Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Connecticut's continuing offensive issues
By Evan Kaplan
The Connecticut Huskies, coming off a season-low 48 points Saturday in its loss to Notre Dame, takes to the road Wednesday night (7 ET, ESPN2) in hopes of solving its offensive problems against No. 14 Georgetown Hoyas.
The Huskies have lost three consecutive games and averaged just 57.3 points in those losses. They have struggled in particular during this streak to score in the half court, shooting 41 percent and averaging less than 50 points, a result of their inability to get the ball into the paint in their half-court sets.
In conference games, Connecticut has gotten a paint touch on 46 percent of its half-court plays, shot 53 percent and averaged nearly a point per play. When the Huskies don’t get the ball inside, they struggle to score. They average just .65 points per plays and shoot less than 35 percent. Adding to the situation, UConn is more careful with the ball when its gets paint touches. The Huskies turn over the ball nearly 25 percent of the time when they run their half-court offense but don’t get a paint touch. That drops to less than 10 percent when they get the ball in the paint.
UConn’s frontcourt of Alex Oriakhi and Andre Drummond should benefit the most when the team gets the ball into the paint, and they do – when they make their shots. But when they have struggled to score, Connecticut has suffered. Oriakhi and Drummond’s shooting percentage is .500 (15 for 30) in Connecticut’s four conference wins, but only .259 (7 for 27) in the Huskies’ four conference losses.
Sophomore Jeremy Lamb benefits the most when the ball goes into the paint. He’s shooting 52 percent and averaging 1.06 points per play in Big East games in Connecticut’s half-court offense. But Lamb has been even more effective when the Huskies get a paint touch. When that happens, Lamb is shooting 66 percent, averaging nearly 1.3 points per play. However, Lamb’s shooting percentage drops to 44 percent in the half court when Connecticut doesn’t get a paint touch.