A look at the good, bad and ugly from UConn’s 74-65 loss to SMU Saturday at Moody Coliseum:
- FOUL SHOOTING: If there was one thing the Huskies did well Saturday, it was making their shots at the charity stripes – hitting 24 of 30 for 80 percent.
- KROMAH TIME: Hands down the best off-season move but UConn was bringing in GW transfer Lasan Kromah. He came off the bench to score 12 points with a team-high six rebounds and held SMU PG Nic Moore to five points (20 for the game) in the second half. Kromah continues to be the team’s best defender.
- BOAT FLOATS: OK, Ryan Boatright struggled with foul trouble all game, but the junior seems to be finding his game again on offense. He led the Huskies with 15 points and added four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
- TOUGHEN UP: Not saying the Huskies need to be sponsored by Charmin, but can someone act like a man in the paint? Amida Brimah (4 points, 4 rebounds, 5 blocks) gets somewhat of a pass being a freshman, but he also played the best vs. the Mustangs. Tyler Olander (2 points, 1 rebound) just doesn’t seem able to keep up with stronger, faster players and Phil Nolan (2 points) turns into the Invisible Man far too often.
- HUSTLE PLAYS: Love the work of Kromah on the court, but the Huskies need more of him, especially turning to man-up on defense.
Kevin Ollie’s take: “There’s only one Lasan. Some other guys got to step up and start playing defense like he does with awareness, being down, being focused, and paying attention to detail. In practice we have been detailed in what we are going over and it seems like these last two games all the principles goes out the window. Guys aren’t scoring on offense and they are giving up points on the defensive end and you can’t have it like that.”
3. WHAT’S UP WITH SHABAZZ? Some people thought the SMU defense deserved credit for slowing down Shabazz Napier, but he just has not looked like the same player in the last few games.
Ollie’s take: “I want him to be Shabazz. I want him to be an All-American. It’s not all about shooting. We had an 18-13 lead and it’s the tough things. It’s the offensive rebounds, it’s the different thing, but I want him to play with pace. I want him to be in attack mode all the time and if that’s him scoring 20 points and that’s him making 10 assists. He was getting by his guys but we didn’t make shot either. He was making some great passes and it was going through their hands. You can’t blame him or fault him for that, but you he has to understand we need him scoring the basketball also. I think he got a little discouraged about some of the guys missing shots but he has to keep making the right play and that’s what he did.”
4. THE MYSTERY KNOWN AS OMAR CALHOUN? He was supposed to be the Huskies’ third great guard, but he seems disinterested in playing defense and has been erratic on offense:
Ollie’s take: “Play defense. You got to play defense if you are going to see more minutes. Other than that, he’s getting some shots but he can’t stay on the court. (Ollie added that other players had the same problem and not to pin blame on just Calhoun).”