win for a team with questions swirling about to their motivation. They proved that they are still a team to beat in this league and they looked primed to head into the Big East tournament with a ton of momentum. They need to finish this season strong, even if the Big Dance is but a dream now. For this team now it isn’t about the name on the back of the jersey, or the school on the front, but what beats beneath the jersey that truly matters, and this win proves that this team still has the heart and tenacity to keep fighting. For that we should all be proud.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Embarrassing


Embarrassing. This game set half court offense back fifty years. UConn could only muster six jumpers all game long and they kept banging their heads up against that wall over and over. Someone explain to them that off-balanced jumpers aren’t a high percentage play. The turnovers continue to plague them too and not the ones that Calhoun can live with. The sloppy weak passes and the out of control dribbling are unacceptable and they’ve been excepting them all season long. Couple that with the lack of putting a body on a man all game, every game, for the entire year is killing them. Please learn to position rebound and not jump for the ball. While they continue to struggle in the half court, the defense has improved, but they are keeping teams in the lead by sending them to the line. The worst part about this awful season is that this team isn’t improving, in fact it looks like it is getting worse. Why can’t they box out? Why can’t they stop the careless turnovers? And why can’t they understand that their strength isn’t in their jumper?

Dyson had an off game and that derailed the entire offense. Without him leading the way, UConn was left floundering in offensive ineptitude. He carried the ball, dribbled it off his foot, traveled, didn’t block out and gave up an offensive board, missed lay-ups, and let his defender by him for easy buckets. It wasn’t all bad, he did hit a 3-ball, was fouled five times driving, and had an offensive board, but most of that was in the first half. In the second, he struggled mightily and no one stepped up.

While Walker was sensational against Syracuse, he was a shell of that in this game. He had an early foul, but made up for that with two 3-balls, lay-ups, and a jumper. The unfortunate thing was that he made just as many negative plays. He had a bad early foul, missed a ton of shots, and had some poor decisions with the basketball. He needs to be more aggressive with the rock, especially when Dyson is struggling like he did.

Robinson also had a ton of positive first half plays but was no where to be seen in the second half. He had a poster transition dunk and spectacular dribble drive finish, but his jumper was not there all game and he did a horrible job in the rebounding department, having the ball stripped or bounce right off his hands. He is just not doing the things that need to be done to counteract bigger frontcourts and he had another opportunity to dive to the ground for a tie-up and didn’t.

Edwards is still fumbling with the ball and getting out muscled in the paint and it costing UConn big time. He couldn’t make enough positive plays this time to balance out his negative ones. He is getting pushed around when trying to box out and when he does get his hands on the ball, it is getting stripped from him. Another troubling aspect to Edwards game is that he is struggling from the line, his one true strength. He did have a couple of put-back dunks and a post up score, but his lazy passing and slippery hands negated all of that.

Oriakhi didn’t have much of an impact on this game other then a few rebounds and a blocked shot. He is also getting pushed around in the paint and fumbling the ball when it is in his hands. UConn needs much more consistency from him. Calhoun didn’t show much love to Majok who played sparingly. He took an early elbow jumper, played solid help defense, and hustle save, but didn’t play the minutes that he did under Blaney. Okwandu played Majok’s minutes and took a horrible hook shot, but had two steals. He is having problems with getting out muscled for rebounds. The bigs got killed in this game and most of the season. There hasn’t been a game that they outplayed the opponents frontcourt and that has put to much pressure on the backcourt to pick up the slack.

Beverly struggled with an early turnover and gave up an and-one. He was aggressive with a drive to the rim and had a steal, but he is not looking for any offense even when he is open. Coombs-McDaniel is in a horrible shooting slump, having an air-ball on his only attempt. He needs to attack the rim and try the mid-ranged shot. Smith had a couple of first half minutes but was too aggressive on defense and gave up an easy lane to the basket and had to foul.

Calhoun returned but the team he left is still the same. They have the same issues, the same inconsistency from game to game, possession to possession. That hasn’t changed and won’t. They are what they are. No matter what they show or do in practice, once the whistle blows, they are what they are and that is mediocrity. Without Dyson shouldering the load the offense results to last second jumpers and that isn’t their strength. Teams are being physical with UConn’s frontcourt and they are backing down. For the first year players in Oriakhi, Majok, and Okwandu it is understandable, but Edwards is a senior and it is unacceptable to have his inconsistency in each and every game. For Dyson it is the turnovers and Robinson the rebounding. It all adds up to sitting at the bottom of the Big East standings with no real possibility to climb out.

