If no one wipes that smile off Hareem Thabeetâ€™s face, UConn will be foisting another NCAA banner in Hartford.
What’s bothersome is that Thabeet never works up a sweat. Just stands beneath the basket, blocking a few shots, making a few tip-ins, intimidating a few smaller inexperienced players. He is definitely a good free throw shooter, thanks to all the opportunities.
When one is 7-foot-3, one doesnâ€™t have to be a good basketball player. Just donâ€™t do anything stupid, which he doesnâ€™t do, probably because the Tanzanian native is still fairly new to the game, not learning bad habits, but absorbing the coaching.
If Thabeet ever does become a good player, UConn could challenge a few of Johnny Woodenâ€™s old UCLA teams.
— UConn coach Jim Calhoun says Rick Pitino made a mistake by pressuring his guards. Calhoun is dead wrong: pressure defense is Louisvilleâ€™s game, the reason the Cards won nine consecutive games and are ranked among the top 10. Take away the pressure defense and Louisville is an average team.
One noticeable difference in Pitinoâ€™s approach was that Preston Knowles and Andre McGee were rarely on the floor at the same time. If there was a mistake, it may have been in not using the defensive combination that greatly exceeded expectations during the win streak. Put the microwave guards in at the same time, the pressure is multiplied by 10.
— Terrence Williams feeling it, obviously on his way to a special game before collecting two early fouls. His teammates, however, were apparently still thawing out from the weather emergency, their shooting still in the deep freeze.
— Is anyone else pleasantly surprised every time Earl Clark hits anything but a layup or dunk? Heâ€™s a physical specimen for sure, but two years of not taking full advantage of all the learning opportunities catches up with him at the most inopportune times. Those early morning solo sessions in the practice center need to become more intense. Two of 16 field goal attempts. Not good.