Tuesday, November 30, 2010


"Last week is last week – gone, forgotten, Hallelujah," Jim Calhoun said after UConn's unattractive, 62-55 outlasting of UNH Tuesday night.

No doubt, UConn's terrific run to the Maui Invitational last week seemed a lot further in the distance after tonight's lethargic display.

"It's the first time all year it was not fun coaching a team that was lackluster," Calhoun said.

A couple of observations from the game:

***It's time for Jeremy Lamb to step up. He hasn't really had a particularly good game yet, and tonight was probably his worst. Lamb played just nine minutes and had two points and three rebounds. Yes, he's a freshman, just six games into his collegiate career. But the kid seems to have some ability that he's just not tapping into yet. Seems a bit too hesitant with the ball. We keep saying things like, "Lamb didn't play very well, but he really shows a lot of potential." Over the last few games, that hasn't even been the case. In fact, of UConn's five freshmen, he may be the most disappointing thus far.

***Kemba Walker just can't stop scoring 30 points. His output is sort of a numerologist's dream: He's averaging 30 for the season. He averaged 30 in Maui's three games. He scored 30 tonight. He had 15 (his uniform number) in the first half and 15 in the second. In his 42-point game against Vermont, he had 21 in the first half and 21 in the second. A lot of symmetry in there.

Not that any of the above means anything, except for the fact that the Huskies are more reliant on Walker than any team has been reliant on an individual player in recent memory. Seriously, take Walker off the Huskies and they're Providence -- a lot of young, talented players that will struggle to win six games in the Big East. OK, maybe a little better than Providence, but you get the point.

The Huskies have to start complimenting Walker better or the kid will burn out by mid-January. Alex Oriakhi (foul trouble tonight) has emerged as a No. 2 option and Shabazz Napier seems to be a reliable sidekick. But UConn needs more.

"Kemba bailed us out again, and that's nice, but it's a short-term fix," Calhoun noted. "We can't keep going like this."

Added Walker, who hit 14 of 16 free throws: "I definitely need some help on the offensive end. But it's still early. Some of these guys are still getting used to the speed of the game."

Oh, and Walker is just two points shy of 1,000 -- not for this season, it only seems that way. For his career.

***Fatigue was an excuse tonight. Nobody would say it: not the players, certainly not Calhoun. But the team didn't arrive back from Hawaii (into Boston) until Saturday evening. It then practiced both Sunday and Monday -- very good practices, Calhoun insisted. Still, the Huskies probably could have used a rest somewhere in there, and it showed tonight.

Here's betting UConn is a lot better against its fourth and final America East opponent of the season -- UMBC -- on Friday night.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Surprise, Surprise ...

Kemba Walker is the Big East's player of the week. Averaging 30 points per game to lead UConn to victory at the Maui Invitational will get you that.

Also, UConn's ascent from unranked to No. 7 in this week's AP poll is the second-best entry since the poll went to 25 teams in the 1989-90 season. Kansas went from unranked to No. 4 on Nov. 27, 1989.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hawaiian Punch

I really didn't know if I'd be putting UConn in my top 25 ballot at all this season. Certainly not in the top 10, and most certainly not this early in the season.

But here they are. No. 8. I thought long and hard about it, wondering how high I should rank the Huskies after their extremely impressive run to the Maui Invitational title. Didn't want my opinion to be jaded -- good or bad -- by the fact that I cover the team and know it pretty well. Didn't want to come across as a homer. Could I really rank them that high after not ranking them at all the first two weeks? Is it fair to rank them lower than Michigan State or Kentucky, despite beating them both in Maui?

In the end, absolutely. On the floor, at least, UConn has been as impressive as any team in the country to this point. Any team. And yes, we realize it's not even December yet.

Wins over top-10 teams in consecutive nights (not to mention a win over a good Wichita State team) are simply too impressive to overlook. Had no big issue keeping them behind Michigan State, but had no problem leapfrogging them over Kentucky.

Are the Huskies the eighth-best team in the country and, by my ballot anyway, the second-best team in the Big East? Talent-wise, probably not. But are they as good a team right now as anyone else, a close bunch of good kids who play well together, enjoy the game of basketball and are led by one of the very best players in the country? You bet.

Oh, and their coach ain't too bad, either.

Anyway, here's what I submitted as my AP Top 25 ballot late Sunday night. Goodbye, Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, Temple and Butler. Hello, UConn, UNLV, Louisville and Richmond.

1. Duke 6-0
2. Ohio State 5-0
3. Pittsburgh 7-0
4. Michigan State 5-1
5. Kansas 6-0
6. Kansas State 5-1
7. Missouri 5-0
8. Connecticut 5-0
9. Villanova 5-1
10. Kentucky 4-1
11. Illinois 6-1
12. Brigham Young 6-0
13. Syracuse 6-0
14. Memphis 5-0
15. Florida 4-1
16. Baylor 4-0
17. San Diego State 6-0
18. UNLV 6-0
19. Washington 3-2
20. Georgetown 6-0
21. Minnesota 6-0
22. Tennessee 4-1
23. Purdue 5-1
24. Louisville 4-0
25. Richmond 6-1

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

They've Got My Vote

At 4-0, with a win over No. 2 Michigan State as well as a good Wichita State team, UConn is a no-brainer to enter the AP Top 25 for the first time this season next week. The only question remaining as to where I vote them is how they do today against Kentucky. Win and they're flirting with the top 10. Lose a close one and they're still hovering in the 10-15 range. Lose big and maybe 15-20. Depends on what other teams do the rest of the week, of course.

The All-America vote isn't until the end of the season, but Kemba Walker is as sure a pick right now as anyone in the country. Heck, he's probably the front-runner for national player of the year right now. But again, that's a long way off.

