I don’t know who it is exactly that I annoyed recently. The list could be extensive. But when your flight home from Raleigh is delayed by snow, with no end to the delay remotely in sight you know that someone somewhere is sending a message. We took off with an inch of snow on the ground at Bradley Sunday morning. Not in Raleigh we don’t. I’m not sure if they even have effective snow plows down here, and there has no been confirmation that the de-icing process is done with a hand scraper. It just seems that way.
The Huskies’ victory last night over North Carolina was stunning. Not the fact that they won the game, but the ease with which it went down. A 30-point victory over the No. 2 team in the nation on the road two days after losing a starting guard for the season with a torn ACL? That was an old-fashioned beat down that sent a distinct message to the rest of the nation that this team really is the bonafide cream of the crop at this juncture of the season. And there really is no team close by.
And UConn didn’t even play one of its best games offensively either. They missed a lot of bunnies, particularly Tina Charles. It shot 47.2 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
“I think we did a lot of bad things (Monday) so we can’t really leave this game … We’re on Cloud 9 right now, but we definitely have some things we need to work on,’’ Renee Montgomery said.
What was most impressive was the way the Huskies outworked the Tar Heels on the boards (53-32) and the manner in which they never allowed the Tar Heels to get back in the game once the lead soared into double figures. This was an important step for this team going forward. And if Lorin Dixon can bottle her performance and repeat it Life Without Caroline might be met by a smooth transition.
However, that does not mean that this team is better equipped to deal with Caroline’s injury than it was a year ago. Geno Auriemma said that this team cannot get away with playing predominately six players every game for the rest of the season. The starters played at least 29 minutes last night. Kaili McLaren (season-high 24 minutes) was the lone reserve to play more than five minutes as Tiffany Hayes (five minutes) was a non-factor.
“Last year was completely different,’’ Geno said. “We had more depth in the post. We had more guards available to us even though the two got hurt. This year this is going to be a lot harder. I don’t know that we can play every game and play as few players as we played (Monday) and get away with it. But this is going to be a lot harder.’’
Seeing Caroline at the game was pretty special. And it undoubtedly meant a lot to the Huskies. When she got hurt Saturday there wasn’t much to say that could console her. Geno said he couldn’t find the words.
“There’s nothing you can say,’’ Geno said. “What you say? There’s absolutely nothing you could say that’s going to make a kid whose season just ended feel any better. There are no words. You can’t even try to say anything. What you do is you go up, put your arm around her and that’s it. And walk away. For her to have to go through six, seven, eight more months of what she just went through … But there’s no time to feel sorry for yourself. It’s time to move on. You’ve got to keep moving on.’’
Said Renee: “I went to her room Saturday night after she got hurt. I told Caroline, `When we go to Carolina, I don’t want you jumping around or moving around. Be calm.’ I turned around one time and she’s up cheering and I’m like, `My goodness, what are you doing?’’’
I’m still sitting here at the gate. And it’s still snowing. Now gettinig out of here is becoming a concern.