Originally written on Louisville Card Game  |  Last updated 11/15/14

UConn was Louisville three weeks ago, a team losing four out of its last five games, loaded with talent but missing essential elements, lacking confidence and chemistry, getting hammered, down and out.

An eternity in college basketball, three weeks, much can happen.

Like U of L dusting itself off, claiming five straight wins, toying with the defending national champion, 80-59.  Nice, but nothing to get too excited about for U of L partisans, having experienced the highs and lows. A methodical dissection by a team steadily carving a new direction for itself.

  • Welcome back, Gorgui Dieng. No sign whatsoever of a game time decision or a debilitating ankle injury. Floating like a gazelle but not dominating the boards, needing another offseason to overcome UConn’s muscle. Still, a demon on defense, scrambling for loose balls. When was the last time a 6-foot-10 player had six steals?
  • Mr. Chane Behanan, the man, seemingly not having his way his way offensively against the big guys either but his total of 12 rebounds would indicate otherwise.
  • Peyton Siva passing up sure layups time and time again, favoring those open three-point shooters in the corners. Accumulating nine assists, only two turnovers. Finally making a three-pointer himself, no choice but to make it from downtown.
  • Chris Smith plays quiet, sneaks up on the opposition, slowing twisting the knife, all the while padding his stats, leading all scorers with 16 points, four of six attempts from behind the 19-foot line.
  • Russ Smith rolling his right ankle, the habitual sucking the air out of the arena incident. Returning to the courts, along with the air conditioning. Maybe, just maybe, this injury thing is finally turning in the right direction.
  • Kyle Kuric, heeding the coach, getting in on the rebounding act, racing up a double-double, 10 rebounds, 10 points. Not too docile.
  • Jared Swopshire getting into the act, a nifty three-pointer and a surprising hook among his nine points.
  • Kevin Ware showing signs of becoming more comfortable now and then, but every move seeming directed by the piercing voice of one Rick Pitino. May get it in three weeks.

Enjoy it. Huggie Bear awaits Saturday at Morgantown.








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