Majok's Mystery Tour
Roll up ... roll up for the ... OK, I'll stop.
The Majok-al Mystery Tour got off to the proverbial inauspicious debut this afternoon. One point, three rebounds, one turnover, two fouls and one "F" bomb from his coach in 16 minutes of action in Ater Majok's long-awaited UConn lid-lifter. Let the record show:
"All You Need is Love": Majok started and was the first UConn player introduced. He earned a nice ovation from the crowd of 13,685 but didn't seem to know exactly where to go after his name was called. He jumped center and got beaten bad on the jump-ball.
"Hello, Goodbye": He was pulled from a game for the first time at 17:29, replaced by Gavin Edwards.
"Flying": His first rebound came with 7:47 left in the first half.
"Penny Lane": Majok's first point came on a foul shot 5:08 before halftime, earning another ovation. He missed his ensuing freebie.
Majok didn't start the latter half, Gavin Edwards did. His first official field goal attempt was a misfired 17-footer with 17:01 left to play.
"Goo goo ga joob": His first official public undressing by Calhoun came 20 seconds later, when Calhoun called a timeout and shouted at Majok for a defensive lapse.
His first foul came with 10:51 to play.
"You've been a naughty boy ...": Majok's first official "F"-bomb from Calhoun came with 2:10 left. After Majok seemed a bit confused in an offensive set and was late setting a screen for Kemba Walker, Calhoun called a timeout and yelled "Get the (bleep) out!" at Majok. The crowd just happened to be rather silent at that point, so most people still in the building heard it.
Majok seemed a bit miffed about Calhoun's reaction, blankly staring into the distance while seated on the bench. He took the high road after the game.
"It's not every day that you hear him say that, but when you hear it, there's not much you can do about it," he said. "You just step out off the court, sit down and think about what you did. He's doing it for the best of us. That's his way of telling us, 'that was wrong.' That's his way of saying I'm wrong and I did a mistake."
As for his overall game: "It's good that the bad game is out of the way. It is what it is. It's a bad game, I realize I've got a lot to work on. All I can do is go back in the gym and work on it and get back here on Tuesday. But, a win is a win. Stanley showed up, Gavin showed up, they backed us up. There's not really much I can say.
"It's difficult coming in halfway through the year. I thought it was easier, but once I stepped on the court, it's a lot more difficult because the team has been going for a while without you. You can't just step in and take every shot you take. It's a little frustrating, but we'll get through it. We've got a lot more games to go. I'm happy, at the same time, because I got that game out of the way and it doesn't happen to me in the Big East. But I'm not happy that it's my first game and I had a bad performance."
Said Calhoun: "He certainly didn't have the kind of game I would expect. I didn't necessarily think it would be spectacular, but it certainly could have been better. Alex (Oriakhi) had his worst game since he's been here, energy-wise."
"I really, really think that if you've never been around a basketball team, it's difficult … He just didn't play very well, he didn't look like he was ready to play, he was very hesitant about everything he did. He didn't block shots, or rebound, he stood up a lot – along with Alex too, by the way … He didn't play well."
As for Oriakhi, he went scorleless in 24 minutes before fouling out. He had just two rebounds and attempted just one shot.
"Alex doesn't want the ball," said Calhoun. "He made the decision a while ago, he's a conscientious objector. He doesn't want to score … he was just lousy today.
"I could have used Ater or two or three other big guys – I don't think the names it would have made a difference. Only the names would have changed."
Not Jonathan Mandeldove. He wasn't in the building, apparently battling illness but also seemingly an academic casualty. Charles Okwandu was in the house – at least physically. He didn't play.
***"Baby You're a Rich Man": Calhoun addressed reports that he and the school have agreed on a contract extension.
"It's right on the horizon, but I haven't signed anything," said the 24th-year coach. "Maybe somebody else has. My wife signs all my checks, maybe she did."
A source told the Register that the deal is done.
***Though he's a squat 6-foot-3 left-hander with goggles who looks nothing like his famous father, Marcus Jordan is indeed the son of Michael, arguably the greatest player in basketball history. He shot 5-for-10 from the floor and led UCF with 13 points.
***UConn commit Maurice Harkless, a 6-foot-7 forward, and coveted Class of 2012 big man Andre Drummond of Middletown watched the game from behind the Huskies' bench.
***We got a "logy" today from Calhoun. The extremely archaic word (pronounced "low-jee") is one of Calhoun's favorites when describing his team's lackadaisical effort.