Last night's 67-57 loss to Pittsburgh was just one more example in what is becoming a very long list of reasons why this UConn team continues to struggle. Meacham covered this earlier, but it bears repeating: until UConn actually beats someone, they are a bubble team at best, and, since the Big East schedule will do the Huskies no favors, there is no guarantee that bubble won't pop. Last night's game was discouraging, and thats putting it mildly. I was only able to catch the second half, where the Huskies seemed perfectly capable of playing with Pittsburgh, but utterly unable to beat them, which is becoming an all too familiar pattern with this team.
There wasn't much that surprised me last night -- Stanley Robinson continued his impersonation of pre-2009 Alex Rodriguez by playing great for the first 30 minutes and then disappearing when it mattered. Jerome Dyson did his usual thing by driving the offense and committing six turnovers along the way. And the big guys added, well, not much. The one bright spot was Kemba Walker, who was not perfect, but put together perhaps his best game in a long time with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while only committing two turnovers.
But when I look back on last night, (if I ever do at all, seeing as this season is starting to look very similar to 2007, which everyone knows never happened) I'll probably focus on one incredibly frustrating play.
With 39 seconds on the clock, UConn fouled Ashton Gibbs, a 90+ percent free throw shooter who at one point this year hit 46 straight from the line. The score was 61-57 and UConn's fate appeared to be sealed. But, by some miracle, Gibbs missed. Gavin Edwards grabbed the ball and threw an outlet pass to Dyson. Dyson raced up the court and promptly lost control. He tried a desperation pass to Walker, but since he was already cutting to the hoop, Walker was out of position. Walker dived after the ball and, in an attempt to keep it inbounds, threw it right into the waiting arms of a Pitt defender. Game over. That play was UConn's entire season in 10 seconds -- exciting, fast, athletic, fundamentally flawed and marred by a dumb turnover.