UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Thoughts from St. John’s…

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Kevin Ollie didn’t have much to say following Wednesday’s 71-65 loss to St. John’s, probably the worst of UConn’s six defeats.

Ryan Boatright (AP)

It’s no coincidence that Ollie was the most frustrated I’ve seen him after this one. Despite the rally from a 15-point deficit, it certainly goes down as an ugly loss.

A day later, some lingering thoughts on the Huskies:

*DeAndre Daniels posted 12 points and seven rebounds, which to me, should be his averages. Maybe I’m being a little too hard on the kid, but he played some terrible help defense on a few possessions, opening up an express lane to the hoop for St. John’s guard Felix Balamou. That’s probably why he sat for 11:24 as Niels Giffey (nine points and 10 boards in 30 minutes) helped engineer the comeback.

Daniels, so long and so talented yet so inconsistent, must drive Ollie nuts.

*The more I watch Ryan Boatright, the less convinced I am that he’s a pro — at least right now. Before Wednesday’s game, Boatright said he wasn’t worried about Chris Obekpa, the nation’s leading shotblocker.

“There are plenty shotblockers that I run up against,” Boatright said. “It isn’t a big thing; we just have to finish and play smart basketball.”

Boatright didn’t do either Wednesday. He often went into the St. John’s shotblockers and flipped the ball with his left hand. His wild layup attempts didn’t work, and he finished 1-for-8 from the field.

*UConn hasn’t gotten much better against a zone. Twenty-eight 3-point attempts in a single game (and 27 versus USF) is far too much. But then again, Napier and Boatright are too small to finish on big shotblockers, so it’s no surprise that the Huskies rely so heavily on perimeter shooting.

*The bright side: Niels Giffey really battles in there. He’s not the best offensive player (1-for-15 on 3s in his past 15 games) but you can never fault his effort. He came up with nine points and 10 boards last night, pretty impressive for a 6-foot-7 small forward playing way out of position.

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  1. Mike McManus says:

    You really hit the nail on the head with your comment about Daniels and his lack of help defense….and Olander is even worse. How many times have you seen an opposing player barrel down the lane for a slam while Daniels and Olander stand on the side of the lane and watch. None of these guys seem to be willing to set themselves up to take a charge. How many times have UCONN defenders taken a charge this year? I think they’re afraid to get hurt! How many times have I seen Calhoun, Giffey, and Olander run from side to side to get open while UCONN’s guards dribble around and ignore them? If everyone else on the team played as hard as Giffey plays, this would be a completely different team. I’m tired of seeing Daniels, Boatright, and Napier turn on and off their energy like a water faucet.