The look on the Huskies' faces midway through the second half was a look of shock. For a team that had been so used to just beating up their opponent on the block, they had finally met an opponent that meet them punch for punch down low. The frustration was loud and clear and Connecticut had no way to respond.
That's what championship teams are supposed to do. Respond. When the opposing team is taking away something, you should be able to be versatile enough to adapt to the situation. The Huskies had no answer. Sure I put a lot of this on head coach Jim Calhoun. He was simply out-coached. He was simply out-benched. Nate Miles may have hurt this program in more ways than the obvious one.
What left me scratching my head was the deliberate attempt by Connecticut to keep pounding the ball in the paint. There was a lack of movement in the offense. Ball movement side to side seemed non-existent. No attempt to try to open up the perimeter to loosen the tightness in the paint. Craig Austrie getting only 4 attempts in 37 minutes? Who was the more experienced team?
Points of the Game.
ASSISTS: MSU 18/31 58% UCONN 8/25 32% (started out 3/4)
TURNOVERS: MSU: 11 UCONN: 16
STEALS: MSU: 11 UCONN: 5
GUARD PLAY: MSU(Lucus/Walton) 13 assists/3 Turnovers UCONN(Price/Walker) 3 assists/6 Turnovers
AJ PRICE: 5/20 shooting and only 3 three-point attempts for a kid averaging 40% and 6 attempts per game.
Bottom Line: Was is complacency? Did the weak Big East schedule after the Dyson injury really hurt this team? Whatever it was, I have seen those faces before. It was just last week in the Louisville game verses the very same Spartans team.