Win­dow of hope on Hurley de­but Vic­tory is medi­ocre, en­ergy is un­de­ni­able

Hartford Courant - - Sports - By Dom Amore damore@courant.com

STORRS – Dan Hurley’s Huskies be­gan with a solid win. Agood game. A nice night at Gam­pel Pavil­ion.

The day af­ter, it’s im­por­tant to mod­er­ate those ad­jec­tives.

Per­spec­tive: On pa­per, UConn’s 80-70 vic­tory over More­head State on Thurs­day night was not a whole lot dif­fer­ent than the 70-58 vic­tory over Col­gate that started the 2017-18 sea­son, Kevin Ol­lie’s last. That vic­tory, also against a mid-ma­jor com­ing off a los­ing sea­son, was met, in so many words, with, ‘ Oh, boy, it’s go­ing to be a long sea­son.”

To the eye­ball test, at least, this open­ing game looked much dif­fer­ent. There were 3,000 more tick­ets sold, and fac­tor­ing in no-shows, about that many more in the build­ing. The Huskies’ de­fen­sive pressure pre­sented the look of more en­ergy, and they just looked bet­ter coached on of­fense. The first two times on the floor, Al­terique Gil­bert found Josh Carl­ton with deft, de­ci­sive passes for easy bas­kets and

CLOE POISSON/TNS

Josh Carl­ton was pro­duc­tive, with 17 points and eight re­bounds.

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