Kemba's not going to average 30 points per game this season. I believe it will be more in the 18-20 range. But that doesn't mean he won't be any more terrific and integral to UConn's success moving forward. Walker has almost singlehandely guided the Huskies to where they are today (and yes, it's only Nov. 24). His incredible play has powered UConn's strong start. Now, thanks largely to Walker, his young teammates have the confidence that they can beat anyone. This is going to be a far more intriguing season than most (myself included) believed just a few short weeks ago.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Carolina, No

Goodbye, Tar Heels. You duped me early last season, making me think you were a top 10team, and you did it again this season, too. Had you ranked No. 8, and I feel pretty silly about that right now. Again. Consecutive losses to Minnesota and Vanderbilt drops you from my top 25 this week.

Welcome, Minnesota. Beating the Heels and West Virginia to win the Puerto Rico Classic gets you in. Do I really have five Big Ten teams in my top 25, including two of the top three? (Jared Sullinger is scary good, people. He’s what Harrison Barnes was supposed to be). Some would argue I should have six, but it's going to take a lot to get me to put Wisconsin in there. Never been a big fan of the conference, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not the best in the land right now.

Anyway, here's what I got this week:

1. Duke
2. Michigan State
3. Ohio State
4. Kansas State
5. Pittsburgh
6. Villanova
7. Kansas
8. Kentucky
9. BYU
10. Missouri
11. Illinois
12. Washington
13. Syracuse
14. Purdue
15. Memphis
16. Florida
17. Baylor
18. San Diego State
19. Virginia Tech
20. Gonzaga
21. Georgetown
22. Temple
23. Minnesota
24. Tennessee
25. Butler

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wolf at the Door? Maybe Not ... Yet

While the word out of UConn has been that 7-foot-1 German product Enosch Wolf will be joining the team in mid-December, that doesn't appear to be a done deal quite yet.

Wolf, who started playing for Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Winchendon, Mass. last week, may stay and play there for the full season rather than enroll at UConn.

Wolf is currently battling a knee injury and has gained about 30 pounds (now checking in at about 260) since April. He's not in great shape, and the UConn coaching staff is a bit disappointed about that right now.

"We're not sure yet what's going to happen there, in terms of whether he's going to stay for the whole year," said Wilbraham & Monson coach Chris Sparks. "I think they're still working through some of that stuff ... I go on what they tell me."

Wolf has already signed his national letter of intent and has been accepted at UConn. It's also possible he'll enroll at UConn in mid-December, red-shirt, and let the Huskies' staff get him in better shape.

"It's not figured out yet," was about all Wolf would say about the situation.

Wolf said he's had some problems with his left knee for the past couple of weeks, though he says it's been feeling better lately. He played in a National Prep Showcase game today at Albertus Magnus College against Tilton School. Wolf didn't do much offensively, staying out on the perimeter a bit more than you'd expect from a 7-footer. He also picked up a couple of first-half fouls. He did tear down some impressive rebounds on the defensive end.

Here's a little video footage of Wolf on the basketball court:

Ha ha, just kidding. OK, here is some footage of Wolf today, stepping out and missing a 3-pointer (it's probably no more revealing of his abilities than the previous video I posted):

If Wolf is cleared to join the Huskies a week or so before Christmas, he could help the team off the bat, according to Sparks.

"I definitely think he can. His conditioning is improving, but playing us every day and playing in the Big East are two different things ... He's got a high basketball IQ, shoots the ball well (and) is just a great guy."

Said Wolf: "I know I have to get way bigger for the Big East. I'm tall, I think I know how to use my body, get some rebounds."

His strengths, Wolf said: "I can pass the ball pretty good. I have good court vision for a big guy. I really love to pass the ball."

And what does he need to work on?

"Everything," Wolf said, point-blank. "You can never stop working."

"He's been terrific," Sparks added. "He's working really, really hard. He's focused on getting in shape and being ready to help UConn out next year and give them a lift."

By "next year," Sparks seemed to mean the 2011-12 season, not this upcoming January as had originally been thought.

*** Oh, and keep this name in mind for the future: Nerlens Noel, a 6-11, 195-pound Class of 2013 center for Tilton School. Noel lists UConn, as well as Duke, Providence and Washington among his schools of interest.

"He'd definitely be interested in (UConn), they've already got two of our kids there," Tilton coach Marcus O'Neill said referring to Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel. "He's a tremendous shot-blocker, a good rebounder. He's got a pretty good feel for the game overall. For a big guy, he's got good vision."

*** Plenty of Division I coaches (mostly assistants) at this tourney. Went to take a seat at the press table and asked the tall fella sitting there if the seat next to him was taken.

"Yes, it is," said Danny Manning, now an assistant at Kansas.

Beau Archibald is here, too. His brother-in-law, Mark Pope, is an assistant at Wake Forest, so Beau -- who still lives in Connecticut -- is spending the weekend with him. He said he doesn't have any job prospects lined up quite yet.

*** In case you haven't figured it out by now, no, I'm not in Hawaii. No comment.

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Kemba's Not Perfect

Well, it wasn't a perfect week for guaranteed Big East player of the week Kemba Walker. Seems he lost to Virginia's Mike Scott in the finals fo the EA Sports Maui Invitational Players' Party Video Game Tournament on Saturday.

Scott defeated Walker 19-15 in the finals of the eight-man competition, which featured one player from each team in the tourney. Each player raced a digital likeness of himself up and down the virtual courts of the Lahaina Civic Center. Wonder if Scott was using scuffed balls? (Sorry, obscure NLCS reference there).


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dyson a 66er

Jerome Dyson will play for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Developmental League. The 66ers are the affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Stanley Robinson is not on a D-League roster.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All That Jazz

With jazz great Wynton Marsalis allegedly in the building -- his son, Simeon, is a sophomore point guard for Vermont -- it was somewhat fitting that Kemba Walker put on a virtuoso performance as smooth as one of Marsalis's jazz solos.

