Game two of the Kevin Ollie era is tonight when the Huskies host Vermont at Gampel Pavilion, and though a game against the Catamounts may not be as sexy as one against Michigan St., it brings its own unique challenges the Huskies are going to have to face. Michigan State may be a tough team basketball-wise, but a game against Michigan St. -- one played in Germany on national TV no less -- is easy to get up for. A home game, with a less-than-capacity crowd against an America East team? That's a bit more of a challenge, and how the Huskies face it will give us yet another insight into how Kevin Ollie is going to control this team.
Vermont isn't exactly a pushover either. Ken Pom has them as the 124th best team in the country (not bad by America East standards). They're led by a quartet of Juniors, including 6'7" Luke Apfeld, who scored sixteen points in their opening win over Siena. The 6'6" Brian Voelkl looks to be their leading rebounder -- he averaged over 8 per game last year and pulled down 7 in their opener, and Sandro Carissimo will lead they from the backcourt (11 points against Siena). It might also be good to keep an eye out for freshman Ethan O'Day, who is from Mansfield and is a former teammate of Tyler Olander.
The Huskies, down though they may be from their traditional standards, are not the underdogs a lot of us thought they were last week. Friday night was a statement win, they're ranked in the AP poll, and people are on the lookout for them. I'm interested to see how'll they respond to all of that. I'm going to be out for most of the game, but might be able to pop into the OpenThread for the second half. Regardless, it's here for you to discuss and share your thoughts.
The game tips at 7 p.m. from Gampel and will be broadcast on SNY. This is your OpenThread. Go Huskies, and remember: take the stairs, escalators are for cowards.