Scattered Brilliance

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Archive for ncaa

New post up at MVN.com’s UConn beat

I’ve been writing about UConn over at MVN.com’s UConn blog, Husky Connection.  Here’s a teaser for the March Madness preview that I wrote that will appear in the upcoming March issue of Roster Magazine as well as on MVN.

Editor’s Note: The following article will appear in the March Issue of Roster Magazine as well as MVN’s Basketball U column.

Connecticut Huskies
21-5 (10-3 Big East)
RPI: #11
Projected Seed: #2-4

Seed Explanation
Sitting at 11-5 and 2-3 in the Big East on January 17th after a home loss to Providence, UConn fans were more often left with thoughts of how they stacked up against other potential bubble teams than how they stacked up against the nation’s best. But a ten game winning streak including wins against four top twenty-five ranked teams (Marquette, @Indiana, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame) change all that.

Now sitting a only ½ game back of Georgetown and Louisville in the conference, the Huskies look to take advantage of a stretch run of five conference opponents with a combined Big East record of 27-40 as the make a serious bid at the regular season Big East crown and the #1 seed in Madison Square Garden where past national champion UConn teams have begun their run.

With a strong overall schedule (SOS: #11), a Husky regular season and Big East tournament championship could easily mean a #2 seed (from where Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor led the Huskies to their last national title.

Looking at the upcoming schedule and the possibility of returning Jerome Dyson to the lineup for the stretch run, it is hard to foresee the Huskies slipping below a #4 seed in the dance without a meltdown of catastrophic proportions.

You can read the rest here: Husky Connection at MVN

Watching the Huskies

I am taking the next couple of hours to watch the Connecticut Huskies at Alumni Hall in Indiana against the Hoosiers.  I’ve followed UCONN since the early 80’s.  Growing up in Connecticut there isn’t much that, as a sports fan, you can all your own.

GO Huskies

This UCONN team has been a fun one to watch grow and develop.  My frustration with the last few teams lead by Charlie Villanueva and then Rudy Gay was born of the understanding that we would have star players, but only for a year or two before they bolted for the NBA only to then develop from the coaching of Jim Calhoun.That’s why this team is so interesting.  This group of players, with little expectations, is going on their second year of being together and will likely all remain for a third next year (unprecedented in this era).  They are learning how to be a team, something that is very hard to do in one season.  In my opinion, it takes multiple seasons for a team of developing talent to grow together and become a championship caliber team.  I think the recent Florida teams are a great example of this.

What I find exciting about this team, and one of the things I love about college basketball, is seeing the progression of players over time.  I enjoy seeing a great coach mold a player and a team.  You can clearly see this happening with the likes of Hasheem Thabeet and A.J. Price.  Hopefully the development of Stanley Robinson is not far behind.

Coming into this game at Indiana, Jim Calhoun suspended Jerome Dyson and Doug Wiggins, two of the Huskies top three guards and shooters for “conduct detrimental to the team”.  They weren’t arrested or suspended.  But Calhoun was not happy with something they did.  And this seems to have been a great thing for the team.  They are playing hard today, with passion.  Calhoun may have set an example of Dyson and Wiggins.  Hopefully that example drives their teammates to succeed as well as presses the two offenders into overdrive as well.

As I write this, the Huskies are up 9 against the #7 team in the nation on the road with 8 minutes left to go in the game.  This could be the win that solidifies a post season berth for the young dawgs; and no team in the nation should look forward to seeing them across the bracket come March.