UConn Huskies

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 23: Jalen Adams #2 of the UConn Huskies reacts after having a foul called on him during the second half of the Maui Invitational NCAA college basketball game at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 23, 2016 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
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UConn drops to 2-4 with 79-69 loss to No. 13 Oregon

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LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) Chris Boucher scored 21 points, Tyler Dorsey added 19 and No. 13 Oregon beat Connecticut 79-69 on Wednesday in the fifth-place game of the Maui Invitational.

Oregon (4-2) lost its opener to Georgetown, but bounced back with an overtime victory over Tennessee on Dillon Brooks’ long 3-pointer. The Ducks wanted to get off to a fast start in their Maui finale and did just that, racing to a 15-point lead in the opening 4 1/2 minutes.

UConn (2-4) chipped into the lead by halftime, but the Ducks started flying again, building the lead back up to 17.

Dylan Ennis had 15 points and Jordan Bell added 12 for Oregon, which shot 54 percent and made 9 of 21 from 3-point range.

RELATED: What’s been wrong with Oregon?

Jalen Adams led the Huskies with 27 points and Rodney Purvis added 13.

The Ducks attacked the Huskies from the opening tip, scoring the game’s first 10 points, racing out to an 18-point lead.

UConn coach Kevin Ollie called a timeout 41 seconds into the game and Adams, the Huskies’ leading scorer, headed to the bench at 17:03 after picking up his second foul

Oregon pushed the lead to 21, but the Huskies came roaring back.

UConn started hitting shots it was missing earlier, while the Ducks went more than 8 minutes without a field goal, trimming the lead to 39-28 by halftime.

Oregon revved up again to start the second half, hitting 5 of its first 7 shots to push the lead to 53-34.

UConn had one more run. The Huskies whittled away at the lead and got it down to eight with 3 minutes left, but couldn’t make up any more ground.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon finished the Maui Invitational with a flourish after a dud of a start. The Ducks should get better as Brooks, their leader, builds up stamina in his return from offseason foot surgery.

UConn’s young team is still trying to gel. The Huskies struggled against Oklahoma State’s pressure in the opener, Chaminade’s perimeter shooting the next game and the Ducks’ flock of athletes in the finale.

UP NEXT

UConn hosts Boston University on Nov. 30.

Oregon hosts Boise State on Monday.

UConn’s Terry Larrier out for season with torn ACL

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 21: Terry Larrier #22 of the UConn Huskies grimaces in pain after taking a hard fall during the first half of the Maui Invitational NCAA college basketball game at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 21, 2016 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
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Terry Larrier will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in UConn’s loss to Oklahoma State in the Maui Invitational opener on Monday night.

The school announced the news on Wednesday.

Larrier was averaging 16.7 points in the three games before he was injured. He was UConn’s best player in the early part of the season, which isn’t saying much considering that the Huskies have started the season 2-3 with a pair of wins over Loyola Marymount and Chaminade, neither of which were convincing.

UConn is still without McDonalds All-American point guard Alterique Gilbert, who suffered a shoulder injury last week.

UConn avoids 0-3 start with 65-62 win over Loyola Marymount

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13: Jalen Adams #2 of the Connecticut Huskies shoots during the Final of the 2016 AAC Basketball Tournament against the Memphis Tigers at Amway Center on March 13, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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To get an idea of just how much of a disaster the UConn basketball team is right now, think about this: The Huskies landed a huge win on Thursday night when they found a way to hang on to be Loyola Marymount, 65-62, because it meant that they didn’t drop to 0-3 on the season.

The Huskies have already lost to Wagner and to Northeastern at home this season. Dropping a game to LMU, even if it was on the road, would likely have more or less ensured that this team was headed for the NIT, assuming they find a way to finish over .500.

Because that’s not a guarantee yet, either.

That’s how bad things have gotten for a program that has won four national titles in the last 18 years and two since Barack Obama took office.

The issues are plentiful.

Let’s start with their perimeter shooting, or lack thereof. UConn entered Thursday night shooting 27.5 percent from beyond the arc on the season, having shot 20 threes per game, and left LMU’s gym with another 6-for-23 night. Defenses know exactly how to play them: pack everyone inside 18 feet and let Rodney Purvis and Terry Larrier try to prove that they’re actually shooters.

