John F. SilverHARTFORD, Conn. — Weapons and options are what the UConn men have in abundance.
When DeAndre Daniels and Ryan Boatright are non-factors and Shabazz Napier is not looking for his shot, the Huskies still have plenty of firepower.
Omar Calhoun scored 18 points, Niels Giffey had 15 and Shabazz Napier had a triple-double of 14 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in an 80-62 rout of Yale.
Giffey scored 15 of those points in the first half on 5 3-pointers. Calhoun added 10 first half points and was efficient with his shooting. The duo are playing so well early that Kevin Ollie went with a combination of Giffey and Calhoun on the floor at the same time.
Daniels scored zero points and Boatright finished with 10.
You can do that when you have a big like Amida Brimah in the lineup. Brimah’s offense is still raw, he isn’t quite strong enough to be a great rebounder yet, but blocking shots is something that comes naturally. He had seven blocks and seven points the game and many more alters and discouragements.
The Huskies’ defense held Yale to 32 percent shooting in the game.
Then there is Napier, who was content just to pass the ball and not force anything. Napier had a triple-double, but was an efficient 5 of 7 from the floor with only one turnover. The one turnover was a pass that should been caught too as the Huskies’ All-American candidate had a stellar game. Napier has led the Huskies in rebounding each of the first game games this season. The Huskies did struggle on the boards in the second half and were out-rebounded by 12.
UConn is 2-0 and hasn’t trailed for a second this season.
The game was choppy at times as fouls — a factor with the new emphasis on hand-checking — caused an inordinate number of perimeter fouls. 47 fouls were called in the game with 48 free-throws taken.