The Huskies improved their record to 16-11 (9-6 in the AAC) with a 60-49 victory over ECU on Wednesday night in Greenville, NC. By itself, the win means little this time of year; as Ryan Boatright has said for weeks, UConn is going to need to win the American Athletic Conference Tournament to get an invitation to the Big Dance.
But it is encouraging when players other than Boatright, the senior do-everything point guard, see their games grow, and help the team get better in the process. Which brings us to Rodney Purvis, the NC State transfer who has been inconsistent during his first season in Storrs. On Wednesday, however, his development continued; Purvis scored 12 points in 38 minutes, including two big 3-pointers down the stretch. It probably didn't hurt that he was playing so close to his Raleigh, NC home.
"This is great," he said, via the Hartford Courant. "I was happy to see all my family. Even with bad weather they made effort to get down here. I'm not technically home, but this is close as it's going to get. So I'm enjoying this moment and I'll be back next year."
Coach Kevin Ollie has been lamenting for some time about the need for other players stepping up, and it's a good sign that Purvis is finally able to do that.
"He's just getting better and better," Ollie said. "He's getting tougher, mentally tougher. That showed tonight, all the fans were screaming his name. He went 1-for-6 in the first half and came back and had three huge threes. Great penetration, finding other guys, doing the energy things we need. His defense on Whisnant was awesome."