Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hey Now, You're an All-Star?

The UConn athletic department would like to get the word out that seven of the 13 former UConn players currently in the NBA are on this year's NBA All-Star ballot: Rudy Gay (Memphis), Ray Allen (Boston), Emeka Okafor (New Orleans), Charlie Villanueva (Detroit), Richard Hamilton (Detroit), Caron Butler (Washington) and Ben Gordon (Detroit).

Fans can vote for all-stars at until Jan. 18. The rosters will be announced on Jan. 22.

***Speaking of the NBA, we're hoping we don't run across Gilbert Arenas's personal arsenal on Saturday at the Verizon Center, when UConn faces Georgetown in what should be a good one. Guns among NBA players (and basketball players in general) is a topic on people's minds these days, including some clown on today's Big East coaches conference call.

A guy identifying himself as an Associated Press writer (who was apparently from a radio show out in Portland) asked Jim Calhoun if his players "still have guns in the locker room." Calhoun appeared flustered, perhaps not understanding what the guy said or whether he was serious or not, and eventually the caller was cut off.

***Not a terribly lot of information on the call. Calhoun was asked about Georgetown.

"It's a little different kind of Georgetown team. You're not going to see a lot of bodies, they're basically playing seven people. Greg Monroe is incredibly skilled. He's unselfish, he can score, rebound, block shots. I know they lost a tough one to Marquette (on Wednesday), but we're going to say that, I think, all throught he league season."

***Georgetown coach John Thompson III also spoke:

(on UConn)

"They still are big and imposing on the boards. At the end of day, between Jerome and Kemba, they kind of make the team go It's easy to say, 'let's stop UConn's transition,' that's something they stress. 'Let's keep them off the boards, try to limit their easy baskets.'"

(on the Hoyas' success vs. UConn in recent years)

"I think we’ve been lucky. I don’t know that there’s any one particular thing. We've probably caught them at some times when they’ve been off. You know it’s going to be an extremely intense, physical game. If you can make them work at both ends of the floor, that’s what we try to do."

(on Georgetown's season thus far)

"We’ve gotten a lot better since the season began, but I think we still have a long way to go. I think our guys have done a great job supporting each other at both ends of the floor. That has to be a premium for us. The thing I like, that’s a positive, is that we’ve seen growth."

(on Monroe's development)

"His biggest growth is something the casual fan doesn’t get an opportunity to see. Last year he's gone from a freshman that came in under a lot of scrutiny and performed well, and now he's a leader on this team. He's a leader, he's vocal in the locker room, at the dorm, on campus, in practice every day. He’s standing out with our team."

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