Here's the Walker stat line: 42 points, 15-for-24 shooting, 4-for-9 3-pointers, 8-for-10 free throws, eight rebounds (!), three assists (kinda tough when no one else is scoring), three turnovers (how could he!?!?) and a steal in 37 minutes of action.

The 42 points match the XL Center/Hartford Civic Center record set on Dec. 28, 1987 by Clifford Robinson against Hartford. The 15 field goals breaks Robinson's building record of 14, also set that night. The 42 points are also the most in a game by a UConn player since Donyell Marshall did it twice in 1994 -- both times against St. John's.

Oh, and the eight rebounds also led the Huskies -- though that's not necessarily a good thing for UConn.

"I've been fortunate enough to witness some pretty good performances over the years," said Calhoun, who's in his 25th season as UConn's head coach. "Kemba's performance was pretty special. Every time we needed something, he got it ... I saw Cliff Robinson do it here, I saw Donyell Marshall do it against St. John's. (Walker) scored 42 points, easy. It almost looked easy for him. His quickness and speed was just so different from everybody else on the court. It was certainly a magnificent performance."

Indeed, Walker's scoring all came well within the flow of the game -- though it wasn't as easy as it may have looked.

"I worked hard for it," he said. "It was falling tonight. I just wanted to be aggressive. That's what I did tonight, and I was fortunate enough to get baskets."

Walker said that when he was 15 years old and playing in an outdoor tournament in his Bronx neighborhood, he once scored 88 points in a game. His team finished with about 120 or so. That performance must have bore some resemblance to tonight's effort. He hit shots from everywhere on the floor – 10-foot leaners, fallaway jumpers, 3-pointers, driving layups, even a rare two-handed jam. Walker had a perfectly symmetrical 21 points in the first half and 21 in the second.

Snd he did it all despite battling stomach cramps that sidelined him for a couple of minutes early on. Walker left the game in obvious pain during a timeout with 15:55 left in the first half.

"My stomach and back started to hurt," he said. "I couldn't breathe."

Walker did some stretching exercises with trainer James Doran and checked back in about 1 ½ minutes later.

"Thank God he recovered and he was OK, because he was magnificent," Calhoun said.

Indeed, no other UConn player really distinguished themselves. Roscoe Smith had 15 points, but 11 in the latter half, most of which came when the game was well in-hand. In fact, as Smith unleashed one trey with 13:26 left, Calhoun shouted out "No!!!!" before the ball swished through the hoop.

Alex Oriakhi had 11 points, seven boards and five blocks but played much of the night in foul trouble. No one else was really a factor offensively, though Calhoun did highlight the second-half defensive play of Niels Giffey and, in particular, Shabazz Napier, whose ball-hawking skills led to several Vermont turnovers. Napier had five steals to go with seven points (3-for-10 shooting).

"It was a great performance by (Walker)," Calhoun summarized, "and not a great performance by us."

In fact, in the locker room afterwards, Napier -- just a freshman -- made it a point to tell his teammates they can't survive on Kemba Walker alone.

"Kemba's a great player, but we can't rely on him to score 42 points," Napier said, according to Oriakhi. "We have good players out here. We know Kemba's the best player, but he needs a supporting cast. We've definitely got to step it up as a team in Hawaii."

Evan Fjeld, his mustache and Matt Glass combined for 50 points for the Catamounts.

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Catamounts Pounce Early

Jim Calhoun warned that if UConn lost tonight's game to Vermont, the team's flight to Hawaii on Friday wouldn't be too pleasant.

Probably about as pleasant as the Huskies' locker room right now.

UConn trails the Catamounts, 36-33. The Huskies aren't playing terribly -- though their defense leaves much to be desired. Vermont -- which looks pretty darn good -- is shooting 50-percent from the floor. The Huskies are making Evan Fjeld (12 points) look like Adam Morrison -- and not just because Fjeld sports a Morrison-ian bushy mustache. Matt Glass has 15 for the Cats.

For UConn, it's all Kemba Walker -- 21 points, team-high (!) five rebounds. No one else has more than four points. A couple of UConn players need to start distinguishing themselves pretty quickly before they start losing more and more minutes.

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Ollie Update

Kevin Ollie was at UConn's shootaround earlier today. He didn't participate but was courtside the entire time. Ollie will not be on the bench for tonight's game against Vermont.

However, Ollie has been cleared to travel with the team to Maui. He can't be on the bench during the games, however. So, in essence, Ollie sorta gets a free trip to Hawaii. I'm sure he'd trade that for a healthy eye and the ability to coach the team.

Ollie has a doctor's appointment when he returns from Maui and is hopeful of being cleared at that time.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prep Stars Hit New Haven

One of the top post-graduate basketball events in the country, the National Prep Showcase, hits New Haven this weekend at Albertus Magnus College.

A 23-team field -- including all of the top 10 schools in the country according to the national prep poll -- will be on-hand.

Of particular interest to UConn fans will be the presence of Wilbraham & Monson Academy, which features 7-foot-1 center Enosch Wolf, who'll be a Husky come mid-December. Wilbraham & Monson face Tilton School on Sunday at 5 p.m. Tilton features a UConn target, Nerlens Noel, who is also being sought by Duke, Providence and Washington, among others.

And Andre Drummond will be there, too. Drummond's St. Thomas More School plays Lee Academy on Friday at 5:15 p.m. and Princeton Day on Saturday at 10:45 a.m.

