By Paul Sykes
Not much time to lick wounds or reflect on losses. Connecticut is coming to town, presenting an entirely different set of obstacles for Rick Pitino’s team.
- Guard play. UConn has one of the top back courts in the country. Shooting guard Jerome Dyson is the steering wheel in the Husky machine. Quick and tricky, he’s an exceptional shooter, leads the team in steals and will make you pay if you leave him open behind the arc. Point guard Kemba Walker is probably even faster than Dyson off the dribble and leads UConn in assists. He hit 80% from the free throw line so he’s not the player to foul.
- Defense. They’re the prototype of Big East defenses. Big and bruising underneath, Stanley Robinson, Gavin Edwards, Alex Oriakhi and Ater Majok will bang you in the paint, swat shot attempts. If you try to beat them from deep, they only allow 37.5% from three point range.
- Rebounding. UConn is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation again. Calhoun’s front line is adept at blocking the opposition out, swarming to the ball and crashing the boards on the offensive end. They boast a 3.6-plus rebound advantage on the boards.
For Louisville, a night of smart decisions and torrid shooting will be required. U of L is best when it can work the pivot with Samardo Samuels forÂ hooks and jumpers or allowing him to kick it back out for uncontested three’s. The UConn defense isn’t going to allow Samuels free reign in the paint, so the accuracy of Reginald Delk, Edgar Sosa, Preston Knowles and Peyton Siva is mandatory .
Big Monday, Big East. ESPN, and Freedom Hall. Big game.