The UConn Huskies men’s basketball team opened their season on November 8th against the Maryland Terrapins at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The Huskies looked like a team in mid-season form after being up 67-50 with 11:59 to go in the game. However, Shabazz Napier, the senior point guard on the Huskies, was issued a technical foul that seemed to change the momentum of the game with 11:43 left. After the technical, the Terrapins steadily shot their way back to within striking distance of the Huskies. With 39 seconds left, Dez Wells, a junior guard on Maryland, made a jumper to put the Terrapins one point behind at 78-77. The Huskies failed to ice the game from the free throw line, and were fortunate to win 78-77 after Wells missed a couple jumpers before time expired.
Halfway through the game, I thought the Huskies were back in title contender shape after last year’s postseason ban. The complete breakdown after the technical foul and failure to make crucial free throws shows the team has work to do. However, the game revealed the Huskies’ potential secret to success, Amida Brimah. Brimah is a 7 foot shot blocking freshman with fairly developed skills for a player of his size. UConn has a great core of players led by two speedy guards, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, and Brimah may help provide the necessary defensive stops to allow the team to win close games. Brimah had three blocks against Maryland and seven blocks against Yale in the Huskies’ 80-62 win over the Bulldogs today. With Brimah playing center, UConn fans should be excited to see their team develop throughout the season, and hopefully become contenders once again.
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