Among the highly-recruited players in the field are: St. Thomas More’s Drummond; Brewster Academy’s Elijah Carter (UCLA, Rutgers, Seton Hall) and Mitch McGary (Illinois, Indiana, Miami, Pittsburgh); Kiski’s Sim Bhullar (Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Kentucky, USC), Stefan Jankovic (West Virginia, Stanford, Florida, Indiana), and Tanveer Bhullar (North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, Pittsburgh); La Lumiere’s Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Texas, Alabama, Baylor, Indiana) and Obij Aget (Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri); Lee Academy’s Anthony Joseph Perez Cortesia (Kansas State, Providence); New Hampton’s Zach Auguste (Boston College, Notre Dame, Baylor, Virginia); Notre Dame Prep’s Myles Davis (Pittsburgh, Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier) and Todd Mayo (Memphis, Baylor, West Virginia); South Kent’s Ricardo Ledo (Louisville, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas); St. Mark’s Alex Murphy (Duke, Florida, Arizona, Villanova) and Kaleb Tarczewski (Kansas, West Virginia, Duke, Indiana); and Tilton’s Nerlens Noel (Providence, Duke, UConn, Washington), Goodluck Okonoboh (Boston College, Providence, USC, Virginia Tech), and Wayne Selden (Duke, Providence, Boston College).

And here are some of the top committed players in the field: Notre Dame Prep’s Khem Birch (Pittsburgh), Angel Nunez (Louisville) and Grandy Glaze (UNLV); Brewster Academy’s Naadir Tharpe (Kansas), Jakarr Sampson (St. John’s), Markus Kennedy (Villanova), and Durand Johnson (Pittsburgh); Bridgton Academy’s Donnie Hale (Purdue); Hargrave Military Academy’s P.J. Hairston (North Carolina), Desmond Wells (Xavier), C.J. Barksdale (Virginia Tech), Marquis Rankin (Virginia Tech), and Robert Brown (Virginia Tech); Northfield Mount Hermon’s Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall); Nia Prep’s Shaquille Thomas (Cincinnati); South Kent’s Maurice Harkless (St. John’s), Derrick Randall (Rutgers), and Ge’lawn Guyn (Cincinatti); St. Andrew’s Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse); and Westwind’s Richard Peters (Oklahoma).

Finally, here's the schedule. Tickets will be available at the door, which will open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

Friday, November 19th
10:30a.m. Fork Union Military Academy (VA) vs. Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
12:15p.m. Fishburne Military Academy (VA) vs. Notre Dame Prep (MA)
2:00p.m. Westwind Prep (AZ) vs. Bridgton Academy (ME)
3:45p.m. Hargrave Military Academy (VA) vs. South Kent School (CT)
5:15p.m. Lee Academy (ME) vs. St. Thomas More School (CT)
7:00p.m. Princeton Day (MD) vs. Winchendon School (MA)
8:30p.m. Alif Muhammad Nia School (NJ) vs. Maine Central Institute (ME)

Saturday, November 20th
9:00a.m. Bridgton Academy (ME) vs. Fork Union Military Academy (VA)
10:45a.m. St. Thomas More (CT) vs. Princeton Day (MD)
12:30p.m. New Hampton School (NH) vs. Hargrave Military Academy (VA)
2:15p.m. Brewster Academy (NH) vs. Fishburne Military Academy (VA)
4:00p.m. South Kent School (CT) vs. La Lumiere School (IN)
5:45p.m. Notre Dame Prep (MA) vs. Westwind Prep (AZ)
7:30p.m. St. Mark’s School (MA) vs. Lee Academy (ME)
9:00p.m. Winchendon School (MA) vs. Kiski School (PA)

Sunday, November 21st
10:00a.m. Princeton Day (MD) vs. Brewster Academy (NH)
11:45a.m. Maine Central Institute (ME) vs. Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
1:30p.m. Kiski School (PA) vs. La Lumiere School (IN)
3:15p.m. Alif Muhammad Nia School (NJ) vs. New Hampton School (NH)
5:00p.m. Wilbraham & Monson Academy (MA) vs. Tilton School (NH)
6:30p.m. St. Andrew’s School (RI) vs. Blair Academy (NJ)

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SI's Field of 68

While Sports Illustrated, whose college basketball preview issue hits news stands tomorrow, is far and away the best sports magazine, I've always thought it was a bit off the mark when it came to college sports. And that has nothing to do with the fact that SI doesn't have UConn making the NCAA tournament this season. I probably wouldn't pick them, either (though I wouldn't say it's impossible -- not by any stretch).

Anyway, here's SI's field of 68 for this year's tourney. Quinnipiac and Fairfield in; UConn out.

1. Duke
2. Michigan State
3. Kansas State
4. Villanova
6. Ohio State
7. Kansas
8. Baylor
9. Florida
10. North Carolina
11. Illinois
12. Butler
13. Syracuse
14. Gonzaga
15. Washington
16. Purdue
17. BYU
18. Missouri
19. Kentucky
20. Temple
21. Georgetown
22. Virginia Tech
23. Tennessee
24. Memphis
25. Wisconsin
26. Texas
27. N.C. State
28. San Diego State
29. Old Dominion
30. Wichita State
31. Florida State
32. Mississippi State
33. Richmond
34. Vanderbilt
35. Minnesota
36. New Mexico
37. West Virginia
38. Georgia
39. UNLV
40. Marquette
41. Arizona
42. Maryland
43. Xavier
44. Dayton
45. Arizona State
46. Murray State
47. Seton Hall
48. Notre Dame
49. UCLA
50. Utah State
51. Creighton
52. Northwestern
53. Ohio
54. UCSB
55. Weber State
56. Fairfield
57. Wofford
58. Oakland
59. North Texas
60. Lipscomb
61. Harvard
62. Morgan State
63. Quinnipiac
64. Texas State
65. American
66. Jackson State
67. Maine
68. Coastal Carolina

Niels Appeal

What do zero points and one rebound in your UConn debut get you? A bunch of reporters wondering what went wrong, that's what.

