The UConn Huskies came out ready to play in its 64-49 win over UCF on Sunday night. They started with a 10-0 run and played a full 40 minutes in a comfortable victory. Let’s take a look at how a UConn offense which had looked completely lost for most of the season found its groove in this game.
Bad shots on one end typically lead to quality looks on the other end. Facing intense perimeter defense, B.J. Williams shoots a long three-point attempt as the shot clock expires, leading to a Jalen Adams rebound. Adams gets all five (!) UCF defenders to commit, which leaves Rodney Pruvis with a wide open shot.
The Knights’ Nick Banyard had a tough time containing Adams off the ball screen. Tanksley Efianayi has to give help off of Vance Jackson. Here Adams does a great job once again of finding the open shooter.
On this play, a transition ball screen from Amida Brimah gets the Knights’ defense out of sorts. Purvis does his job by taking a couple of steps up as Adams drives, which gives him the space he needs to make the shot. Adams finished the game with a game-high seven assists.
The Huskies are typically successful when Brimah and Kentan Facey contribute on the offensive end. Facey’s patience with the ball opens up a baseline drive to draw a second defender. UCF’s weakside help defense is a step too late, leading to a Brimah slam.
This is beautiful basketball. UConn reverses the ball from one side to another against the zone. Facey does an excellent job shifting towards the ball and making himself available. Nobody on the Knights picks him up and the senior makes them pay.
These are the types of offensive possessions that the Huskies need to eliminate. Purvis and Adams are barely in scoring position during this play. They use up 20 seconds of the shot clock passing the ball back and forth. Adams doesn’t look to pass to Brimah at the block. Purvis has Facey and Jackson open at the high post, but doesn’t give them the ball.
Getting the ball inside isn’t just about making the big men score. It is effective against a zone in order to get the defense to collapse and open up better scoring opportunities for others. Adams is forced to create for himself late in the shot clock which leads to a heavily contested shot.
UCF did not bring a strong defensive effort against UConn, giving up 47 percent shooting. The Huskies focused on getting the ball inside, which created quality looks all over the floor. It didn’t hurt that they actually converted on open jumpers, an area where they’ve struggled all season. Hopefully the solid shooting and great ball movement can continue on Wednesday when the Huskies host Temple.