Some quick notes from the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game:
***Just about everyone advertised is here. Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon showed up just in time for the team picture. Noteable no-shows: Hilton Armstrong, Richard Hamilton, Donny Marshall. Rudy Gay says he hasn't been cleared to play by the Grizzlies.
***Ricky Moore, newly-minted assistant coach at Dartmouth, showed up wearing a Dartmouth shirt. Is that legal?
***The entire UConn roster is here, including incoming freshmen Roscoe Smith, Jeremy Lamb, Tyler Olander, Shabazz Napier and Michael Bradley. (German imports Niels Giffey and Enosch Wolf have yet to arrive on campus).
***Sticks Robinson hasn't signed a contract yet with Orlando and feels he'll probably have to prove himself in training camp, which starts on Sept. 22. Robinson had a somewhat subpar summer league performance, with one highlight: "I got my windmill in," he said of the highlight-reel dunk he had in one game.
Very telling, unfortunately.
***Khalid El-Amin was MVP of his league this past season in the Ukraine. He says he'll keep keepin' on overseas until it's not fun anymore.
"Making money, taking care of the family: I can't afford not to play," El-Amin said.
***Donyell Marshall on recently taking an assistant coaching job under Karl Hobbs at George Washington University: "Being with somebody that I know, it felt more comfortable. I'd rather break into a college (situation) with somebody that I know. That way, if I had questions, I'd felt comfortable asking him stuff."
***Calhoun made it a point to bring Roscoe Smith over to introduce him to Caron Butler.
"I just tried to let him know that he's the next in line, the torch has been passed. Obviously, he's coming into a great tradition. Just keep it up. I'll keep in contact with him and let him know my eyes will be watching."
Butler said he always keeps in contact with new UConn players.
"Everybody here has some kind of connection. You want to stay in contact with the young guys to help them develop, on and off the court."
***Smith also met fellow Baltimorean Rudy Gay.
"I told him my shoes are big," Gay said, with a laugh, "and you can't fill them too easily."
"It's good they come back to support Jim Calhoun, and come back to the community," Smith said. "(Butler) was just giving me a couple of pointers for next year, keep my head up and just have fun out there."
***Rudy Gay seems on the verge of earning a spot on Team USA.
"It's a blessing to have 'USA' on your chest. I talked to Ray a lot, he said he was happy he did it. I'm just trying to follow in his footsteps."