But while Niels Giffey struggled mightily in his debut on Friday, he appears more than ready to shake it off. Jim Calhoun admitted as much today before practice, and Giffey seems to have a good, somewhat happy-go-lucky attitude that won't keep him down after a bad game.

In this interview, Giffey addresses his disappointing opener as well as some other topics, including adjusting to American life, his favorite American food, and learning a foreign language -- that is, the language of Jim Calhoun.

***Elsewhere, it's good to see another local boy will be playing in the Big East. New Haven's own Freddie Wilson has signed a national letter of intent to play at Seton Hall, as the Register's Joe Morelli tells us. He chose the Pirates over Drexel and Fordham. From what I know, UConn was never really interested in Wilson, though he did spend some time playing pick-up games the past few summers up in Storrs.

***Oh, and one other thing .... THE BEATLES ARE ON iTUNES!!! HOLY SCHNEIKIES!!!

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From Vermont to Hawaii

A few notes 'n quotes from today's availability with UConn:

***Kevin Ollie will see a doctor tomorrow to determine whether he'll be able to make the trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. Ollie's wife and kids were planning to make the trip, so presumably the family's travel plans hinge on what the doctor says tomorrow.

***UConn will bus up to Boston and stay overnight on Thursday, then make the 11 1/2-hour flight to Hawaii out of Logan Airport on Friday.

Jim Calhoun doesn't want the Huskies leaving Wednesday night. Translation: UConn can't look past Vermont tomorrow at the XL Center (7 p.m.).

"You don't want to get on a plane facing the field that you're facing in Maui, coming off an 'L,'" Calhoun said. "That would not be a good thing. Once you get to Maui, I think the Wichita State game, for both teams, is pretty important."

Vermont is a bigger team than Stony Brook, and quite probably better. The Catamounts snapped Siena's 38-game home winning streak on Saturday night, 80-76.

"They've got some size, so it'll be a step up, at least physically, (from Stony Brook)," Calhoun said. "They went to Siena and beat them before 8,000 people, so they're a pretty good basketball team."

A victory tomorrow night would certainly help the Huskies enjoy their long flight to Hawaii a lot more.

"For them it'll be a lot better trip over, I can guarantee that," Calhoun quipped. "It'll be a lot easier to walk around the plane. And it's an 11 ½-hour flight. From a cordiality standpoint, it'll be a lot better, sociability, a lot better."

"Everybody says, 'you're real lucky, going to Hawaii.' Yeah, everybody else is going to enjoy themselves, I'm sure. But to me, it's trying to win three games. That's a difficult task, obviously."

***Starting lineup for tomorrow night: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi, TBD and TBD.

***Niels Giffey isn't letting his scoreless debut get him down.

"I think he's been working even harder," Calhoun said. "He had a couple of good exhibition games but didn't have a very good first game. That's going to happen with these kids. It's going to be a roller-coaster ride. It's somewhat predictable, having so many young kids."

Giffey said the thing he needs to work on the most is "the ability to stay focused all game. That's a big thing. It's really necessary to keep your focus, having good balance of being aggressive and looking for your own shot, and being a team player. That's a big difference between U.S. and European basketball, which I have to get used to."

We'll have video of more of Giffey's interview up here in a couple of hours -- including his thoughts on American cuisine (he likes pancakes).

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Monday, November 15, 2010

No Ollie

For those wondering, Kevin Ollie has yet to return to practice, according to UConn men's basketball spokesman Kyle Muncy. Not sure when Ollie will return to practice and/or games.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Song Remains the Same

In what may be one of the more pointless posts you'll see, my AP top 25 ballot for the first week of the season remains the same as my preseason ballot. No upsets, no losses, period, among my top 25. Briefly considered moving Georgetown down a notch for struggling to beat ODU, but quickly realized I would just be dropping them for the sake of making a change. Tough to punish a team for winning, especially on the road.

UConn? Not entering my thought process just yet, but it's not out of the realm that they'll be in consideration before this season is over.

"I had a dream/Crazy dream ..."

1. Duke
2. Michigan State
3. Ohio State
4. Kansas State
5. Pittsburgh
6. Villanova
7. Kansas
8. North Carolina
9. Illinois
10. Kentucky
11. BYU
12. Florida
13. Syracuse
14. Missouri
15. Washington
16. Purdue
17. Virginia Tech
18. Gonzaga
19. Memphis
20. Butler
21. Baylor
22. Tennessee
23. Georgetown
24. Temple
25. San Diego State

(Anyone know where that song quote came from?)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Man Behind the Mask

Who was that masked man?

Alex Oriakhi sure didn't look like the player who was often a bit overmatched a year ago as a freshman, kicking off his sophomore campaign in style on Friday night.

For one, there's that protective face mask he has to wear after getting his nose broken by a Charles Okwandu elbow in a pick-up game over a month ago.

Then there's the fact that the Big O snared a career-high 18 rebounds to go with 11 points in UConn's season-opening 79-52 trouncing of Stony Brook. Granted, the Seawolves' leading rebounder from a year ago (Tommy Brenton) is out for the season, and they feature only a couple of players taller than 6-foot-7.

But 18 rebounds is 18 rebounds, especially with Oriakhi playing with a bit more of an edge.

"Last year Alex, unlike his coach, was a terrific person to be around, jovial," said UConn coach Jim Calhoun. "I told him that's great on bus trips, etc., but not when you're going for a rebound."

So Oriakhi has made it a point to be a bit meaner this season.

"You can't be a nice guy in this game," said the 6-foot-9, 240-pound center. "I'm just trying to listen to what (Calhoun) says and follow guys like Jeff Adrien. He was real mean on the court. I'm just trying to change my demeanor on the court, because it's only going to help me.

"You've got to tell yourself, whoever you're going against can't outwork you."

And no one outworked Oriakhi on Friday night.

