Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things to note on the Quinnipiac side

Eight freshmen fill the UConn roster. Quinnipiac head coach Joe DeSantis brought in four of his own. And aside from a few frontcourt freshmen, the most crucial first-year players are at the guard spot for both teams.

Casey Cosgrove, the 5-foot-8 starting point guard for Quinnipiac, will make his college debut in Gampel Pavilion Friday night. He can shoot. He can handle the ball. He was a member of the Boston Globe’s Dream Team, the same honor Jeff Adrien received just a few years before.

Over the summer, he was asked if he was looking forward to starting his career at Gampel against UConn. It was the first time he smiled during the interview.

He said, “Absolutely.”

Also, DeMario Anderson, a 6-foot-4 transfer from Central Connecticut State, has missed the last few days of practice to be with his family after the death of his mother. As of Wednesday afternoon, DeSantis was unsure of Anderson's status for Friday night.

One last early observation from Quinnipiac. The Bobcats prefer an up-tempo style and will try to run on UConn. It’s one of the reasons why the Huskies plays the Hamden-based school, aside from this being a guarantee game. On Wednesday, DeSantis said he would not waver from his program’s style, asking, “If you believe in the system, why change it?”

Last season, Quinnipiac kept this game close for awhile before the Huskies’ athleticism proved to be too much. At the time, DeSantis considered switching from man to zone but decided against the move. UConn then went on to win by 36. He stands by his system, even when asked how to defend a 7-foot-3 center like Hasheem Thabeet.

Really, one last note. Quinnipiac shot 29 3-pointers in last season’s game.

Expect much of the same.

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