Next Question ...
OK, I'll try a little bit. Here are some snippets of Jim Calhoun's postgame presser, in which, at one point, he jousted with a columnist (the Post's Chris Elsberry) and reduced communications director Kyle Muncy to sounding like Drew Rosenhaus. It wasn't exactly a Calhoun-Dave Solomon moment and isnt likely to be memorialized on YouTube. But it was far more entertaining than anything we saw on the court today.
(Calhoun's opening statement:)
"I'll try not to be coy. Very simply, congratulations to Cincinnati. I thought both teams came out in the first 20 minutes, and neither team seemed to want to win the game. Neither team was really going after it competitively. I thought we embarrassed ourselves in the second half, except for Kemba Walker. I thought it was one of the worst performances I've had here at UConn in 24 years. I never thought we competed the entire game, except for Kemba … I'm really incredibly disappointed with the performance. I'm embarrassed by it, quite frankly. If that's passion enough for you, for those who like to dissect every single word I have to say – passionately, I was embarrassed by the way we played. I'm not going to apologize to the fans, but if they were disappointed in us, and me, they had more than a right to be that. Because we were God-awful."
(Calhoun on UConn's big men, Ater Majok, Alex Oriakhi and Charles Okwandu, who had a combined zero points and six rebounds)
"Those guys played 43 minutes (actually 40) and didn't score one single basket. They had the ball bounce off their head, and every other thing. Jerome and Stanley played two of their poorer games of the year."
(On watching Louisville get "smacked" by St. John's at the Garden earlier this week)
"That's an entirely different situation than what occurred here today. Those things happen. The other team played great, makes all kinds of 3's … that's not the situation today."
(Here's where it gets interesting)
Elsberry: Coach, considering the circumstances: you coming back …
Calhoun: I'm coaching. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I can be, and I will need to be if I have to. Very simply, I coached the game today. I didn't die. I was around, George did a magnificent job coaching the team. The only thing I can do is speak about today. I can't speak about tomorrow, yesterday. You probably want to know what happened during the 40 minutes, and that's what I'm going to talk about …
Elsberry: That's what I'm asking you about. Why did this team not play with any fire today?
Calhoun: Because they didn't want to play for me. That's the loaded question you wanted, fine, now you get your answer.
(A few minutes later ...)
Calhoun: One gentleman thinks they quit on me, which is fine, that's his terminology, to twist … but he's been known to do that on occasions.
(After a couple more questions ...)
Elsberry: Coach, did you hear the word 'quit' come out of my mouth? Because I didn't say that.
Calhoun: You need to go see a therapist, he'll help you out. You set your question up, 'how come they didn't play for you?' I don’t know what you want me to say.
Muncy: Next question, please.
Calhoun: If you want to have a one-on-one dialogue, there's other guys here who may want to hear the answer to that, but I don't.
Muncy: Next question.
Anyway, Calhoun also noted the team showed "terrific effort" in practices the prior two days. So how do you fix it, he was asked?
After about a 10-second pause, Calhoun simply responded: "Good question."
A lot of questions at the XL Center today. No real answers.