Before UConn hits the court, assistant coaches hit the film room to prepare Huskies for anything and everything
Published in Basketball
STORRS, Conn. — With all of its uniqueness on both ends of the floor and all of the pieces that can come into the game and provide different looks, the UConn men’s basketball team has proven to make for an extremely difficult scout and especially benefited in nonconference play because of it.
But scouting their opponent?
Countless hours of film and studying have made it look easy.
“We could definitely feel when a player is about to do a move, or even like after one handoff we know the play. It’s definitely a huge credit to the coaching staff,” freshman forward Alex Karaban said.
“I feel like we know exactly what (our opponent) is going to do every time we step on the court,” transfer guard Tristen Newton agreed. “If it was like a one-day preparation or if it’s like a three-, four-, five-day preparation like we have now, they do a great job of preparing us and showing us what (our opponents) do. We do scout, do all that, watch film every day, go over it multiple times a day, so we know what they’re gonna do. So we’ve just gotta go out there and execute.”
The players and head coach Dan Hurley have credited UConn’s assistants: associate head coach Kimani Young and Luke Murray and Tom Moore for building reports on each of their opponents. And so far, so good.
UConn has beaten each one of its nonconference opponents, going back to the start of the season, by at least 10 points. Through four rounds in this tournament, UConn’s margin of victory in each game has been 22 1/5 points. That includes a 24-point win over Iona to start, followed by a 15-point victory over Saint Mary’s and a 23-point domination of Arkansas. In the Elite Eight, against third-ranked Gonzaga which KenPom credits as being the best offense in the nation, UConn’s 28-point margin of victory made it the fourth-most lopsided blowout in the Elite Eight since 1985.
The team has executed, and appears to be reaching its peak at the perfect time.
“Oh, it’s all credit to the coaching staff for the scouting reports,” Karaban said. “Scouting, giving us the personnel on what to do, how to do ball-screen defense against certain players. I definitely say it’s credit to them. We’re watching film all the time and like, it can get tiring, but it’s worth it all. I think the scouting really allows us to get out to those leads and then everything just goes from there.”
With all of the attention Murray has been getting with his movie star father, Bill Murray, hanging around the team, he’s just one of the assistants Hurley thinks could coach himself into a top job elsewhere. And in the Final Four, the spotlight hasn’t been brighter.
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