To get the scoop on the Huskies we reached out to The UConn Blog for an in-depth Q&A on the Buffaloes opponent today.
How are UConn fans feeling about their seed and Tournament chances after an up and down season?
Recent events of 2011 and 2014 have many fans believing that the Huskies can make a similar run to a championship and, in what is considered to be a wide open year, who knows they may be right.
The main difference between this year's team and those two is the absence of someone in the lead guard with huge balls like Shabazz Napier or Kemba Walker. Sophomore forward Daniel Hamilton may be taking on the leading man role, but it has been a recent development after a slumpy second half of the season.
I think UConn is better than the 36th-ranked team in the tournament, as ranked by the committee. But if you look at UConn's resume and understand how important RPI is to the committee, along with the committee and national perception of the AAC, it's not hard to see how the Huskies got a 9-seed.
How has conference realignment changed things for UConn basketball? Thoughts on the conference from a basketball perspective?
Realignment has soured a lot of fans on most of the opponents on the schedule, even if they are decent teams. A loss to Tulsa hurts more than a loss to Providence or St. John's did because who and where the heck is Tulsa.
The conference is no original Big East, but it's okay. As a testament to its competitiveness, UConn just won its first tournament title and has yet to come close to winning a regular season title. This year there were four NCAA tournament teams, one more which was tournament-caliber in SMU, and another solid team in Houston.
That's 10-12 solid games if you want to count Houston, but it's hard for fans to feel that way after getting Syracuse, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, etc. on a regular basis.
Additionally, the basement of the conference is just so bad that it drags down the conference RPI and national perception, but those guys are on the up so we'll see.
What separates Daniel Hamilton from the rest of the crowd?
His passing ability. Hamilton has played a point-forward role for the Huskies, leading them in assists per game. He is also a sound rebounder, leading the team in that category as well.
Amida Brimah has been moved to the bench recently in favor of Phil Nolan. Which is the better post defender and if fouls pile up, do they go small or deep into the bench?
I wouldn't read too much into who the starter is. Brimah's minutes across the NCAA Tournament dwarfed Nolan's and Brimah is definitely the better defender. Nolan is an okay role player.
I would guess the main reason for Nolan starting is Brimah's propensity to get into foul trouble. Nolan is out there to play physically in the paint and take a couple of fouls.
How often should we expect UConn to play zone defense?
Not very often. UConn does use it at times to keep you on your toes, but I don't think there'll be too much of it.
How will the Huskies try and slow down Josh Scot?
Good centers have done well against UConn. Luckily for us, there aren't many out there. I think the bulk of the responsibility will be on Brimah, who will definitely have his hands full.
Freshman Steve Enoch is also a possibility. He's a big body but prone to making mistakes out on the court. He's proven useful in games against Memphis' strong big men.
How do you see this game playing out? Prediction?
It seems like the stage is set for a low-scoring affair. I'll take UConn because they've been playing their best hoops lately and have an experienced team. The emergence of Jalen Adams and Daniel Hamilton's recent surge are good signs that maybe this UConn team is reaching the potential we knew it had had all season.
UConn's also the best foul shooting team in the country. That comes in handy this time of year.