Thursday, February 24, 2011

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

Plenty of blame to go around in this loss.

Kemba Walker tried to do too much down the stretch, and while he wound up doing a lot of good (27 points, his usual array of special plays) he did plenty of bad over the final two minutes of regulation and overtime. Walker took some ill-advised shots, had some ugly turnovers and dribbled the ball into double teams a few too many times.

"I (made) two big turnovers at the end of the game," the always accountable Walker said. "They doubled me, and I was careless with the ball ... I think I was trying to force the issue a little too much."

Of course, it would have helped if his teammates had provided some help for him and presented themselves to him while he was being trapped.

Said Jeremy Lamb: "(Kemba) still made a lot of big plays. I feel like I let the team down. I didn't hit shots I usually hit."

George Blaney also could have drawn up some more imaginative offensive sets. And, by his own admission, could have allocated his minutes better.

"I probably ran everybody too many minutes," Blaney confessed. "We needed to get a little bit more production, but some of the guys that came in and didn't get it done when they were asked to do it, so we stayed with the guys that were doing it."

Where was Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, who made his second start of the season, down the stretch? On the bench, given his inability to guard Jimmy Butler. Niels Giffey (9 points) did a decent job in his stead, but it was surprising how little run Coombs got in the latter part of the game.

Oh, and the 17 turnovers didn't help either. Neither did teh 36-percent shooting -- a remarkable number, considering UConn grabbed 28 offensive rebound and, ostensibely, had many point-blank shot attempts.

"I don't know if I've ever seen that before, to be honest with you," Blaney said.

Oh, and what exactly was Roscoe Smith thinking, putting up a long jumper off a rebound with 3 1/2 minutes left in OT?

Anyway, here's the game story:
So if I'm a UConn fan, I'm a bit worried right now. But should you give up all hope? Nah, not with a group led by Walker and Jim Calhoun. It won't be easy the rest of the way -- the Huskies play at Cincinnati, at West Virginia and host Notre Dame in their regular-season finale.

They could easily lose all three games. But would it completely shock you if they won all three, or at least two of them? Not in this crazy season.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow that was the most frustrating game UConn has played all season.

Why with a 2 point lead and 40 seconds to go why would you try and run out a 35 second shot clock? Plus Walker tried to do it individually after he had it turned it over on the sideline either the previous possession or the one before.

Now OT Kemba threw up prayer after prayer instead of hitting his teammates for much easier looks. The Roscoe rebound was great his fade away long 2 was beyond insane. These players are almost done their freshman season. They have played 15+ big east games and should not be making these silly mistakes.

Ohh and lets not forget Blaney. There is a reason he isn't a Head at any big time program. His clock management is awful. One more thing George don't put in Beverly when the game is on the line. There is a reason JC has used him sparingly his last 3 years .... he sucks.

February 25, 2011 at 8:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wowsers. This was a tough loss. I hope UConn gets on a winning roll soon.

February 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM 

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