Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ryan Boatright Lost a 'Brother' on Monday Night, But Was Picked up by Other 'Brothers' All Week

Ryan Boatright played with a heavy heart in UConn's absolutely huge win over Memphis Thursday night. His cousin ("really my brother") was killed by a gunshot to the head in Boatright's hometown of Aurora, Ill.

Yes, DeAndre Daniels had perhaps his best game as a Husky, with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 4 of 5 3-pointers, terrific drives to the hoop.

Yes, Lasan Kromah hit all five of his field goals and both of his free throws for 13 points, including six key points late in the game.

Yes, Shabazz Napier joined Daniels with a triple-double (17 points, 10 assists) despite shooting just 1-for-6 in the first half and turning the ball over four times.

Yes, Omar Calhoun snapped out of a long slump by hitting 3 of 4 shots, including a trey, for seven first-half points.

Yes, even Rodney Purvis, sitting out the season as a transfer, assisted in UConn's win. How? Ask Daniels

"Rodney Purvis challenged me, before we left in practice, we had a huddle and Rodney challenged me. He wanted me to get 10 rebounds, so I did it for him, too. He called me out in front of the coaches and players. He said, 'Get 10,' I said, 'Alright, I'll get 10.'"

Yes, this was UConn's first league road win and easily its biggest win of the season thus far (trumping the Florida win, in my eyes).

But sometimes, it's about more than just basketball. Ryan Boatright lost a "brother" on Monday night, and his other "brothers" picked him up all week, culminated by Thursday night's huge victory.

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