Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Some insight from USF game

Here's a short UConn game note from last night's 69-50 victory over South Florida that did not make the web edition.

Some more insight and light reading to follow later on.


On a team whose guard rotation thrives on the mid-range jumper, the University of Connecticut returned to establishing first-half leads via the shot.

It comes off screens and inbounds passes but lately it has fallen into freshman guard Doug Wiggins’ hands the most. It happened against West Virginia. It continued against South Florida on Tuesday at the Hartford Civic Center.

“It’s something we look at a lot when we’re bringing kids in,” associate head coach Tom Moore said. “It shows that at an early age they know how effective the shot is and what it can do offensively. It’s hard not to like that.”

Even though A.J. Price did not shoot well against the Bulls in the first half, he relies on the now-lost college basketball art. Jerome Dyson opts to pull up from the perimeter or drive to the basket more so than pulling up in the lane and Craig Austrie has always adopted the pass-first mentality.

Wiggins, though, seems to prefer the shot more so than the other two options. He has made moving without the ball difficult to defend.

Against South Florida, he knocked down a pair of baseline jumpers off screens and inbounds passes while scoring nine first-half points, just missing his seventh double-figure scoring outing this season.

As an undersized guard first at East Hartford and now in the Big East, Wiggins has utilized the shot more than ever.

“A lot of it is creating space then pulling up. The rest is easy,” Wiggins said. “It’s also repetition. You have to develop it because it’s not for everyone.”


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