Tuesday, February 11, 2014

UConn Proving it's a Well-Balanced Team

Not a big sabermetrics guy, but learned today that UConn is No. 25 in the country on the UPS Team Performance index, which measures offensive and defensive efficiency among the nation's 345 Division 1 teams.

The index essentially identifies well-balanced teams, so the Huskies are pretty well-balanced.

As for Wednesday night's game against USF:

*** Omar Calhoun didn't practice today due to concussion-like symptoms, according to Kevin Ollie. Calhoun was feeling better Tuesday than he was the day before, however, and is questionable to play against USF.

*** In case you didn't know by now, the AAC has five of the Top 25 teams in the nation this week. Impressive, but not unpredictable, according to Kevin Ollie:

Ryan Boatright, however, didn't predict the league would be this good:

“We knew it was going to be competitive, but I'm going to be honest, I didn’t think there were going to be five teams in the Top 25. I knew there was going to be two or three. Teams in this conference, I’m pretty sure they felt like how we felt. Everybody was saying we weren’t going to be a good conference and stuff like that, so they probably took that to heart and that’s why they’re playing so hard.”

The American has had multiple teams ranked in every AP poll this season and has had at least three top-25 teams in all but one poll.

The early success in men’s basketball continues an impressive debut season for The American, which had two football teams (UCF, Louisville) ranked in the top 15 of the AP and USA Today polls and has two teams (UConn, Louisville) in the top four of the AP women’s basketball poll.

*** Ollie on USF:

“They’ve been playing very well on the road. They’ve got a lot of confidence. We’ve got a desperate team coming in here, and we’ve got to be ready to perform and play UConn basketball.”

“They’ve got two big fellas inside, they’ve got (Victor) Rudd that’s a high-flyer, doing a lot for them. They score in the paint. We’ve got to protect our yard.”

(USF beat SMU at home on Jan. 28, don't forget)

“It’s an ‘us’ game. We’ve got to take care of us. They’re playing well, so it’s not about they beat SMU, it’s about us taking care of our business, preparing ourselves, playing our type of basketball an giving ourselves a chance to win in the second half.”

“They can come back and say they lost to Rutgers. We don’t worry about that, we want to play our type of basketball. It’s a good team that we’re facing.”

*** Ollie noted that USF freshman center John Egbunu is averaging four dunks a game. Fellow frosh Chris Perry has won AAC Rookie of the Week honors five times and leads all the league's freshmen in scoring.

*** Boatright on the rough travel schedule of the new league:

“Every flight we take is 2 1/3-3 hours. We get back pretty late, then we’ve got to be in class every morning. It’s a little different than flying to D.C. and going to Jersey and stuff like that. But we’ve got no control of it. We’ve got to take care of business.”

*** Boatright noted his left shoulder is "pretty jacked-up" (as in beat up), and it's affected his shooting.

“I haven’t shot this bad since I was probably in fourth grade, when I didn’t know how to shoot," he said.

He hasn't had an MRI because doing so would cause him to have to sit out a few days, and he doesn't want to do that. He'll have the MRI after the season.

Boatright said the shoulder issue has been there since preseason, but was exacerbated when he was kneed in the back in the Cincy game.

*** Oh, and this: UConn baseball player Trevor Holmes was arrested early Sunday morning after getting into a fight on campus. Holmes, 19, was arrested for 2nd-degree breach of peace and released on $500 bond. Matthew Davies, 22, was also arrested after the altercation, which occurred on King Hill Road.

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