First Half Recap:
Ummm, so maybe we won't win this game.
St. Joe's has been shooting lights out and UConn's offense has looked... offensive. Shots aren't going in, awkward things are happening down low, and DID I MENTION EVERYTHING IS GOING IN FOR ST. JOES.
I'm not ready to press the panic button just yet. We were just thoroughly outplayed for 20 minutes and St. Josephs only has a 5 point lead to show for it. That three at the end of the first half was huge from Boatright who led the Huskies with 8 points.
Shabazz Napier is being guarded by the lengthy and afroed DeAndre Bembry, who has played quite well on the offensive side in addition to making things tough for UConn's best player. He has 11 points.
UConn's scoring has been pretty balanced actually- every starter has at least five points. I'm optimistic we can turn this around if St. Joe's shots stop falling a little, UConn picks up the defensive aggression and we get a little bit tighter on offense. Some of our possessions have been... confusing to say the least.
This UConn team knows how to battle, this team knows how to win in a dogfight. Let's hope they do it one more time tonight because losing in the first round... I don't want to even think about it.
UConn will win this game.
Shabazz Napier is one of the best players in the country. Ryan Boatright brings a competitive edge to our backcourt and can be that second legitimate scoring threat. Along with DeAndre Daniels, those three will do enough to keep bodies of Niels Giffey so that the Berlin Bullet can make it rain threes and Lasan Kromah will smother the opposition with his defense- I'm predicting at least three steals. Brimah and Nolan will hold it down in the post and UConn will live to fight another day to likely take on Villanova. That will be one hell of a game.
I've loved this team all year. I really think we have all the pieces to make a deep run. We aren't super strong down low, but there are a lot of teams who won't be able to keep us honest on that front. A team that doesn't have anybody over 6-foot-8 is a good start.
Most of all, I believe in Shabazz. I've said it a couple of times before but I swear he has a next level that he's about to bust out across this tournament. He stayed at UConn last year for this moment, he will deliver the way he has all year. When he's on he can score at will, open things up for his very talented teammates and this is an elite basketball team. I believe, do you?
LET'S GO HUSKIES!