After Kevin Ollie called Sunday’s win over UCF UConn’s “most complete game” this season, the Huskies followed it up with another dominant performance. This time they dispatched conference rival Temple, 73-59.
While the Huskies still have work to do in order to make a postseason run, their impressive play in the past two games has built momentum heading into a challenging two-game road trip.
With UConn surging into a big Saturday matchup at Georgetown, here’s what we learned Wednesday night.
Power in the Paint
Temple came into the night as one of the AAC’s most efficient offenses, shooting 48% from the floor, but also one of the conference’s worst defensive teams. UConn’s dominance in the post from the opening minutes set the tone the entire night.
UConn shot 52% from the floor while holding Temple to just 36%. As has been the case of late, Kentan Facey and Amida Brimah were the two catalysts behind that success.
Brimah was a monster early on, throwing down an alley-oop on the game’s opening possession and had a memorable sequence where he blocked three shots in a single possession. He finished the night with 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 blocks. His presence forced Temple to settle for threes, but shot 34% from beyond the arc.
Facey scored a career-high 23 points while grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Every time Temple made a run, he was the one making the answering basket at the other end. While his rebounding has improved this season, Facey’s offensive evolution has made him a candidate for the AAC’s most improved player.
Ace of Spades
This is how Kevin Ollie refers to his defensive calling card to take an opponents best player out of the game. UConn effectively played this hand twice in as many games. First they held UCF star center Tacko Fall scoreless in 25 minutes on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the Huskies stopped Temple star forward Obi Enechionyia, a 6-foot-10 stretch four who shoots 42% from three and scores 14.6 PPG. The junior scored just 7 points on 3-of-17 shooting, going 1-10 from three.
With Georgetown sharp-shooters L.J Peak and Rodney Pryor looming, Kevin Ollie will have to effectively play his Ace of Spades again to stop the Hoyas.
The American Floor General
Steve Lapas relayed an interesting quote from Kevin Ollie on the CBS Sports broadcast, saying that Jalen Adams isn’t a point guard but rather a combo-guard. Be that as it may, Adams leads the American in assists while also leading the Huskies in scoring.
Adams arguably played his strongest, most complete floor game against Temple. His 11 points and 7 rebounds were solid, but his career-high 12 assists showed how effective Adams is at creating great shots for teammates. Whether it was throwing lobs to Brimah and Facey or the half-court seed to Christian Vital, Adams has developed into the next great lead guard that Husky fans have been waiting for.