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Uconn Continues To “Overachieve,” Headed To Elite 8

Posted By Wilson Tarpeh Jr. On Mar 25 2011 @ 2:01 am In UConn | No Comments

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more disrespected in my life prior to this week, it was if San Deigo State was the 2 time National Champion Winners with the Hall of Fame Coach and Uconn were the upstart program trying to make a name for themselves. Every article I read leading up to this game had me wondering what the rest of the world has been while the Huskies have been streaking!! 5 games in 5 days, 7 wins in a row, Naismith Trophy Finalist, I mean has what this year’s Huskies achieved been worthless?? Well the Huskies answered that emphatically tonight by beating SDSU 74-67 to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2009! Uconn is always viewed as a 1 man team, stop Kemba Walker and the game is yours! That is the furthest thing from the truth, he’s not doing what he does because he doesn’t have a supporting cast, this team believes in him and he believes in this team. Every player on this team has a role and they all play their part, on different nights a different guy answers the call either way it gets taken care of. People don’t respect the rest of the Uconn team because all they see is Kemba, well with every win these kids show you how much they DO matter!! Tonight Alex Oriahki only had 5 points, but his 9 rebounds were huge. Roscoe Smith didn’t score more than 5 points either, but his defensive intensity, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks won’t make the news. Jamal Coombs-McDaniels didn’t have a single point in 24 minutes of playing time, yet it didn’t stop him from playing his part on defense and grabbing 4 rebounds. Shabazz Napier came off the bench and was on the floor down the stretch, the freshman had 2 points, 6 assists, and 3 boards. They were smaller than SDSU yet they only lost the battle of the boards by 2!! Uconn’s kids do a great job of doing what needs to be done, before I go into what Kemba did tonight I want to bring up the play of Jeremy Lamb. This kid has been solid all year, he’s really become a force in the post-season! Lamb hit BIG shots in the Big East Tournament in crunch time during a couple of games, he has become the most reliable 2nd option on this team. Lamb continued his BIG play in this game, he knocked down a huge 3 that gave the Huskies some room, made a big defensive play by getting a steal and converting on the fast break, then he grabbed a huge board which  led to another dunk to put the lid on this one!! SDSU must have not watched much tape or they just blatantly disrespected Lamb’s ability to make plays on either end of the floor. Lamb finished the game with 24 points(he’s a FSHMAN!!) on 9 of 11 shooting, went 3 of 3 from deep, hit 3 of his 4 foul shots, and only turned the ball over once!! Lamb has done a great job stepping up at the end of games when every-one’s only worried about Kemba, now let’s talk about what this kid did. Kemba Walker has been targeted by every team they play as THE guy to stop, not only has he handled it well, but he’s THRIVED as the season has progressed. SDSU knew they were in for a tough night, but I don’t think you can prepare for what this kid has until he’s right there in front of you flying past you!! Walker delivered for his team, he carried them during rough stretches, even scoring 14 straight points for the young Huskies when the crowd started to get into the game for the Aztecs.  He finished with 36 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists!! He’s a closer, all the Huskies have to do is stay close until the end, he scored 22 second half points!! Walker went to put the dagger in the Aztecs late in the game by going to his signature step-back for a 3, he missed and Oriahki got the rebound and kicked it out to the wide open Lamb….all the freshman did was knock it down CONFIDENTLY!! Lamb really closed the door on the Aztecs, Kemba just kept it open wide enough for Uconn to have a chance. It was a great win for this young team, they only turned the ball over 9 times and played with a lot of poise. It doesn’t get any easier from here as they take on the Arizona team that SMASHED Duke, the Arizona-Uconn game is Saturday night at 7:05 Eastern. I should be tweeting during the entire game, follow me @willietspeaks!!

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