Christian Vital was hot from beyond the arc, scoring 15 of his team-best 20 points from 3-point range, and Carlton again had a strong game, recording a career-high 12 rebounds. Jalen Adams dropped 18.
The buzz of the sold-out crowd of 15,564 at the XL Center in Hartford was exciting. It’s been a while since the old Civic Center had seen its seats completely filled. No matter what UConn men’s basketball looks like, old Big East foe and 2016 national champions Villanova will bring people to the stands.
Tomorrow’s matchup won’t be quite as thrilling as the last—Villanova is widely accepted as the best team in the nation, sitting at No. 1 in the AP poll, No. 3 in RPI and No. 1 in KenPom. The Wildcats’ only loss was a 101-93 shocker against Big East rival Butler, but they will bring a four-game win streak to Hartford.
The sole job of a coach is to guide the team, to get them to reach their potential and figure out how to play the five best players on the court and have them play smoothly. Coaches call the plays. Coaches don’t continue to tolerate the same mistakes over and over. Coaches keep their players’ heads in the game. Ollie does all of these things poorly.
The UConn men's basketball team will get a chance to further improve its conference play record when UConn take on Memphis tonight on the road.
The Huskies (10-7, 3-2 The American) are currently riding a three-game winning streak, racking up wins over ECU, UCF and Tulane after dropping their first two games in conference play. Coach Kevin Ollie has found a lot more consistency in his lineups as well—the starting five of Jalen Adams, Christian Vital, Terry Larrier, Isaiah Whaley and Josh Carlton has not changed since playing the Pirates.