Tuesday, October 19, 2010

UConn Misses Another Jabari(e)

Jim Calhoun seemed a bit weary and a bit grumpier than normal at UConn's first practice of the season on Saturday. No doubt, part of it had to do with his long, long day of meeting with the NCAA the day before in Indianapolis, followed by a late-night flight home and an early arrival at Gampel Pavilion that morning.

But part of it may also have to do with what he sees -- or doesn't see -- in his program right now. The Huskies are extremely young and inexperienced this season and will be forced to rely heavily on players who have either never played or played very little at this level.

Then there's the lingering recruiting issues with the program. The Huskies swung and missed at a half-dozen top recruits over the past six months. Yes, they landed Roscoe Smith, a highly-touted forward out of Baltimore. But today -- not long after losing out on Jabari Brown to Oregon -- they missed on another recruit who looked like a pretty good bet to be a Husky.

Jabarie Hinds, a product of Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High, chose West Virginia over the Huskies. Hinds is said to be one of the top two players to play under Bob Cimmino at Mount Vernon. The other? Ben Gordon. But apparently, Gordon's influence couldn't sway Hinds to Storrs. Kevin Jones, a sophomore forward at WVU who also went to Mount Vernon, apparently wielded more influence.

So, the Huskies strike out on the recruiting trail once again. A lot of this can be remedied if they're able to land Andre Drummond, the 6-foot-11 stud out of Middletown. While Drummond seemingly spends more time on the UConn campus than some professors, it's no sure shot that he'll ever even attend college. Some believe Drummond may turn pro after a year at prep school.

Anyway, it's my belief that Jim Calhoun is gearing up for one more run at a Final Four, with Drummond being the centerpiece. If UConn doesn't land Drummond, I'm not sure how much longer he's prepared to coach this team. But that is 100-percent my opinion and not based on any inside knowledge.

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