The other major issue is that UConn’s bigs are not all that good. Amida Brimah blocks a ton of shots, but he’s a 7-footer that weighs less your average sportswriter and is a non-threat offensively if he’s not dunking the ball. Kentan Facey and Steve Enoch, UConn’s other two big men, aren’t much better offensively, but they are quite a bit worse defensively. In other words, the only way UConn is getting any offense generated is if their guards create it.

And their guards aren’t really creators. Jalen Adams hasn’t taken the step forward that we expected. Purvis is a scorer that hunts shots for himself. Larrier is a slasher. Alterique Gilbert, the latest McDonald’s All-American guard on the Husky roster, left Thursday’s game with a dislocated left shoulder that was painful enough that he couldn’t stand up on his own. It doesn’t seem all that likely that he’ll play in Maui, which starts on Monday.

This is simply not a very good basketball team right now.

And the most worrying part is that the Huskies don’t exactly have pieces that would make you believe a turnaround is coming.

It is going to be very interesting to see how they fare on the islands.

UConn adds top-150 forward

HARTFORD, CT - JANUARY 25:  Head coach Kevin Ollie of the Connecticut Huskies yells to his team in the second half against the South Florida Bulls during the game at the XL Center on January 25, 2015 in Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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UConn and Kevin Ollie have added another piece to their 2017 recruiting class.

Tyler Polley, a 6-foot-7 power forward, pledged to the Huskies on Tuesday.

“My decision to play basketball on the next level was one of the toughest decision I’ve ever made,” Polley wrote, “but I’m elated to announce that I will be continuing my education and basketball career at UCONN with coach Ollie and his incredible coaching staff.”

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. prospect chose the Huskies over offers from Tennessee, Dayton, Oklahoma and TCU, among others. He officially visited UConn earlier this month and the Vols last week.

“After I took my Tennessee visit, I slept on it,” Polley told Scout. “They came to visit me yesterday and we talked about it for an hour. I just had a feeling that it was the right place so I committed.”

Polley, a consensus top-150 prospect, joins four-star point guard Makai Ashton-Langford and three-star center Josh Carlton in Ollie’s 2017 class.

UConn duo returning to school

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Connecticut may have lost its 6-foot-7 wing scorer but it is keeping its defensive stalwart and leading scorer.

Center Amida Brimah and guard Rodney Purvis have withdrawn their names from NBA Draft consideration and will return to the Huskies for another year, the school announced Tuesday.

The decisions from Brimah, a 7-foot center, and Purvis, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, help soften the blow dealt by Daniel Hamilton’s decision to sign with an agent and leave school despite having some shaky draft stock. The Huskies may not open the season as a top-25 team, but they won’t be far behind and will be one of the AAC’s favorites, along with Cincinnati.

Brimah averaged 6.5 points per game last year, but blocked 2.7 shots per game. He missed 11 games last season with a broken finger. Purvis registered 12.8 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor.

Neither Brimah or Purvis were among those invited to this month’s NBA Draft combine nor were either expected to be drafted should they have kept their names in the draft.

UConn snaps Texas’ six-game winning streak 71-66

Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie has a word with guard Rodney Purvis (44) during an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Paradise Island, Bahamas. (Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Rodney Purvis scored 16 points and led a second half rally as Connecticut beat Texas 71-66 Tuesday night, snapping the Longhorns’ six-game winning streak.

Shonn Miller and Daniel Hamilton added 13 points apiece for UConn (9-3) and former Longhorn Sterling Gibbs scored 12.

Freshman Tevin Mack led Texas (8-4) with a season-best 20 points, and Isaiah Taylor scored 19.

Texas led 53-52 after Mack made his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 8:18 remaining. Then Purvis asserted himself with two driving shots, an assist on a basket by Jalen Adams, and a 3-pointer that gave UConn a 61-55 lead with 4:27 left.

After Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3:49 remaining, Purvis made another basket.

Six straight points by Taylor pulled Texas within two, 65-63, with 33 seconds left, but UConn made six throws in the final 27 seconds, four by Gibbs.