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The Knee and UConn basketball

POSTED February 06, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Okay, while none of this injury, knee surgery and knee recovery was supposed to be fun, it’s getting real old real fast.

You know it’s bad when I really wanted to be outside on Wednesday cleaning up the snow or taking out the garbage or anything that did not involve being stuck in the house.

While we had somebody do the bulk of the plowing, my life saving (in so many ways) wife Deb still did way more than her share of cleaning and moving the cars out of the way so we could be cleaned out correctly.

She even dabbled a bit with the beast, the snow blower and was having a little fun carving out room for the dog who would otherwise have been lost in the pure height of the snow. Her figure 8 was a winner.

February 18 will mark six weeks from the day of my surgery to reattach a wayward quad tendon and other debris areas around my knee.

With an immobilizing brace (I call it my Kolbe brace even though I never could hit the jumper) running the length of my left leg, freedom is still a ways down the road.

Hopefully a smaller more mobile brace when I return to the doctor on February 19 so I can get back out and report on what’s happening on the local scene once again.

I have been able to take a good hard look at both UConn basketball teams on the tube with an eye down the road when tournament time rolls around.

Here’s my take on each.

UConn Men’s basketball: The men have an important game tonight against a Top 10 team in Cincinnati on the road tonight.

Coach Kevin Ollie and his team have rebounded (and they hope to continue doing so) from that rough patch in Texas and a tough loss to Louisville and sit with a very respectable 17-4 mark, 5-3 in the American Athletic Conference.

The Bearcats have been just that at home, animal with a 15-game home win streak, a perfect 10-0 mark in AAC action and an overall record of 21-2.

Shabazz Napier has been the rock that has kept the Huskies (now ranked # 22) solid all season and has helped them win six of their last seven.

This one would be a substantial win if UConn can pull it off and go a long way towards moving them up in the polls.

UConn Women’s basketball: It’s hard to find anything bad to say about a team that is now 24-0, 11-0 in AAC action.

One thing I can say is that after watching # 3 Duke and #2 Notre Dame play each other on Saturday, with the Irish running away with an 88-67 win over the Blue Devils, I see a wide gap between the #1 ranked Huskies and everybody else.

Now, the Irish have had UConn’s number the last couple of seasons but Skylar Diggins is gone and while Kayla McBride (23 and 11 versus Duke) is a quality player, it doesn’t seem as if the Huskies would be in any way intimidated come NCAA Tournament time.

The only thing that challenges the Huskies at this point is themselves as they ramble through the AAC with relative ease.

How well UConn can keep themselves growing over the next seven regular season games and the AAC Tournament will go a long way towards determining how the will do in the NCAA’s.

A rematch of last year’s championship game against Louisville is on tap for this coming Sunday and Rick Wilson will be on hand to bring you the highlights.

Louisville comes to Storrs with an impressive 23-1 overall record, 11-0 in AAC action.

Should be a good one.

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