If there’s one basketball team in the nation that badly needs to step up on Wednesday, it’s the UConn Huskies and they’ll have the opportunity to do so against the Seton Hall Pirates.
It’s no secret that coach Dan Hurley expects more from his squad. The team strayed from its defensive nature on Sunday in a home match against the St. John’s Red Storm, losing four of its last five Big East matchups. It was disappointing for the Huskies, who were ranked as high as No. 2in the AP men’s basketball poll.
However, there’s good news. The Huskies have made it out of a tough stretch of games that included harsh away environments like the Amica Mutual Pavillion and Cintas Center. At this point though, even with easier matchups, the Big East has proven that no matchup is an easy game. The Huskies need change, whether in their play at the point guard position or otherwise.
On the other hand, Seton Hall is looking for their first victory against a ranked opponent this season, led by the New Jersey native Al-Amir Dawes, an electric guard that is shooting 43.5% from three-point range while contributing 11.9 points as a senior. New men’s coach Shaheen Holloway has been the boost this team needs and is a dangerous option for the Pirates. Holloway’s Pirates are winners of three straight matchups against Butler, Georgetown and DePaul and they’ll have the opportunity to win another in front of a home crowd.
Last season, while both programs look much different today, Pirate guard Kadary Richmond torched the Huskies for 27 points as he helped push the Pirates to a 90-87 victory. Richmond remains a Pirate today while being a dangerous option on offense. Could the junior guard look to repeat history for a crucial win?
It certainly will be a challenge for both teams. UConn needs to be hungry and once again show that they’re as tough as any team to beat in college basketball with a deep roster and quality play all around. There’s no doubt they have the tools to do so, and a road matchup would inject some much-needed energy back into the Huskies. With plenty of pressure on a team that truly needs its players to step up, Wednesday’s matchup is a game everyone should watch to see if change can steer the team back in the right direction.