The Open Thread: #13 UConn vs. Loyola (Md)

Coach, Kevin, Coach! - Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

7pm, SNY/ESPN 3, XL Center

UConn looks to continue their winning ways as they take to the XL Center for a tune-up game against Loyola of Maryland in a game which Ken Pomeroy is giving the Greyhounds a 5% chance of winning.

I think he's being generous.

But this is college basketball, where anything can happen. Last night Cleveland State gave Kentucky all they could handle before the Wildcats rallied late to pull out the win. Earlier this season, the perennial tournament fodder known as Belmont beat UNC (The Tar Heels were missing two star players, but still). The Indiana State Sycamores, whose claim to fame is being Larry Birds alma mater, beat Notre Dame at "The Jack", a notoriously difficult task. Last night Dayton beat #10 Gonzaga in a Maui Invitational game that I'm certain nobody watched because it tipped off at midnight ET.

While a win in this game does appear eminent, I'll be on the lookout for a few different things. UConn needs to come out strong here and be the dominant force they are supposed to be. What would actually be great is if we could put this team away so that with ten minutes left the freshman can get some PT, especially Kentan Facey and Terrance Samuel, who have logged a combined 27 minutes in five games this season. Facey is someone who I expected to have more of a presence this year. Instead he has two DNP-CD's and has been pretty much non-existent.

This is the open thread folks, let's talk about it all right here. I'm up in CT for Thanksgiving so I'll be watching the game on SNY for the first time this season.

I'll have my eye on:

  • Amida Brimah- I feel like I mention Brimah here every time, but with nobody on the roster over 6-foot-9, I want at least five blocks. Also- will he get the 'starting' nod over Phil Nolan?
  • Shabazz Napier- what will the emerging Naismith contender do as an encore for his breakout performance against Indiana
  • Omar Calhoun- cooled off after starting the season with 3 double-digit games. I feel he's being underutilized and just not in the right spot at times to make plays, other times his shots just aren't going in. For us to beat the best teams on the schedule, we need to find better ways to get Omar involved in the offense.

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