I live in CT, so Storrs is not a huge trip for me. I was worried that we'd see more of the team that showed up against K-State.
I've been getting crap all week from the co-workers but my 11 year old and I decided to go to the game. I've never been to a men's game in Storrs (they play half their home games at the Hartford Civic Center). This was a mistake.
First off, the students filed in two hours before the game and were chanting and heckling. They not only heckled our team but also anyone in burnt orange. This included kids. They were obnoxious, chanting things like "Ala-BA-ma" and "Over-RA-ted".
I had drunks all around me and they were shooting us the bird...using tons of profanity (try every other word). When UConn went on it's run in the second half....every turnover and every dunk was just jacking up the crowd even more. Every positive for UConn meant someone trying to taunt me into a fight....screams of "IN YOUR FACE!" directed at every Longhorn fan.
Clearly, there isn't a lot you can say when your team gets out-rebounded, out-shot and basically outmatched in the second half. My son was a trooper. We've been to enough sporting events to establish the ground rules. He knows he's going to hear objectionable language. Finally, down 15 about 2:30 left...I looked at the kid and I said to myself "This isn't fun. I'm from Texas but my kid doesn't deserve this.". I grabbed him and we left a few minutes early. I didn't want to see what these clowns did once there was no security.
I'm not going to tell you that I know a lot of basketball or that I can put my finger on what's wrong with these guys but here are some thoughts from a guy who was there....
- Damion James is an emotional player. When things are good, that's great but it seemed like Rick was trying to calm him down a lot.
- Jai Lucas is inexperienced. Yes, he's trustworthy in traffic but it seems that Balbay has the offense clicking a good deal more.
- I NEVER like to point out the officiating but in this game there was a good deal of discrepancy in terms of getting to the line in favor of UConn. You could argue that it wouldn't have mattered because this Longhorn team is just awful from the stripe but it seemed that Dexter couldn't breathe on anyone without a foul being called.
- Free Throws. Ugh. This spells an early exit from the tournament
- I've never seen a Rick Barnes team in person before today but he seems very much in love with the idea that he needs to keep substituting players. I understand that he has great depth but it seemed like he was changing the lineup after every foul and (just my opinion) it really seemed that this team will continue to lack an offensive identity or any continuity as long as he keeps doing this. Like I said, I don't trust myself to analyze this too much but it struck me as odd how frequently guys were going in an out of the game.
- While we didn't play well, UConn just magically seemed to turn off their "turnover machine"; they had 20 through the first 24 mins of the game. They took out Beverly and we started committing turnovers.
- I don't know how fast this version of the Longhorns is. They seemed to have good athleticism and some guys could create driving the lane but it doesn't seem like we have that guy who can break guys down off of the dribble. To be fair, this team looked a bit tired after a physical first half (added on to K-State, etc).
Any supporting or dissenting views are appreciated. It was a tough thing to sit through being heckled all-the-while. My son and I have always talked of wearing our Longhorn gear proudly. I guess that's part of watching your team on the road.