"If he's a double-double guy, which I believe he can be ... then we're a different team," said Calhoun.

Oriakhi's tip-in of a Donnell Beverly missed jumper at the first-half buzzer gave UConn a 39-31 lead entering the break. He kicked off a game-breaking, 12-0 run early in the latter half with a dunk off a Kemba Walker feed. Oriakhi also blocked a pair of shots and did his damage despite sitting out the final 8:18, as the Huskies had things well in hand.

Oh, and as for that face mask? Oriakhi has been cleared to shed it after Wednesday's bout with Vermont. Maybe.

"I might keep it," he quipped.

Some other opening night observations:

***UConn started three freshmen (Tyler Olander, Niels Giffey and Jeremy Lamb), believed to be the first time ever under Calhoun in a season-opener. Hasheem Thabeet, Jerome Dyson and A.J. Price each made their collegiate debuts in the Huskies' season-opener in 2006, but Price was technically a sophomore.

***Shabazz Napier scored 12 points in his collegiate debut and hit 4 of 6 3-pointers, including one from about 25 feet out and another seemingly ill-advised trey that banked in.

"That was a tough shot, I was kind of lucky, I guess. If I didn't bank that shot, I would have gotten yelled at, but I felt like it was coming off my fingers (well). I got a shooter's role, I guess."

Clearly, the kid's not afraid to put the ball up.

"That's what they want me to do. They offered me a scholarship to shoot the ball, so I'm going to shoot the ball. They're tough shots, but that's what I'm here for, to make tough shots."

***Lamb hoisted up 14 shots, making only five of them, but had a good all-around debut with 11 points, five boards, two blocks and two steals. He's a keeper.

***Olander got into early foul trouble and played just 10 minutes, scoring just four points. It was a better night than fellow frosh Niels Giffey, who went scoreless with one rebound in 12 minutes.

"Niels had just the worst night a guy could possibly have in every imaginable way," Calhoun said, as only Calhoun could.

***Jamal Coombs-McDaniel chipped in with nine points and seven boards and looked better after failing to graze the rim with his first few shots of the night. Kemba Walker led the way with 18 points.

***The Huskies held Stony Brook to a measly 15 percent (5-for-33) from the floor in the latter half.

"Fifteen percent is a pretty good half (defensively) for anybody," Calhoun noted.

***Seawolves coach Steve Pikiell, the former UConn guard and assistant coach, likes what he saw from the young Huskies.

"They play well together, they're a better passing team," Pikiell said. "You can tell (Calhoun is) excited about these guys. They've got good size, they play hard, they're kind of intriguing. I think people are going to be surprised. Coach will do a good job of coaching 'em up."

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Sticks in the House

Stanley Robinson is here, sitting a few rows behind the UConn bench.

Caught up with Sticks for a couple of minutes -- in between him sending text messages -- at halftime. He said he's weighing his options right now: either to play over in Israel or to play in the "D" League. Robinson appears to be leaning towards the latter option. The "D" League draft is Nov. 19, and assuming he's chosen (which is pretty much a given), he'll likely go that route.



Tyler Olander apparently was inadvertantly elbowed in the mouth by Michael Bradley during practice yesterday and had two teeth bent back. Olander went to a local dentist, got his teeth straightened out and got three stitches. He'll wear a mouthguard tonight, but he's in the starting lineup.

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Starting Lineup

Tonight's starting lineup: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Niels Giffey, Tyler Olander and Alex Oriakhi.

The Five Freshmen

Here's my season preview story from today's Register, which is basically all about UConn's incoming freshmen and how integral they'll be to the Huskies' success not only in the future, but right away. We only focus on five, here since Michael Bradley appears to be redshirt-bound. Of course, it'll jump back up to six when Enosch Wolf arrives in Storrs in mid-December.

Here's a game preview and capsule for tonight's season-opener against Stony Brook.

And finally, here's a breakdown of UConn's 2010-11 schedule.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Calhoun on Season-Opener ... and Ollie's Eye

Jim Calhoun spoke today about the freak eye injury suffered by new assistant Kevin Ollie yesterday in practice. He also talked about the excitement he feels at this time of year, with the Huskies' season-opener slated for tomorrow night at Gampel against Stony Brook.

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Injury Report

The Huskies were down a man today at practice.

Kevin Ollie sustained a freak injury in practice yesterday. Apparently, he was stretching out with one of those elastic bands prior to practice when it slipped off his foot and hit his right eye. Ollie had bleeding in his eye and is now wearing a protective eye patch. He's been prescribed bed rest, and his availability on the bench for tomorrow's season-opener is up in the air.

In fact, there's even a question of whether he'd be able to make the flight out to Hawaii in 10 days due to the cabin pressure in the plane.

The Huskies have contacted the proper channels, and Glen Miller will scoot over and serve as an assistant during Ollie's absence.

***Elsewhere: UConn's starting lineup tomorrow night is likely to be the same as in Sunday's exhibition vs. Bridgeport, according to Jim Calhoun: Niels Giffey, Tyler Olander, Donnell Beverly, Kemba Walker and Charles Okwandu. You might see Alex Oriakhi in the starting five rather than Okwandu, however.

"We'll probably find out in practice today," Oriakhi noted. "If you're on Kemba's team, you're in the starting lineup."

***Stony Brook is expected to challenge for the America East title this season, but the Sea Wolves probably would be giving UConn more of a challenge tomorrow night if they were healthy.

Instead, two of their best players are out with knee injuries. Star junior wing Tommy Brenton, who averaged 7.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last year, is out indefinitely. Sophomore point guard Marcus Rouse (4.4 ppg last year) is out for the first month of the season.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Say it Loud: Who's Big East's Best Coach?

