Thursday, December 31, 2009

'Jim, Recruiting is Hardly an Exact Science ...'

"... but what does Abromaitis do now that blows you away that maybe no one saw ..."

Can you imagine Jim Calhoun being asked that question on Saturday if Tim Abromaitis, the Farmington High product whose father starred at UConn in the 1970's, burns the Huskies for 30?

Actually, it would be a far less fair question to ask than it was when colleague Dave Solomon broached the Ryan Gomes subject back in 2004, leading to one of Calhoun's most famous blow-ups. Abromaitis was hardly a top recruit out of high school, with Northwestern and William & Mary his only other major suitors besides Notre Dame. (Still, Calhoun can't use the "I took Emeka Okafor and Caron Butler. They're not bad!" excuse. The only player UConn got in Abromaitis's 2007 recruiting class was Donnell Beverly).

For his part, Abromaitis hardly holds a grudge that his father's alma mater and hometown team didn't give him a sniff in high school.

"Not at all. Not really. I went through the whole process, they never really looked at me, so I was just taking it as what were the best options for me. I'm glad I ended up here."

He added that he didn't grow up dreaming about one day being a Husky.

"I never really thought about playing in college. I didn’t know if I'd be capable or not. Once I started getting recruited, they really didn’t come after me."

Abromaitis, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound junior with two years of eligibility left, is averaging 16.2 points per game. He's hit 40 of 77 3-point attempts for a 51.9-percent clip, third in the Big East (Stanley Robinson is second, though he's made just 12 of 21).

Can't say the Huskies couldn't use a shooter like that. Just sayin' ...

"He came along slowly," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "He's the youngest kid we ever signed, he was stacked behind older guys. He absorbed our system, watching the older guys, and when he got an opportunity he took advantage of it."

Brey added that Abromaitis has a steady, calm demeanor, and that will help him control his emotions playing in his hometown on Saturday.

"He is who he is, and that really plays into his hands in a situation like this. I think that will really be helpful. His personality and demeanor will be helpful in this."

Oh, by the way, Abromaitis will graduate from Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business a full year ahead of schedule in May and has already been accepted in the school's MBA program.

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