Tuesday, November 17, 2009

'More of the Same'

Sitting here at courtside, just past midnight, putting the finishing touches on my game story of UConn's 77-63 win over Colgate. In front of me is Ater Majok, burning the midnight oil and working on his jump shot. I guess Dec. 20 can't come soon enough for this young man.

As for Monday's game: If you think Jim Calhoun was any more pleased with his team than he was following Friday night's equally uninspired win over William & Mary, think again.

A sampling:

"More of the same. We've just got to hope we play better, and we'll see what happens. The same combination of the other night."

"If we want to get to New York, we've got to play better."

Robinson had 18 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting, Walker added 16 points and six assists and Gavin Edwards scored 10 of his 14 points in the latter half to lead UConn. Edwards shot 7-for-8 from the floor.

Freshmen Jamal Coombs-McDaniel added 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Alex Oriakhi hauled in a team-high eight rebounds. Jerome Dyson chipped in with 10 points, despite 3-for-15 shooting, and six assists.

But the numbers that resonated most to Calhoun were in the rebounds column: UConn 29, Colgate 27.

"Their power forward was 6-2," Calhoun said (a slight exaggeration, we might add). "Our power forward (Edwards) had one rebound at halftime in 15 minutes."

"It's despicable, we only took 10 foul shots. Our four and five men (Edwards and Oriakhi) didn't take a foul shot. Nor did they deserve to take one."

Calhoun did concede: "We made a pretty good stand defensively, Stanley went off, and we won the game."

"We played in a few bursts," he added. "If we do that (Tuesday), we will not be going to New York … Are we in desperate shape? No. Hopefully, we can turn around and be the team we can be."

He continued:

"This is not something I've seen here. I've seen some awful basketball here, and I've seem some incredibly wonderful basketball here. This, I haven't seen ... This Connecticut team has got to start playing like a Connecticut team. One way or another, we will end up this season playing hard. That I guarantee."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


After reading Calhouns interviews the past few weeks and listening to him main qualms (i.e. not reboulding, blocking shots, getting to the line) it seems to me not that this team is playing horrible; more that Calhoun is not used to coaching a smaller run & gun (a la UNC type) team. For years UConn has been known for their size, power, and dominance down low and now this year is totally different as our players are smaller and want to just out run the opponent for 40 minutes. Do you think that we have looked poor lately and Calhoun is justified in his criticism or more so that he is not used to a Connecticut team with this style?

November 17, 2009 at 9:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

29-27 rebounding edge over Colgate.....' nuff said

More then justified IMO

November 17, 2009 at 9:47 AM 
Blogger David Borges said...

UConn hasn't looked very good in either game. That they were even in rebounding with William & Mary and outrebounded Colgate -- Colgate! -- by just two is inexcusable. Of course, they did lose 21 rebounds per game in Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet. They are starting a freshman at center. They're still a month away from a 6-11 kid giving their frontcourt some big help.

I think Jim Calhoun definitely overreacts with his sideline antics and his pulling players out after one minor mistake. And he's certainly far more publicly critical of his team and players than any other coach I know. But his criticisms, for the most part, have been on the mark thus far.

You're right, UConn is smaller and wants to run, run, run. But a big part in being able to run is controlling the defensive boards.

November 17, 2009 at 11:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I dont get how this team looked so good against AIC their first game, everyone contributing, playing well. Stan and Walker each would a bunch of points. The freshman looking good. And then we play 2 crappy games in a row? Did AIC just play a really bad game or was it that we actually played better? I cant remember but I think AIC played man defense, and these past couple games, colgate and william and mary have played zone. I dont know if that has been a big factor but for whatever reason, we still continue to struggle with zones even though dyson and walker are more than capable to penetrate

November 17, 2009 at 1:52 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...

UConn looks at a zone like they've never seen one before. And they don't shoot well enough from the outside to break it.

They did spread things out against the zone in the second half last night and look better. Still, any team that doesn't zone up UConn is making a big mistake. Of course, as Colgate's coach pointed out last night, some teams just don't play zone, and it's hard to change what you do.

November 17, 2009 at 2:28 PM 

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