The successful start to the Kevin Ollie era at UConn continued on Tuesday night as the Huskies beat up on visiting Vermont, 67-49, to improve to 2-0. While it wasn't quite the test of facing Tom Izzo and Michigan State, Ollie's club was impressive on both ends of the floor in his home debut.
The UConn guards overwhelmed Vermont's backcourt, locking down with harassing on-ball defense and challenging at the three-point line. The Catamounts were just 3-of-18 from behind the arc, and shot 30 percent from the field. Vermont also committed 15 turnovers and couldn't handle the pressure on the ball.
The guard duo of Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun led the offensive attack as well. Napier is the biggest mainstay and most important holdover from Jim Calhoun's final season, and he'll be instrumental if the transition goes smoothly. He's generally regarded as an admirable leader and it appears he hasn't missed much of a beat this season. Napier distributed throughout the first half and then turned it on in the second to lead all scorers with 13 points. Calhoun chipped in 12. A third guard, Ryan Boatright, will also be counted on to provide scoring punch and he finished with nine points and seven assists.
UConn will now head south for an early season invitational on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, where they'll face Wake Forest on Friday evening.