Ramblings from the desk of Mr. Gaff. UConn, Wamogo and picking a president.
TORRINGTON: It’s just been a strange month for the UConn men’s basketball team who at times have looked like world beaters, at other moments a team lost without a rudder.
After a season signature moment against a tough Texas team on the road to end 2015 (a 71-66 win), the Huskies began their American Athletic Conference schedule with a 75-67 victory of Tulane in New Orleans, the first AAC opening win for head coach Kevin Ollie.
Nice start right? Sure until the team returned to their second home at the XL Center in Hartford and threw a stinker in a 55-53 loss, a game that reminded UConn fans of some of the action (or lack thereof) from a year ago when they went out with a whimper in the NIT.
Returning to Gampel Pavilion on January 9 was a benefit for the team and they responded with a nice 81-78 win over Memphis.
How then, do you explain what happened on Thursday night in Oklahoma?
The Huskies scored a season low 51 points in the 60-51 loss and shot a horrendous 30.9 percent from the field.
Sophomore Daniel Hamilton is in a major shooting funk, connecting on just 10 of his last 48 attempts over the past four games.
Hamilton is still being effective on the boards, averaging nearly 10 per game over the stretch but his assists are down. The rest of the country has seen how good Hamilton can be and are making a concerted effort to slow him down and at the moment, it is working.
Their two-game road trip continues on Sunday with a trip to Texas to take on Houston.
Time is getting short already for the Huskies if they want to avoid the same fate they experienced a year ago when their season came down to having to win the AAC Tournament (they fell a game short) in order to garner an NCAA post season bid.
----The UConn women should have no issues finding their campus home, they walk by it every day on the way to practice but Huskies fans may have to refresh their GPS’s.
It’s been 42 days since the number one team in the land played at their home venue. Their last meeting was on December 5 when they beat Notre Dame 91-81.
The women have won 99 of their last 100 games, 52 in a row dating back to the Stanford loss more than a year ago.
At 15-0, the Huskies show little signs of slowing down, leading up to their much anticipated match up with second ranked South Carolina on the road on February 8.
Three teams have pushed the team so far this year. DePaul, Maryland and the Irish all made UConn work hard to come away with the win.
----Most teams in the Berkshire League are going to struggle against the two-time defending Class S state champion Thomaston Golden Bears. Lewis Mills and Nonnewaug may be the exceptions to that rule.
The Spartans pushed the Bears to the wall in a 35-33 loss while the Chiefs are looking forward to their shot at the champs when the two teams meet on Tuesday, January 19 in Woodbury.
Head coach Kevin Crowley and his Wamogo Warriors may not have been able to stay with the Bears in Thomaston on Thursday night (a 67-26 loss) but Crowley could not fault his team’s effort.
“They never gave up,” Crowley said, “The kept playing hard. We’re very young.”
The Warriors may not be on the same level as the Bears and Chief’s but they should be able to compete with the rest of the BL this year.
“I think we could end up the third team in the league this year,” Crowley said.
----I don’t like to get into politics on the site at all but at this point, is there anybody not embarrassed by the entire process this year?
Even more than usual?
Playing to everyone’s fear has always been a constant in the political theater that is the election cycle, certainly when it’s our time to pick a new President.
The world is falling apart, things at home are terrible, the middle class is going way, etc.
Truth is, I can’t complain much about a few of the things that affect me every day like gasoline under $2.00 dollars per gallon or home heating oil for $1.40 per gallon. I am self-employed but even if I wasn’t, I never had trouble finding or keeping a job.
All I ask of these who are going to vote and let’s hope it’s more than 30 percent this year (what’s the old saying, if you don’t vote, don’t complain?) is not to simply listen to just one source, investigate what you hear.
Everybody out there running has their supporters who will twist the same blue sky into five different colors.
Don’t be a sheep, led to whatever one person or party says, do your homework.
Stay true to what America stands for. Inclusive and diversity. Last time I checked, most of us are not originally from here unless we are Native Americans.
We make up America, be what you want your country to be which in my view is respectful, hard-working and determined to make every day better than the last.