Player of the Game- I really wanted to pick Rodney Purvis. His 19 points were a big boost, and his general attitude on the floor gave a strong indication of what's to come as the season continues. As Purvis adjusts to game speed, he's going to be a dynamite player. His physical skills are endless, a tank getting to the rim with a smooth jumper, he has all the tools. But the best player on the floor today was Ryan Boatright. Again. Leading the Huskies with 20 points, 5 boards, 4 dimes and 3 steals, Boat was the be all, end all. After seeing how Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier led the team, and years being coached by Kevin Ollie, Boatright knows what it takes to be "the man." His presence on the floor is apparent. Everything runs through him, and it's for the best. Boatright is a worthy captain, something many UConn fans were skeptical of when he showed up on campus. Beyond leadership, Boatright can flat out play ball. His speed is unmatched by the vast majority of guards in the country. He's developed a deadly midrange game, which will be invaluable coming off of pick and roll plays. The way he sneaks into the paint to create scoring chances remains elite. I can keep going, but I don't think I have to.
Turning Point of the Game- Trailing 58-55 with 9:11 to play, Dayton was getting ready to take over. But then, Boatright and the Huskies flipped the script. Boat drew a foul and stepped to the line for a one-and-one. He knocked them both down. As Dayton is initiating their offense, Sam Cassell Jr. intercepts a Jordan Siebert pass and works the ball over to Rodney Purvis who sprinted down the floor and converted a tough transition layup, giving UConn a 59-58 lead. This was the beginning of a 19-6 run to close the game for UConn. They were in danger of losing this game, but UConn's guards just would not allow it to happen.
Play of the Game- About 2 minutes after the turning point of the game, Amida Brimah went full Amida Brimah. Dayton's Kendall Pollard attempted. Blocked by Brimah out of bounds by Davis. Layup attempt by Darrell Davis blocked by Brimah, recovered by Davis. Davis' outback, blocked by Brimah. NO NO NO. Not today. Amida Brimah is a savage shot blocker. Don't bring weak garbage into his paint. He will toss it away. And smile about it.
Concern- All the damn fouls. Six Huskies picked up 2 fouls in the first half. SIX!!! Are you kidding?!?! The officiating wasn't great, but that's no excuse. On too many possessions, the Huskies would be defending with their arms instead of moving their feet. It's lazy defending. Kentan Facey and Brimah are fantastic interior defenders when they mind the details, but they need to stay sharp. The more minutes they play, the better UConn will be.