Friday, January 17, 2014

UConn Tops #17 Memphis On The Road Behind A Pair of Double-Doubles

UConn 83 (14-3) - #17 Memphis Tigers 73 (12-4)

UConn pulled out their first big road win of the season in the first ever in-conference match-up with Memphis at the FedEx Forum in Tennessee.  After Memphis, who is 322nd in the NCAA in 3-point shooting, pulled ahead near the end of the first half behind an uncharacteristic barrage of triples, the three headed monster of Shabazz, DeAndre Daniels, and the unexpected Lasan Kromah were able to make a bunch of great individual plays at the end of the game to give UConn the cushion they would need.  Kromah has been stepping up the last couple of games, which has been needed since Boatright is either great or non-exisistant in games.  I like our depth at the 2/3 spot, depending on if the Huskies are playing big or small with Kromah, Calhoun, or Giffey.  The big question, as it has been all season, is what about our big guys?

Brimah had a nice game against UCF when he scored an out-of-nowhere 20 points, but he continues to show his inexperience and problems staying in the game with foul trouble, as he fouled out in this game as well.  Nolan has decent moves but is soft around the rim...and he also fouled out.  Olander played pretty good in spurts but I know better than to trust anything he does.  Is it just me, or does it seem like he's going to pass out after 30 seconds of running?

The game shouldn't have even been in question during the last minute or so but UConn decided it would be fun to keep giving Memphis chances to take the game if they wanted it...thank God, they apparently didn't and UConn grabbed it's biggest win of the season.

Yes, I think this win is bigger than the Florida win at the beginning of the season, even though Florida is playing much better basketball right now than either UConn or Memphis.  For one, this game was on the road.  And secondly, Florida was playing with a bunch of injuries at the time and is now at full strength.  Although, when you start looking at NCAA Tournament resumes, that Florida win is going to look better than the game that was actually played, so that's a plus.

The Huskies were led by double-doubles from Daniels and Napier in the victory.  Daniels, who is really the key for UConn making any noise come March, had a career-high 11 boards to go along with a game-high 23 points.  Shabazz made some clutch plays down the stretch and finish with 17 points to go along with 10 assists, although he was veeeery cold from deep (1-8 on threes).  Hopefully this win propels UConn back into the Top 25 where they belong.

Side Notes:

Napier moved into 17th All-Time on the UConn Men's Basketball scoring list but apparently, there is no list on the Internet for me to check out how many points he needs to score to move up to 16th...oh, well.

Memphis' Head Coach still looks like a 25 year old lax bro.

Apparently Memphis has the second basketball player ever to be named Shaq in Shaq Goodwin.  At least we can bring the term 'hack-a-shaq' back now.

It now looks like I'm going to have working in the term "Road Kill" into my vocabulary for big road wins...and I don't mind one bit.

"This was the first one we needed to get.  We got our first road kill in the American Conference." - Kevin Ollie

"I feel like it was a good situation for us to go in and play at their home and get our first real road kill in the conference." - Shabazz Napier