Sunday, December 21, 2008

One That Got Away?

UConn fans are jubilant this morning, and rightfully so. The Huskies' come-from-behind, overtime win over No. 8 Gonzaga out in Seattle yesterday was truly impressive.

I like this UConn team, I really do, and I believe this could be a Final Four season for them. But I have to admit, I thought they'd encounter their first loss of the season against the Zags, in front of a hostile crowd, 3,000 miles from home against a very good team. I was wrong.

It seems this group of Huskies play their best when facing adversity. See: last year's gutsy win over Indiana, the day after Jerome Dyson and Doug Wiggins were suspended from the team, and the eight-game winning streak that ensued -- all without Dyson and a couple without Wiggins.

It also seems like this UConn group rises to -- or sinks to -- the level of its competition. Against weaker sisters like Bryant or Stony Brook, the Huskies can look a bit blase and infuriate their coach. But whent he competition improves and the juices start flowing, this team can be very, very good. Final Four good. Or better.

Not to be negative on a great day for UConn fans, but here's a story that appears in today's Register about Madison's own Joe Trapani, who's having a nice sophomore season for Boston College. The Huskies took a look at Trapani when he was a senior at Daniel Hand High, and assistant coach Patrick Sellers liked what he saw. But not enough to offer him a scholarship.

Is this one that got away from the Huskies? Remains to be seen. Trapani starred at Vermont two years ago, but we still need to see how he fares in the rough-and-tumble ACC. Would have have been tough enough -- mentally, as much as anything -- to play under Calhoun? We'll never know.

Still, there's little doubt the Huskies -- or any team, for that matter -- could use a 6-foot-8, athletic shooter on its roster right now.


Anonymous Ethan said...

You may consider writing more often. You are a sportswriter who covers UConn Men's Basketball, they just won a great game with a gutsy comeback, and you can't make a more substantial post? If there is one thing the New Haven Register could and should do well, it is cover UConn. I do enjoy reading your blog and hope you will write as often as possible.

11:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol! Joe Trapani? I'd take Jeff Adrien over a soft white player any day

7:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are u writing about a person that got away when Uconn may have just won its biggest game in 3 years? No Uconn fan wants to read about some random guy that wasnt good enough to play at the Uconn level and ur considering is a miss by Calhoun. Its ur opinion, right about the Uconn victory at Gonzaga

7:34 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog as well...i think you have great insight and perspective. Couple of points I have about the game: Price didn't take one FG that wasn't a 3-pointer and he's not a good enough shooter to shoot 40% from beyond the arch. he still was a little hesitant to penetrate the lane and create opportunities for assists but when he did, he did an excellent job. Thabeet was disappointing and is maybe the 3rd best rebounder they have (stan and adrien ahead). he needs to develop a better feel for the ball around the rim, and not put the ball on the floor so much. hes a great FT shooter so its odd he doesn't try score more. he's yet to have a breakout game against a good time (offensively and defensively that is)

12:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Above poster, where do you get your info? Price absolutely took a FG that wasn't a 3. He didn't make one (6-12 from the field, 6-9 from three) but went to the line 4 times.

12:55 PM 

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