Purvis, Hamilton Critical to UConn’s Success

Purvis and Hamilton -- along with the Amida Brimahs and Omar Calhouns -- will only make the Huskies more dangerous at tournament time.

SMU UConn Basketball
AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Coach Kevin Ollie has talked for weeks about how Ryan Boatright can't carry this team the entire season. Thankfully, transfer Rodney Purvis has recently shown signs of playing like the McDonald's High School All-American he was, and Daniel Hamilton continues to play like one of the best freshman in the country.

And those players, along with the Amida Brimahs and Omar Calhouns and Kentan Faceys will only make the Huskies more dangerous as we head into the AAC Tournament -- and, Lord willing, the NCAAs.

"I've been waiting on it all year," Boatright said of the play of Purvis and Hamilton in the team's win over SMU (via the Hartford Courant). "I've seen these guys since the summertime, I know all the work they put in. I know how good they can be, if they just have the confidence in themselves and know they can do it. It sure was good to see them do it. ...

"He's just playing basketball," Boatright said of Purvis' recent surge. "He wasn't thinking too much, he was playing hard on the defensive end. Any time you play hard on the defensive end, your offense is going to come from that, especially when we were moving the ball the way we were [against SMU]. He stopped thinking, just let his athleticism and his instinct take over."

After a post-New Year's stretch that involved mostly inconsistent basketball, UConn has won six of eight and, in typical UConn fashion, is getting hot as we enter tournament season.

"We can beat anybody here," Hamilton said, via the Courant. "If we play the way we played [Sunday], it will be tough for anybody to beat us. … We have to step up and make plays. Boat has been carrying us on his back all season, so we have to make plays for the senior."

The explanation for Hamilton's improvement?

"I'm just letting the game come to me, not forcing shot," he said. "In the second half, I just took what they gave me, and didn't try to force it. Early in the season I would have tried to force it."

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