The Huskies are gearing up for their home opener today in a game against Yale that shouldn't be too difficult for a team that just beat a very solid Maryland team.
Last Friday, UConn played about 30 minutes of stellar basketball against a strong opponent. Yale isn't expected to be much of a threat but there are certainly a couple of things that we should be sure to keep an eye on.
First, the emergence of Phil Nolan. I think he looked solid and did enough to hold onto the starting nod at Center alongside DeAndre, Calhoun, Boatright and Napier in the starting lineup. In fact, this game should be a good opportunity for all of our big men to assert some dominance as Yale doesn't have a starter over 6-foot-8. Amida Brimah is a player who I would like to see a lot more of since he has the potential to break single game records for blocks. The play where he caught the ball on the break and dunked demonstrated great hand-eye coordination and athleticism so hopefully he gets a chance to play good minutes today.
Another interesting storyline is Kentan Facey's DNP-CD against Maryland. Despite the fact that his eligibility was under investigation, he was practicing with the team so it's tough to understand why he didn't see any time last Friday. I expect that to change today and our next two games against Detroit and BU.
DeAndre Daniels didn't do a whole lot against Maryland. While he did shoot an efficient 44% from the field, he only had 2 rebounds and was practically invisible during the final minutes of the game. Beating up on Yale won't assuage any concerns about his play this year, but it certainly would help. Hopefully that was first game jitters and we get a dominant bounceback performance from this potential star.
I'm expecting Kevin Ollie to continue experimenting with lineup configurations. He had a great quote from an ESPN article last week where he said:
"I don't even look at 'em as starters and reserves," Ollie said. "I've got 10 guys that can start. I truly believe that. "
I think we'll see some interesting lineups today and also get a good look at the abilities our young players. In a game that should amount to a warm up for the more difficult parts of our season, this shouldn't be a very close one.