How bad are things for the UConn Huskies right now? Four games into the season the Huskies are already looking for moral victories after falling to Oklahoma State, 98-90 on Monday night.
The already disappointing season has also seen some terrible injury luck in just four games, as Alterique Gilbert is out with a shoulder injury and Terrier Larrier is likely out for an extended period of time with a knee injury, meaning the Huskies are without two of their best players.
UConn (1-3) needs to figure out how to turn things around before it is too late. The loss to Oklahoma State would not have been too painful were it not for two miserable losses to start the season to Wagner and Northeastern, but here we are.
The Huskies will face the Chaminade Silverswords, the host school, this afternoon in the loser’s bracket of the Maui Invitational. This should be an automatic win for UConn, favored by over 15 points depending on your source, but considering the ways things have gone thus far nothing is a given.
Chaminade lost to UNC Monday night, 104-61. The program has pulled off some major upsets in this tournament in the past, most notably in 1982 against a powerhouse UVA team and most recently in 2012 against Texas. The Silverswords were led by 6-foot-5 guard Rohndell Goodwin’s 18 points in the opening game this year.
The Huskies will need to find a way to make up for the lost production of Larrier. Getting another performance like the one Jalen Adams turned in the second half against the Cowboys, and not the one from the first half, would give UConn reason for hope. It also appeared as though Rodney Purvis turned the corner, scoring 20 points on 50 percent shooting.
UConn should have an advantage in the paint with Amida Brimah, Kentan Facey, and Steve Enoch. Though the big-man trio’s play has been inconsistent, the Silverswords don’t have a starter taller than 6-foot-7 and were dominated in the post by UNC. This would be a great day for UConn’s bigs to get involved and be a factor on both ends of the court.
If this game is anything short of a comfortable it might be time to seriously reevaluate expectations for this team. Hopefully this gives UConn some confidence to get things back on track with more adjustments forced onto them due to injury. With a win, the Huskies would move on to play the winner of Tennessee vs. No. 13 Oregon.