Oh my gosh, that was brutal. I don't think anyone was optimistic going on the road to #1, but even the most pessimistic among us probably didn't forecast 43-point drubbing. There was no glimmer of hope, even early on. X looked dead and buried 10 (I'm being generous) minutes into this game and the rest of the game looked like a formality to everyone involved. If you're reading this you're probably already aware of what happened in this game, so let's get into some takeaways.
Dayvion McKnight was good
The small, lightning-quick, left-handed Kyle Lowry has had several great performances of late. His scoring has ticked up in X's last three contests and he kept it up against the Huskies with a line of 18/1/4 on 6-10 including 2-4 from 3. If X will go anywhere after a loss like this, they will need this kind of performance from Dayvion.
Everyone else was not good
Not good doesn't begin to describe it, but we shoot for a PG rating around these parts most of the time. Outside of McKnight, X shot an obscene 15 of 51 from the floor, or 29.4% if you like that number better. The team also shot 6/18 from three (I'm not helping you out with that one) and all 6 of those makes were from McKnight and a 4/6 showing from Olivari. The bulk of the attempts was not the issue as 4 of them came from Green, only 2 from Claude, and Swain and Colbert each chucked up one. The 3s weren't the issue, it was the 34% X shot from inside the arc that hamstrung any shot at a comeback that clearly wasn't happening. We also shot 50% from the line, but I hardly noticed as I was just celebrating the fact that UConn wasn't scoring while we were at the line.
Need I say more? I will, but I probably don't need to. Sean Miller was rather peeved at the transition defense when X hosted the Huskies a short time ago. Was it better today? No. Every X miss, and there were a lot, was quickly up the floor in a flash and usually in the hands of an open man that the Muskies forgot existed. To be fair, the half-court defense wasn't good either. UConn shot an absurd 17-29 from three and they weren't particularly hard shots. Some were well-worked actions, and one was Dan Hurley's son banking one in garbage time, but too many were the result of poor defense. Too many times X was late to rotate, miscommunicated, or just got beat to spots.
BONUS THOUGHT TIME!!!!
Since the last time X played UConn, they have beat Providence by 20, handled Butler at home, snuck by Georgetown and their best performance of the year, and faded late in Omaha. All of this looked like a team that was figuring it out, found a way to win against a couple bad teams, and fallen just short to a top team on the road. All that positive momentum seemed to go up in smoke this afternoon while they were busy losing by a historical margin. The silver lining is that this only counts as one in the L column. It's not like we spot the Johnnies 10 points on Wednesday because of this comical margin of defeat. It sucked, really bad, but it's officially time to regroup and look forward.