The UConn Huskies have been having some difficulties as of late, but it appears they are starting to right the ship. They picked up a win over Central Florida with a strong performance last week, and last night they defeated the Memphis Tigers 83-73 in a game that re-established UConn as contenders in the American Athletic Conference. UConn is now 2-2 in conference play, and this is just the type of victory they needed to get a successful conference campaign started.
Memphis is the second Top 25 team the Huskies have beaten, and the FedEx Forum is a very difficult place to go in and win. This was a tightly contested contest throughout the night, but in the end it was DeAndre Daniels who proved to be the difference. Memphis simply had no answer for the pick and pop game of Daniels and Shabazz Napier, and both were crucial down the stretch. Daniels had 23 points and 11 rebounds, chipping in 3 blocks and 2 steals to boot. Napier also turned in a double double, finishing with 17 points and 10 assists while adding 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
Daniels and Napier received solid support from Lasan Kromah and Amida Brimah, and it proved to be enough to pull away from Memphis at the end. This game saw the Huskies return to playing close to their best basketball, and they got their biggest win of the season without Ryan Boatright playing up to his normal standards. One off night is nothing to worry about from Boatright, and if Omar Calhoun and Niels Giffey can continue to improve off the bench then UConn will be in great shape.
Beating Memphis on the road proves that UConn can still play with almost anyone in the country, and it showed that they are not going to fall apart. They now face a huge home game against Louisville on Saturday, and win in that contest would certainly catapult the Huskies back into the Top 25 and could even mark them as the AAC favorites. The Louisville game will tell a lot about where this team is actually at, but there is no doubt that the win over Memphis shows that UConn is back on track and isn’t going anywhere.