If I see one thing, I tend to dismiss. If I see two, it becomes a pattern.
Fox Sports Jeff Goodman, who I generally consider to be a decent college basketball reporter, apparently has fallen in love with UConn. Witness the past two days on his blog. On Thursday, during his normal morning wrap-up of the previous night's games, Goodman spent a good chunk of the article talking about UConn's Hasheem Thabeet and asking whether Thabeet was the 2nd coming of Patrick Ewing(which would never come up except Thabeet plays in the Big East.) Goodman ultimately said Thabeet is not in Ewing territory yet but did stat that UConn was "the top team in the country." Certainly the polls back that statement up and you can argue that UConn is playing well enough to claim that mantle as well. The other interesting part of Goodman's wrap-up article? No mention of the UNC-Duke game. None. Maybe Goodman decided it was well covered and wanted to focus elsewhere but it seems odd, considering the way Ty Lawson played Goodman chose to completely ignore the game and even make his "Stud of the Night" the freaking Dayton Flyers.
Fast forward one day. UConn last night received news that 2nd leading scorer and top perimeter defender Jerome Dyson was possibly lost for the season with a torn knee ligament. On paper this is viewed as a huge loss. Not according to Goodman:
Jerome Dyson’s loss won’t hurt UConn’s national championship hopes all that much. In fact, I’m not sure if it’ll hurt the Huskies at all.
Sure, Dyson was second on the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and is capable of exploding. But the Huskies proved they could win without him when he was suspended last season.
In fact, they were a better team when Dyson was out.
UConn was 8-1 – with the lone loss coming at Villanova.
I’m not saying here that UConn couldn’t use Dyson in order to win a national title, but what I’m saying is that even if he doesn’t return from the knee injury he suffered early in the win against Syracuse the Huskies can still cut down the nets in Detroit.
On one hand Goodman does back up the statement with some relevant facts from last season. On the other hand that was last season. Look at it this way. Everyone has been running around saying UNC is hamstrung without Marcus Ginyard in the lineup but UConn can lose their steals leader and 2nd leading scorer and it will not affect them? Really? Granted UConn has a defensive presence in the post that can make up for lapses by whoever fills in for Dyson. That being said, it is still a loss for the offense and for UConn's depth. In my opinion there has to be some level of impact. To flatly state you think it will not hurt "all that much" or "at all" seems a overly optimistic to me or straight up spinning in the best traditions of politics.