Well that was a fun exactly five minutes of basketball. The undefeated UConn Huskies survived a spirited contest from Stony Brook on Tuesday, 72-64, coming back from a nine-point deficit with 5:17 to play.
Let’s bullet point some stuff and then never talk about this game ever again.
- Jalen Adams.
- Oh, more? Adams was incredible in the second half. He scored 19 points including nine straight that gave UConn the lead for good. On the latest A Dime Back Podcast, a bunch of idiots wondered whether Adams had what it takes to take over a game when nothing else was working for the Huskies. He did just that against Stony Brook.
- UConn shot 71.4 percent from the floor in the second half. That’s fun as hell (and kinda terrifying that they still barely won, but these are the good bullets). Stony Brook had no chance of defending Adams and Alterique Gilbert once they decided to go hard at the rim on every possession.
- The Huskies closed the game on a 19-2 run. That’s a pretty good way to win.
- Big Dave Onuorah belatedly made his UConn debut and impressed on the glass. In 13 minutes he had seven rebounds. He did foul out, and admitted to being a step slow after recovering from a hip ailment, but showed why he was a preseason favorite to play big minutes in Kevin Ollie’s frontcourt.
- Eric Cobb also had seven boards in only 14 minutes. UConn’s large adult rebounding sons are good.
- Gilbert finally got a few shots to fall. He scored 14 points on 4-9 shooting and got to the line for seven free throw attempts (making five). It makes sense that it would take some time to shake off the rust, and we finally saw the big time talent emerging on Tuesday.
- UConn’s pressure defense was great down the stretch. It was probably what Ollie was happiest with after the game and it just destroyed Stony Brook, who really had no business getting the ball up the court at all.
- Tyler Polley hit another big three. Something about him reminds me of Omar Calhoun. Consider this my Rothsteinism.
- UConn has yet to lose this season.
SOME BAD STUFF
- The first half.
- The way Ollie substitutes is going to drive me to madness. Setting aside the sit-with-two-fouls rule (bad), Cobb was glued to the bench for most of the first half because… I dunno, the stock market? Tyler Polley buried the aforementioned three to end Stony Brook’s run and then got immediately replaced by Isaiah Whaley because… Whaley is nicknamed Pork Chop. Hmm, that one actually makes sense. Antwoine Anderson had some nice moments but played 16 second half minutes to Christian Vital’s five. At one point late in the game, Ollie seemed to forget Terry Larrier was on the team. Just play the good players, please.
- Speaking of Larrier, he was the victim of the two-foul auto-bench five minutes into the game. With that, he couldn’t duplicate his standout performance from Sunday, but did score ten points in the second half.
- Adams can’t no-show in the first half like that. He missed all five of his field goal attemps, didn’t get to the line and had no assists. He should not do that against Oregon.
- If Adams is going to no-show, and Larrier is sitting with foul trouble, someone else needs to score points. Gilbert kinda sorta did that on Tuesday, but he and Vital need to be more supportive.
- UConn’s pick-and-roll offense needs work. Part of the reason it was so challenging for the Huskies to score in the first half was a general inability to execute in the half-court. Onuorah set some monster screens in the second half (though the “and-roll” left some to be desired), but the rest of the big guys struggled.
- 5,431 is a brutal attendance number. The student section was mostly empty.
UConn’s next game is Sunday evening in Hartford against BU. Tip is at 6 and the game’s on SNY.