Sorry for the delay in getting this post up about Monday’s UCONN men’s exhibition basketball game. They decided to cut the power to my apartment today while they were outside working on the lines.

Monday night’s exhibition game against Bryant was my first look at the UCONN men’s team. I can’t say that I was thoroughly impressed just yet with them. There were flashes of brilliance by some players and a lot of mistakes. So many mistakes that I think about 12 players played in the first two minutes as Coach Jim Calhoun showed his trademark short leash with players as they made mistakes. We will call it the “Calhoun Shuffle”. It also got so bad that Coach Calhoun walked off the court with 16 seconds to go in the first half. Not a good way to make an impression on your coach if he is walking off the floor.

It could end up being along season for the “Husky Pups” if they don’t start gelling together on offense. I was impressed with the play of freshman center Hasheem Thabeet “Goes on” (thanks to my mother for the nickname). At one point, he blocked a shot with his elbow. He is a towering presence on the floor and stands 6 inches over the next closest Husky in height. One thing I did notice is that his offensive game needs a lot of work. He also needs to add some muscle to his frame. At times he looked lost in the paint, like he didn’t know how close he was to the basket. I think in time it will come around for him as he keeps practicing.

Notes and Observations:

  • UCONN started the same five as the first exhibition game (Thabeet, Price, Austrie, Johnson and Adrien).
  • As I stated earlier, by the first 2-3 minutes of the game, at least 12 Huskies had stepped on the court.
  • Jeff Adrien led the way with 15 points but really wasn’t all that great offensively. He looked tentative at times and he will need to step up his offensive play. Rebounding wise, he is still the same Jeff Adrien who sneaks in for rebounds.
  • Hasheem Thabeet will break Emeka’s record for blocks. Even though Bryant was a smaller team, he only bit on a pump fake once, and made it thru the game with 1 foul. He finished up the game with 11 pts, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks.
  • Stanley Robinson and Jerome Dyson looked to be much improved offensively. Robinson had 13 pts and 10 boards while Dyson added 10 pts.
  • AJ Price and Doug Wiggins look like they are playing the game too fast. Almost as though they are trying to do too much with the ball. Either that or they are using the new NBA ball because it seemed to be slipping out of their hands an awful lot.
  • Rob Garrison looks like a lost puppy out there. He is supposed to be the best shooter on the Huskies but it seems like he needs directions while he is out there.
  • UCONN’s half court defense looks strong. They move well guarding their opponents. Transition defense does need a little work as some guys weren’t not getting back fast enough.

Overall, a lot of things offensively that need to be worked on before the Huskies open up the regular season this Friday vs Quinnipiac at Gampel Pavilion at 7:30 PM.