Husky Run, Pt. Deux
***UConn changed up its preseason conditioning routine this year, with 7 a.m. weight-training followed by 8 a.m. breakfast, then on to practice. Conditioning is a big focus for this year's team, which figures to run more so than last year.
"We have to be faster," said Jim Calhoun. "Last year, we'd be foolish to be too, too fast, when you had a 7-3 guy … it only made sense for us to wait for the two guys who scored a lot of points. This year, I think our scoring will come off the fast break. Last year it was 62 percent, we'd like to be up to 66."
***UConn has been ranked all over the place by preseason prognosticators, from top 5 to out of the top 25.
Calhoun: "I have a handle (on how good we are), but apparently other people don't, which is probably why we're all over the map, and probably rightfully so … I think we have more kids who can do things with the basketball. I have no idea how that translates. To have a better record would be really a stretch, but to have a really good record and be really good by February, that would not be a stretch."
***Calhoun on newcomers Alex Oriakhi, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Ater Majok, as well as Charles Okwandu:
"Alex is better than I thought he'd be at this stage, he just has to be more aggressive. He's a terrific kid, we've just got to get him to be a little less terrific on the court, as a person – a little meaner. Jamal Coombs is multi-dimensional, he'll give us a lot of different things. Ater has shown more ability to start moving his game inside, which he needs to do with a 7-foor-6 reach. Charles is going to become, I think, a major component of what happens."
***Without 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet in the middle, UConn's defensive approach will have to be different.
"Now, everybody has to play real defense," said Gavin Edwards. "Everybody has to stay in front of their man now.
***Kemba Walker, on a number of different subjects:
***Calhoun said that little-used 7-foot senior center Jonathan Mandeldove "tentatively" will not play the first semester. Mandeldove has had some academic issues.
***Asked to put a number on what he'd like to average scoring and rebounding, Stanley Robinson said: "16 or above, along with at least 7, 8 rebounds."