Never been a big fan of ESPN: The Magazine. This week's issue, for example, is called "The Loud Issue." Great, an issue devoted to loud (read: obnoxious) people. Just what I want to read about.

Inside the issue is a college basketball preview, with each of the major conferences being subject to player surveys. Not surprisingly, in the Big East, Pittsburgh got 66.7 percent of the first-place votes, Villanova got 33.3 percent and not a single other team garnered a vote. Corey Fisher and Ashton Gibbs split as best player and St. John's Justin Burrell got 27.8 percent of the vote for biggest trash-talker (guess that makes him feel right at home in the "Loud Issue").

But here's the one that raised my eyebrows: in the Best Coach category, Jim Boeheim was first (44.4 percent) and Bob Huggins and Jay Wright tied for second (22.2 apiece). Interesting that Jim Calhoun and his two national titles got beaten out by three coaches who have a combined one (Boeheim). I guess the perception out there right now is that Calhoun has lost a little off his fastball. We'll see.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Calhoun was Forthright with Boatright

In case there was any question of whether there is a lot of negative recruiting going on against UConn and Jim Calhoun right now, Tanesha Boatright confirmed it on Monday.

"I won’t name who has," said Tanesha, Ryan Boatright's mom, "but I will say this: Coach Calhoun never spoke negative towards any other program. He could have fired back, said 'they think this about us, what about them? They never won.' He concentrated on what happens at UConn."

"There was a lot of negativity towards UConn, there really was," she added. "I was surprised to see how this whole thing works."

But Ryan still wound up choosing. Here's the story from today's Register.

With all that Boatright has been through in his recruitment -- committing to USC at age 13, rescinding it a few years later when coach Tim Floyd left, committing to West Virginia then de-committing a few days later after the Mountaineers welcomed another point guard -- you'd think he'd be wary of committing to a program that could get hit with further NCAA sanctions over the next month or so.

But Boatright and his mom took Calhoun at his word that things should be fine in Storrs.

“I took it into consideration," Ryan said. "From my understanding, hopefully they won't get that postseason stuff taken away. We understand some stuff will probably get taken away, but the kid (Nate Miles) never played for them, never practiced with them, so I don’t see why wouldn’t let them play (in the postseason)."

"Believe me, I asked questions," Tanesha said. "(Calhoun) just said, 'Just trust us, and believe everything is going to work out.' He would not intentionally put Ryan in a bad situation at all. He's a father, too. In the end, we're all going to trust that everything is going to be OK."

"I look at it like this," Tanesha sdded, "West Virginia had no stipulations on it. The NCAA wasn't investigating them, and look what they still did. You can walk into a situation that looks great for you and it's still not great for you. You have to do what's in your heart. Even LeBron (James), nobody expected him to do what he did, but he did what he had to do."

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Boatright Commits to UConn

Ryan Boatright, the 5-foot-11 guard out of suburban Chicago who's one of the top-rated point guards in the Class of 2011, has committed to UConn.

Boatright had committed to West Virginia a few weeks ago but de-committed just a few days later after the Mountaineers got a commitment from another point guard, Jabarie Hinds. Boatright visited UConn a couple of weekends ago and, after a visit to UNLV this past weekend, apparently liked what he saw in Storrs a lot more.

More to come ...


Waiting for Columbus

Was at my brother's wedding over the weekend in Columbus, Ohio, so I missed UConn's trouncing of Bridgeport in Sunday's exhibition game. Figured I'd post Register columnist Dave Solomon's take on the team, which I pretty much agree with -- this team will be likeable and full of surprises (some pleasant, some not so much). More than anything, they'll be a fun group to follow.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Shabazz Napier was probably the most impressive of UConn's five freshmen who played in Wednesday's blowout of AIC in the Huskies' exhibition season-opener at Gampel. He showed plenty of confidence and moxie -- maybe a bit too much at times -- hit a few tough shots and finished with 11 points.

Here's Napier hitting a tough, fallaway 3-pointer midway through the first half:


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hardest Working Team in Showbiz?

Not bad. Seriously, not bad at all.

Based on tonight's exhibition opener -- a 96-58 win over AIC -- the Huskies appear, if nothing else, to enjoy playing together. They have a bunch of players who can and will contribute, in a variety of different ways. They're deep and versatile. Some of the freshmen looked particularly good and all chipped in at least a little bit (except Michael Bradley, who didn't play and appears on the path to being red-shirted).

Now, rebounding -- that's a different story. The Huskies managed a 39-35 edge on the boards, but that doesn't fly against a Division 2 team that dresses not a single player over 6-foot-6. Jim Calhoun wasn't overly impressed with the effort.

"The thing we probably didn't do was keep our team motto, which is 'The Hardest Working Team in America,'" he said.
"Because AIC, for at least 20 minutes of the game, outworked us."

But there were far more plusses than minuses:

*** Kemba Walker was terrific, with a game-high 25 points to go with four steals.He canned a trio of 3-pointers and all six of his foul shots and authored the most impressive sequence of the night, hitting Alex Oriakhi with a nifty entry pass for a dunk, then stealing the ball at midcourt, hitting Jeremy Lamb with a pass, then catching a return pass and nailing a 3 to punctuate a 22-7 UConn run late in the game.

*** The Huskies shot an impressive 84 percent (31-for-37) from the foul line. And turned the ball over a miniscule five times.

As for the freshmen:

***Shabazz Napier was the most impressive. He 11 points and three assists and made two of the most impressive hoops of the night: a turnaround bank shot and a fallaway 3-pointer, both in the opening half. The kid plays with confidence and moxie.

"You have to, I guess," he said. "You don't want to go out there not feeling confident. You want to go out and make sure you play well for yourself, and your teammates. You might as well just sit on the bench next to Coach and talk about plays or something. Every time I step on the court, I play as hard as I can, because it might be my last time playing. You've got to find that drive inside you to play as hard as you can every day."

