Saturday, January 03, 2009

No Buzz Tonight, So Far

Pretty dead in the building tonight.

A combination of a non-sellout crowd, with students still away on break, and some unattracstive basketball that may not have set the game back a few decades but certainly didn't advance the cause, has resulted in zero buzz at Gampel this evening.

Despite shooting 34.6 percent from the floor, UConn owns a 29-18 halftime advantage. Stanley Robinson looks good in his return to the starting lineup, with seven points (3-for-4 field goals, all dunks). Hasheem Thabeet left the game briefly with a right hip-pointer but soon returned. He's still rather invisible offensively (two points) but has grabbed seven boards. The Huskies haven't turned the ball over and are sharing the ball well, with five different players accounting for their eight assists. Some nice interior passes from Jeff Adrien, Jerome Dyson, Craig Austrie and Robinson.

Rutgers, meanwhile, has hit just 6 of 23 shots (26.1 percent). Top scorer Mike Rosario is 0-for-8, thanks largely to sticky defense applied by Dyson and, briefly, Robinson. The Scarlet Knights have turned the ball over seven times.

Still, it's a little surprising that, on the heels of their awful start against Georgetown on Monday night, the Huskies didn't exactly come out with guns blazin'. They missed seven of their first eight shots, but that happens. What's inexcusable is an apparent lack of emotion they displayed through much of the opening half.

Even in pregame warm-ups, it too often appears as if UConn is just going through the motions, not really jacked-up, Pete Carroll-style, for the game. Maybe they should watch some Tyler Hansborough highlights.

Elsewhere …

***UConn assistant coach Patrick Sellers will go watch the Huskies' new commit, Jamaal Trice, play on Thursday. Trice is a postgraduate student at Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C.

***The Huskies have strong interest in Andre Drummond, a 6-foot-9 sophomore at Hartford's Capital Prep, and would love to land a commitment from Drummond before he blows up at the national level. As it stands now, Drummond is a raw but terrifically athletic player. Drummond, son of a New York City cop, moved to Middletown a few years ago with his mother.

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