DeAndre Daniels was the only Husky struggling offensively through three games.
The remedy: A little BU zone.
Boston University’s 2-3 left the middle open, and Daniels capitalized. Most of his damage was done from the high post, but Daniels also hit a 3-pointer and threw down a viscous dunk on a dish from Shabazz Napier. In total, he had 24 points, carrying UConn offensively.
That’s the good news for the Huskies. Daniels’ rebounding numbers aren’t as encouraging. He has just 10 boards in 99 minutes this season. No, he’s not a natural rebounder, but UConn needs him to be a force on the boards every game. The Huskies don’t necessarily need him to score 20 points in each outing (they have plenty of capable scorers).
BU seemed intent on taking away UConn’s perimeter threats Sunday, which allowed Daniels to flourish in the middle of the zone. Here’s my column from UConn’s 77-60 win and some other tidbits below:
*Amida Brimah has received plenty of hype in these first few weeks. And he deserves it. On Sunday, though, Brimah was mostly a non-factor, limited by foul trouble.
“He has to get in a defensive stance and move early,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “You can’t always depend on the blocked shots, especially when you’re under the rim.”
*Niels Giffey, the nation’s hottest 3-point shooter, attempted just two field goals (both 3s) in 20 minutes. It seemed the Terriers identified him and limited his clean looks (which would make sense, seeing that he entered 11-for-13 from deep).
“Niels is still there,” Ollie said. “He’s not going anywhere. We’re not going to face zones like that all the time, but if we do, we have other people that can step up.”
*Boston University missed 11 of its first 12 3-point attempts, but buried 6-of-7 in a torrid 5-minute stretch that spanned from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second. The Terriers eventually cooled down.
*Oh yeah, Shabazz Napier (12 points, 12 rebounds and six assists) almost had another triple-double. Can’t forget that.