Wednesday, November 29, 2006

UConn-Sacred Heart key to the game

It’s not so much that UConn is searching for a consistent outside presence. It’s just that the Huskies have played to their strengths because really, they've had to early in the season.

UConn is shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc. As for Sacred Heart, a team with a penchant for the 3-pointer, the Pioneers are shooting 38.2 percent. Not much difference except for the fact that Sacred Heart (47-123) has hoisted twice as many attempts as the Huskies.

Let’s take a quick look at the first five UConn games and how the Huskies and their opponents have fared from beyond the arc.

Quinnipiac 5-26 (19.2)
UConn 4-14 (28.6)

Central Arkansas 6-20 (30.0)
UConn 6-15 (40.0)

Fairfield 4-16 (25.0)
UConn 7-13 (53.8)

Mississippi 8-24 (33.3)
UConn 5-10 (50.0)

Albany 6-17 (35.3)
UConn 1-9 (11.1)

Now, Jerome Dyson is the closest thing to a perimeter mainstay. Stanley Robinson, arguably one of the better outside shooters on the UConn roster, hasn’t seen the floor enough (3-for-4, 75 percent). Craig Austrie knocked down the biggest 3-pointer of the season against Quinnipiac. And even though A.J. Price accounted for UConn's lone triple against Albany, the Huskies compensated with a 21-2 advantage on the break.

Teams have survived without the use of the 3-pointer. Some coaches argue that the aspect has diluted the game. Others use it as their greatest strength.

Sacred Heart dropped 12 against North Carolina and stayed with the Tar Heels.

The Pioneers had 12 again against Albany and picked apart the Great Danes much like UConn.

When 3-pointers fall, it changes momentum, something numbers cannot measure. Sacred Heart averages twice as many as UConn.

Right now, with UConn, it’s just a matter of style.

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