Friday, March 13, 2009
Living in Connecticut my entire life I have boatloads of friends that are UConn fans, say I get to banter UConn hoops a ton. For the entire season, my main theme of questioning UConn's championship hopes have been who is going to take the big shot. The typical answer I received was, "Whoever Is Hot That Night". Well, last night proved that UConn A) Has no idea who should shoot and B) Has no ability to get a good shot off. Let's break down the 5 big time failed UConn possessions.
Down two with the ball in the closing seconds, you might only remember the fact that the Huskies tied up the game. How could I blame you, the game did last another 90 minutes. In reality UConn only scored because of a fortuitious bounce, after Craig Austrie of all people decided to take the game in his own hands and take a horrendous runner at close to full speed. Lucky for them, and us, the ball bounced to Thabeet than after he got blatantly fouled and ripped off the ball fell right to another Huskie for a wide open layup. In a recurring theme the Huskies called a timeout prior to this possession to set up a play, and well I don't think they ran it.
This isn't as bad as it looks because UConn only had 4 or 5 seconds to get the ball up the court and attempt to score after the Cuse tied it up, but still get to the rack. And why didn't Calhoun call a time out to try to run some sort of play? Walker pretty much got the ball ran up the court and threw up a shot that had no chance to go in.
In OT2, UConn only had time for a half court heave so that can be ignored. In OT3 however UConn had ample time on their possession to draw something up and attempt to get a good shot. Instead they didn't call a timeout to draw up a play and wound up with AJ Price hucking up a three from NBA+ range. Again UConn got the fortuitous offense rebound and Adrien got a decent look that he couldn't bury.
In the 4th overtime the Huskies again had ample time to run a play and had a timeout just prior to draw one up. Unlike the rest of the possessions, they at least attempted to get the ball to the rack and/or try to draw a foul. Price just couldn't get it done.
With 15 Seconds left in the 5th overtime, UConn called a timeout to set up a play. What do they get? AJ Price hucking up another three from NBA+ range. Adrien again got the rebound and again missed an open look. But the theme remained, UConn had ample possessions for someone to step up and ice the game and nobody did. No Huskie could make a play.
The Huskies will be presented with these challenges in the tournament and unless they figure out who is their playmaker by then, they will fail.