Post Game Interviews on Cincinnati Victory over UConn

 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Calhoun to return

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&brand=foxsports&from=metadatawidget_en-us_foxpsorts_videocentral&vid=b1af5f2f-2ee1-48c8-801a-0c0c9fd47c56" target="_new" title="The Goods: Calhoun's return">Video: The Goods: Calhoun's return</a>

Calhoun returns to the sidelines

Another look at The Mystery Timeout

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Make the Call

Let 'Em Play


Is it to much to ask to let the players decide the outcome of a closely contested game? For the third time this year UConn lost on a questionable call in the waning seconds of a vital game. While UConn can’t place the finger on that one call as the reason for the loss, to see a game that they had played their hearts out end in the fashion that it did just isn’t right. Syracuse cruised to the finish line at the free throw line through the final six minutes and UConn didn’t do themselves any favors with needless fouls on screens and not getting back on defense. Why is it so hard for the big men to run down court, especially after a made basket. It has hurt them all year and they continue to jog back. UConn did a good job of attacking the zone, the jumpers started to fall and the bigs did a great job on the boards. Robinson and Dyson also worked hard on limiting second chance opportunities and Majok and Edwards did well on getting offensive boards for themselves. On defense, UConn did a good job in the half court sets and limited the dribble penetration, but the transition defense was horrible.

Dyson had a few turnovers but other then that he did a great job of getting into the lane and getting fouled six times driving to the rim. He had a two deep threes that evened up the game but he is clanking important free throws in clutch situations. It has been a season long struggle for him from the charity stripe and it has cost UConn a game or two, but without his offense in the second half, they would’ve never recovered from that double-digit deficit.

With the jumpers starting to fall and the sloppy turnovers a distant memory, Walker has turned into what everyone thought he would be, a star. He was the best player out there. He flashed his speed, hit the mid-ranged shots, was fouled three times driving, hit the 3-ball, blocked a shot, and stole the ball. He was everywhere and making key plays down the stretch. He needs to continue this kind of play, especially in the Big East tournament, because that is their only legitimate chance to get to the Big Dance now that they lost this game.

Robinson did a much better job rebounding and it solidified that fifteen feet and out area that has been giving them fits all year. He got his usual dunks on the break, but it was his deflections and steals that were really impressive. He needs to do a better job of running harder in transition and making his free throws, but overall he did a good job.

Edwards still had his issues with his hands, but he made up for it with a ton of positive plays. He had offensive boards, put-backs, dunks, blocks, an elbow jumper and a pretty drive and scoop. He is leaving his feet early and fouling, missing free throws, not blocking out, and having horrible passes, but he had much better energy out there.

Majok continues to get into foul trouble but when he has worked up a good game sweat, he makes plays. He had a put back, block, and plays with a lot of energy. He is still getting beat on inbounds plays and down court though. Oriakhi had a bad game, fouling more then making positive plays. Okwandu played hard. He rebounded, had a block, and a dunk, but also got out muscled, had a moving screen, and stepped out of bounds.

Coombs-McDaniel had a nice drive and score but struggled with his jumper. It has gotten so bad for him that he traveled because he was unsure of taking an open jumper. Just shoot it. Beverly did a good job at the point but didn’t feel comfortable in taking a shot.

This loss just about sinks any hopes of a miraculous comeback. They needed this game, and a few bad calls and some defensive lapses counteracted a great offensive performance. There is no denying the heart that this team has, but it still leaves them without a road win this year. Their hopes now lie in winning the Big East tournament. Not the easiest feat, but if this game shows anything, it is that they can play with the elites, just as long as the refs let ‘em play.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Questions and Answers

While UConn needed this victory in the worst way, they sure aren’t coming out of it with a whole lot of momentum. They still gave up to many offensive boards, they are getting killed by the outside shot, and they continue to turn the ball over in bunches. There was way to much dribbling to start the half court sets and they were having problems remaining composed when the trap came. On defense, UConn still has no answer for the basic pick and roll, though the bigs did a much better job with extending the defense, but they are losing the battle for the long rebounds and stopping the second attempts. There is no easy Big East game, but it shouldn’t be this much of a grind to pull out a victory against the worst team in the league at home. It either shows the depth of the bottom half of the league or the depth to which UConn has fallen.

Dyson took awhile to get involved in the offense and that has a lot to do with him not wanting to get into early foul trouble. When he was aggressive he was effective, getting fouled six times while driving to the rim and finishing a ton of plays around the rim. He did have a sloppy no-look pass and clanked a bunch of outside shots, but he took over the game down the stretch and won this game. It was good to see him have a solid night from the line.

