College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 16, 2014
Since their third loss of the season - a 74-65 loss at SMU, January 4 - and an 0-2 start in conference play, the Connecticut Huskies had fallen off the radar and out of the Top 25, but they made their presence known Thursday night with an 83-73 win at #17 Memphis.
While Shabazz Napier leads the team in just about every offensive category and put up a double-double, scoring 17 and dishing 10 assists, DeAndre Daniels was lead dog for the Huskies in their second straight American conference win.
Daniels, a 6'9" junior from Los Angeles, dropped in 23 points and hustled 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
A consistent performer (13.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Daniels hit nine of 15 shots, including a 4-for-5 mark from beyond the arc. His 11 boards included four on the offensive end, helping the Huskies to extra opportunities as they shot 57% and out-rebounded Memphis, 34-27.
Daniels also had a couple of steals and blocked four shots. The Huskies were deadly down the stretch, hitting their final seven shots and going six-for-six from the foul line, turing a close game, that had multiple ties and lead changes, into a late runaway as Connecticut finished with its largest lead of the contest.
The Huskies will have another chance to gain recognition while making up ground in their conference when they host #18 Louisville on Saturday. A win over the Cardinals would almost certainly result in re-insertion of the Huskies into the top 25 rankings. After the Memphis win, they are 14-3, overall.