JOE D’S NOTEBOOK February 25th
TUESDAY. 2/25 – Greetings from Bradley International before we fly to Tampa thru Atlanta for tomorrow night’s game with USF. It’s hard to believe that we are into the final two weeks of the regular season but it’s not the final two weeks like last season. We know the Huskies will play for at least four more weeks.
Sunday’s loss to SMU shouldn’t have been totally unexpected because the Mustangs are a good team. But it was the way that UConn lost that raised some eyebrows. In many ways, the game was similar to the January 4th game at Moody Coliseum, close at the half and then SMU pulling away in the second half. Larry Brown’s team runs its offense and plays tough defense. Their size has proven to be a real problem for the Huskies, especially on the perimeter. Nick Russell, Sterling Brown, Ryan Manuel and Keith Frazier have made life miserable for the UConn guards in both meetings. Throw in the contributions of Marcus Kennedy up front and the brilliance of Nic Moore and it was a recipe for disaster for UConn.
But more importantly, the Huskies best players struggled. It has been a rare occasion this season when Napier, Boatright, Daniels and Kromah have all had a bad game but that was the case on Sunday. Boatright was the best of the big four but even Ryan wasn’t at his best. It’s no reason to panic, it was one of those games. And you move on.
I would expect USF to put up a much tougher fight than they did at the XL Center on Feb 12th. Teams always play better at home and to think the Bulls will score only 40 points again would be a mistake. Still, I expect UConn to come out and play hard and if they do that, they have more than enough skill to get win #22.
Our pre game starts at 6:30 from the Sun Dome. Hope you can join us.