It was a great sign to see Walker take the first shot of the game even if he missed it. He needs to be aggressive right from the tip. Other then losing control of the dribble a couple of times, he played a solid game. He played great defense, taking a charge and snatching steals. He has certainly turned his game around in the past month. All he needs to do is find his outside shot and he will be unstoppable.

Robinson didn’t have his best performance. He did hit a three, got to the line, and rebounded better but he was rushing his shots. He also had two opportunities to jump to the ground for tie-ups and he didn’t. This team needs more from him to pull away from teams in these tight ballgames. He just hasn't done the little things out there lately.

Edwards was solid from the line but his hands are a liability. Passes are careening off them, rebounds slipping out of his grasp, and he is losing the ball in traffic or on dunk attempts. He needs to get this under control, because it is killing the team. Oriakhi was the best player on the court in the first half with put-backs, blocks, strong boards, and made his free throws, but in the second half he disappeared. He did hit another elbow jumper but he needs to put a full forty minutes of ball together, because that first half shows the impact he can have on the court and UConn needs every bit of it.

Majok also had a solid outing with a beautiful turnaround fifteen-footer in the post. He hustles for loose balls, blocks shots especially three pointers, finishes plays strong, and rebounds with strength. He is slowly coming into his own and with another year under his belt, the NBA isn’t too far away.

Beverly clanked shot after shot but it was good to see him take them. He usually defers and teams are playing off him. It also seems like he has a very high dribble which gives teams more of a chance to steal the ball. Coombs-McDaniel played solid defense but had an air-ball on offense. He needs to find his jumper and in a hurry. He doesn't have that shooters mentality and the misses are getting to him. Smith gave up an easy lane to the basket and wasn’t seen again.

It was a must win and they won which was important, but it does nothing to curtail the thoughts that this team has the ability to climb out of the enormous hole that they are in. Struggling to come out with a victory at Gampel against the worst team in the league doesn’t bode well on UConn’s overall expectations. They’ll need to play much better especially early in ballgames and hope teams stop draining threes on them, because the schedule only gets tougher and they need to finish above .500 in the league to have a chance at a NCAA berth and this game leaves more questions then answers.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

January

M.V.P.: Jerome Dyson


UConn couldn’t of had a worse January. They entered league play with the hope to compete for the league title to only have their hopes dashed by several losing streaks. It wasn’t a total surprise with hints of their mediocrity throughout their non-conference schedule against inferior opponents. It was only magnified when they played superior teams. Teams took advantage of easy lanes into the paint and had unbelievable success from the three point range. UConn’s offense stuttered and stalled and couldn’t keep up. They did have one shining moment in a victory against Texas, but that was soon washed away by another losing streak that placed them in the bottom rung of Big East teams.

It is amazing to see the free fall that this team is on. Everyone expected there to be some growing pains, but with a solid core of seniors, they should’ve been able to weather the storm and remain near the upper echelon of Big East teams. But with Calhoun’s absence in January, combined with a squad that hasn’t shown the ability to fix their obvious flaws, this season looks to be on the projected course of missing the NCAA tournament.

Dyson had problems remaining on the court, struggling with foul problems. He shoulders much of the offensive load that if he is having a poor offensive outing then UConn has no shot of competing in games. There is no doubt that he is a warrior and one of the best transition players in the country but if he can’t get into the lane and to the rim then his offense is extremely limited.

Walker struggled in the first half of the month with sloppy turnovers and ineffectiveness in the half court sets, but he played solid basketball in the later half of January. He is still figuring out how to run the team and when to control the tempo. His jumper still needs to be improved, but he has hit his free throws and finished plays around the rim.

Though Robinson has improved his offensive output this year, he is still limited in what he can consistently do in the half court. He struggles in the post and with the dribble drive. His rebounding wasn’t what it should be and he needs to be in the paint and crashing the boards on every possession. This team has struggled rebounding and Robinson takes some of the responsibility with that. He has also been struggling with his man off the dribble and is one of the main culprits in letting his man dribble right past him and to the rim.

Edwards entered January with momentum but had some rough outings. He wasn’t very effective around the rim and his elbow jumper wasn’t sinking. He also reverted back to his unenergetic body language and slippery hands. Passes slid through his grip and his passes were weak and intercepted. His defense was also horrible and he took bad angles or was getting sealed to close to the basket. Without Gavin holding the paint with effectiveness, teams had a glutton of offensive boards and easy buckets.

Oriakhi continued his strong rebounding, but he still hasn’t shown the ability to score with his back to the basket. On defense, he has been getting beat down court and has been getting posted up too close to the rim. He has steadily improved from the line, but he isn’t aggressive with the ball in his hands to get there enough.

