Okay I get it, the Connecticut Huskies stunned the college basketball world when they upset the Michigan State Spartans. Honestly this game had little to do with the Spartans but was far more about Kevin Ollie replacing UConn legend Jim Calhoun. However the overreaction is getting a little crazy.
On the Twitter device, fans were enshrining Ollie’s place in Huskies lore. Yet the end result of the game wasn’t as nearly as shocking as people are making it out to be. Michigan State has been known to lose early and sometimes often. For Spartans head coach Tom Izzo, the only part of the season his team ever seems to be completely ready for is in March.
Also, let’s not forget that, while UConn has about 6 real good players, they’re depth isn’t that solid. The first 6 players in their rotation is as good, or at least can compete with, any other team’s in the Big East. So while they’re fast pace offense worked nice last night I don’t know how it will fair the rest of the long season.
UConn’s leader on the team is junior Shabazz Napier, who let you know that they are a transition team last night after the game:
“We are too fast, we are a transition team and when we get going, no one can keep up with us,” Napier said. “We just tried to do what they did, transition. We got some easy rebounds, they came off the boards and we let them go.”
Napier is right. They are too fast but at what price. How long can a team continue to play like they do with only 6 quality players?
This isn’t a rip Kevin Ollie article. It’s hard not to root for the former NBA journeymen. But even during the game last night the announcers were saying they didn’t expect the UConn Athletic Department to wait to long before extending Ollie’s 7 month contract. Really, too long? The fact he already lost incredibly vital recruiting time and was kept in a 7 month contract doesn’t tell you anything? It tells me that the Huskies aren’t completely sold on Ollie.
Let’s not forget the way Calhoun retired from the program, putting the Huskies in a position where the only person for the job was Ollie. It’s not like UConn was able to do a national coaching search and come home with their guy. This is Calhoun’s guy and let’s not forget that.
Please don’t use his NBA background as why he’s going to be a great coach. The fact that he made it as long as he did in the NBA is definitely a testament to his heart and dedication. However, it’s not what you should use to gauge his coaching talents at.
Because really, if you were going to use his NBA career as a way to measure his potential college coaching success, Ollie will coach 32 teams in 36 years.
Just be patient with his year at the helm and root for the best. I’m just hoping that when this thing goes sideways during conference play, you won’t overreact to his 5 game losing streak the same way you have with his 1 victory.
Joe covers the Big East for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter if you dare @JosephNardone