Hazell Shade of Winter
It was all about Jeremy Hazell at practice today. The Seton Hall junior guard scored 41 and 38 points, respectively, in his first two Big East games this season and should be quite a handful tomorrow night for UConn.
"He's unguardable," UConn coach Jim Calhoun said of Hazell, who popped in 28 against the Huskies as a freshman two years ago. "I don't mean he's going to make every shot, I mean he'll take every shot … He's that kind of player. The game is never safe with him."
Jerome Dyson will get the honor of chasing the wiry, 6-foot-5 Hazell around the floor.
"I was watching the West Virginia game, and he was just shooting it from anywhere he catches it," Dyson said. "It's definitely going to be a tough game where I’m going to have to run around and guard him, no matter where he catches the ball."
***The Pirates are 10-3, 0-2. Their two losses came at home to West Virginia (in overtime) and Syracuse. Then they dropped another overtime bout with a tough Virginia Tech team. Are they due?
"In this league, it always seems like the team that needs to win seems to be able to put forth a great effort to get a win," said Calhoun, whose Huskies are 10-3, 1-1. "It doesn't mean they'll get a win, because we hope to have something to say about that. But, over the years, it seems when a good team is desperate – and they're a good team – when their back's to the wall, they get a win. They're hungry."
***Stanley Robinson (who should see some time on Hazell on Wednesday, too) was sporting an interesting hairdo today. It was combed out and up, sorta like Busta Rhymes (that's about as hip as I get). But don't expect to see it again.
"No, no, negative," he said. "This is a one-day thing."
MUSIC QUIZ: Who sang the originaly "Hazy Shade of Winter"? And who had a hit with it as a cover version in the late 1980's?
***Despite a career-best 10-point effort on Saturday against Notre Dame, Charles Okwandu will still be coming off the bench. Struggling Ater Majok will remain in the starting lineup, though both players will get some run and Calhoun will likely stick with the hot hand.
***UConn has won nine straight over Seton Hall and 24 straight over the three Big East tri-state schools (Seton Hall, Rutgers and St. John's). The last time the Huskies lost to the Pirates was in March, 2001.
***Freshman guard Darius Smith didn't practice with the team on Tuesday since he had a tutorial session, but will be on the bench and dressed for tomorrow's game.
***Why the 9 p.m. start? Well, SNY is broadcasting the Rutgers-West Virginia game at 7 p.m. and backing it up with UConn-Seton Hall for a doubleheader.