Majok has also shown improvement but he is having trouble staying in games. He is UConn’s best blocker on the team but he hasn’t learned to contest without fouling, something Thabeet took a year to learn. He has a soft stroke from the line, and strong hands. If he can consistently get the ball in the post, he has a variety of moves, but he isn’t comfortable there yet.

Okwandu has had an up and down month. Some games he comes in and contributes right away and others it is one mistake and done. He needs more then the sprinkling of minutes to show his game and he isn’t getting them.

Coombs-McDaniel just isn’t sinking jumpers and that is what this team needs from him. He has shown the ability to take the ball to the rim, but without the jumper falling his confidence in his offense isn’t there. He is also inconsistent from the line and needs to be better there because he can’t throw points away.

Beverly showed that he can spell Kemba at the point, and the ability to finish at the rim, but he doesn’t have much of a jumper nor a way to get to the rim. Smith and Trice were spectators for most of the month with Smith getting a minute or two in emergency situations. He looked uncomfortable out there which is expected.

With the disastrous January behind them, UConn has only a narrow window to crawl out of the Big East cellar. The NCAA tournament is only a dream now, and their real hope is to get a better seeding in the Big East tournament to create their own destiny, but they haven’t shown that they can fix their obvious problems. The pick and roll on defense is gashing them, the turnovers are stifling the offense, and the offensive rebounds are burying them. How they fix this is a mystery. They are what they are, deficient and it is an utter shame.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scratching and Clawing


Put on any jersey on any of UConn’s opponents and each game looks the same. Be it Pittsburgh, Louisville, Marquette, Georgetown, Duke, Kentucky, and even Harvard, UConn has struggled containing the dribble penetration, giving up easy drive after easy drive, totally destroying the inside defense. They don’t have the offensive effectiveness to keep up with thirty-five point halves. If they want to win games, they need to keep the score around sixty to sixty-five points. They are also having a terrible time controlling the ball. Edwards, Oriakhi, and Robinson are having the ball bounce right through their hands and giving up easy entry passes or rebounds. It doesn’t help that every team that they have faced has had a great shooting night. Teams are shooting way above their average from outside against them and UConn can’t match that. It all adds up to having a seat with the Rutgers, Seton Hall, and DePaul’s of the conference.

Dyson had a rough time staying in the game and he sat on the bench for much of the first half. Without him UConn’s offensive ship was rudderless. When he emerged in the second half, it took him awhile to get going, but when he did, he nearly pulled this team out of the enormous hole they were in. He hit from deep and drove the ball with aggression but it wasn’t enough. His foul trouble kept him out of any flow and Louisville counteracted any run they had with one of their own.

Walker played a solid game. He stuck his nose into the paint for offensive boards, showed an elbow jumper, attacked the zone, hit from deep, and showed his great speed in transition. He had a few bad passes and poor decisions on the break but he played a complete game for the third time in a row and has limited stretches of sloppy play.

Robinson struggled throughout the game. He was not running hard, giving up several easy buckets, missed a one-and-one opportunity, didn’t box out on free throw rebound, traveled, and keeps letting his opponent drive past him and into the lane. It wasn’t all bad. He made his free throws, drove the ball well, and rebounded better, but he needs to step his game up, especially down the stretch.

Edwards also had a poor outing. He had trouble catching the ball on numerous occasions, got beat down court, not boxing out or playing physical down low, and he is playing horrible help defense, taking poor angles on defenders. He was making his free throws, but he needs to be more decisive with the ball. He fumbles with his footwork and is not strong with his moves.

Oriakhi showed a fifteen footer, showed an aggressive move and made his free throws, but he is having problems getting sealed deep into the paint and playing defense without fouling. Majok is UConn’s best big man at help defense, he just needs to remain on the floor. He is blocking shots and rebounding much better, but his four minute stretches are keeping him out of any flow.

Beverly had a hustle save, but also had a horrible no-look pass and was beat off the ball on numerous occasions. He seems to be playing a bit out of his comfort zone. Coombs-McDaniel wasn’t effective and missed his only outside attempt. He did help in the rebound department and played good defense, but was out of control in transition and traveled. Okwandu’s playing time was short lived with a horrible rebound attempt on a free throw and he was back to the bench.

Sitting at three and six in conference standings, it looks awfully bleak for this team. It doesn’t seem like this team can turn it around. They just don’t have answers to their troubles because if they did, they would’ve already solved them. Their style of play is conducive to turnovers. Their weakness in the front court isn’t maturing fast enough and their strength in the back court isn’t strong enough to carry the team. It leaves them scratching and clawing to stay afloat in games. And this ship is sinking fast.