"I love Shabazz," said Walker. "I know he's going to be real good for us. We just need to be more aggressive, offensively. He's looking to pass a lot. I think we need him to take some shots. I think he's going to be real good."

Calhoun was more guarded with his compliments.

"Shabazz understands the game, he just holds onto the basketball too much," the coach said. "He wants to show he can dribble … I know that already."

*** I like Jeremy Lamb. Kid plays with a quiet confidence, and whatever hyperbole Calhoun uses about his wingspan is actually near-legit. Fella has some long arms.

Lamb's best play may have come on that Walker sequence. When Kemba hit him with the pass off the steal, Lamb dribbled to the lane but, with two men on him, had the presence of mind to kick back out to Walker on the perimeter for the trey.

*** Niels Giffey (eight points, two steals), Tyler Olander (four points, two boards) and Roscoe Smith (six points, five boards) each had their moments.

"Roscoe has a terrific, live body," Calhoun said. "In our league, you need that."


*** Charles Okwandu, the 7-foot senior, had 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds, though he didn't play particularly well. Same with Oriakhi, who added 11 points and six boards.

*** Calhoun was effusive in his praise of Donnell Beverly, who provided an infusion of energy on both offense and defense in 12 minutes off the bench.

"He's the most scared of not getting playing time," Calhoun said. "For him, there is no tomorrow."

*** Olander and Lamb both started ... and met with a little confusion in the pregame introductions.

"They called my name first, so I went out. After I slapped everybody's hand, I didn't know where to go. I just kind of stood there," Olander said. "Jeremy Lamb got called after, and he had no idea where to go, either. That was a little confusing."

*** Surprise, surprise: Andre Drummond was in the house, watching the game from behind the UCOnn bench.

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AIC 17, UConn 15

That's not the game score, it's the rebounding totals here at halftime. UConn is leading the game, 44-33, thanks to 12 points from Kemba Walker and 21-for-24 free throw shooting. But the fact that the Huskies are getting beaten on the boards by a team without a player over 6-foot-6 should be giving Jim Calhoun some fodder in the locker room right now.

The Huskies have looked good at times. Shabazz Napier has made a couple of nifty baskets -- a nice, fallaway bank shot and an even nicer fallaway 3-pointer (video later tonight). But he's made a couple of sloppy turnovers. Among the other freshmen, Tyler Olander, Jeremy Lamb, Niels Giffey and Roscoe Smith have all looked competent, though none have done anything particularly impressive.

But rebounding and inside play is, without question, a problem. Let the record show that Calhoun's first audible "F" bomb from the sidelines came with 51.9 seconds left in the half. A short time later, when Alex Oriakhi (two rebounds) was on the foul line, Calhoun shouted across the court: "Hit some god(bleep) free throws, you can't rebound!"

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

T.O. Says ...

No, not that T.O. This T.O., the Mansfield native who talks about donning the UConn uniform for the first time tomorrow night in the Huskies' exhibition match-up with AIC:

Elsewhere, just talked to Ryan Boatright by phone, and he says he intends to make his official visit to UNLV this weekend. Boatright says he'd like to make his decision in the fall, prior to his senior high school season begins, but says he isn't leaning one way or another right now.

"It's pretty much straight up the middle right now," he said.

Boatright isn't sure if he'll make another visit after UNLV.

If he does pick Vegas, perhaps he'll want to watch this some day:





NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2010 — HBO Sports has begun production on RUNNIN’ REBELS OF UNLV, a documentary about the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels men’s basketball team and their controversial coach, Jerry Tarkanian, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports. Debuting in 2011 on the eve of college basketball’s March Madness, the exclusive HBO presentation revisits the period from 1973 to 1992, when the Runnin’ Rebels embodied the brash, swaggering spirit of Las Vegas and the notion that winning and winning big was all that mattered.

“The Runnin’ Rebels’ impact on college basketball is indisputable,” said Greenburg. “Their accomplishments on the court made them royalty in Las Vegas, and their glamorous approach made them media stars nationally, but their coach’s enduring battle with the NCAA eventually triggered the end of the dynasty. We are going to chronicle their story, providing an in-depth portrait of the main characters who lit up the desert.”

RUNNIN’ REBELS OF UNLV examines the larger-than-life personalities of future NBA stars such as Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony and Stacey Augmon, as well as the eccentricities of their head coach, who was a lightning rod for controversy. Jerry Tarkanian put UNLV – once dismissed as “Tumbleweed Tech” – on the map in his first full season as head coach, leading the team to a 20-6 record in 1973. Implementing an up-tempo offense and preaching defensive intensity, he guided the Rebels to the Final Four four times and won the 1990 NCAA Championship with a 30-point drubbing of the Duke Blue Devils.

Billed as one of the greatest college basketball teams of all-time, the 1990-1991 Rebels became the first team in 12 seasons to go undefeated during the regular season before losing in the Final Four to archrival Duke in a heartbreaking 79-77 defeat. UNLV has not been back to the Final Four since. Overall, UNLV’s basketball program compiled a jaw-dropping 509-105 record under Tarkanian.

The NCAA consistently plagued the Rebels throughout Tarkanian’s time as head coach, placing UNLV on two-year probation for alleged recruiting violations and attempting to suspend Tarkanian in 1977. Although the coach fought the suspension and was allowed to continue coaching, problems with the NCAA came to a head in 1987 when one of Tarkanian’s prized recruits was caught buying cocaine from an undercover police officer. The Rebels were subsequently prohibited from postseason competition in 1992, when the team finished with a 26-2 record, playing for pride instead of the playoffs.

Jerry Tarkanian departed as head coach of the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels on June 7, 1992. He went on to coach the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, but was fired in a dispute with the team’s owner after just 20 games. While coaching for his alma mater Fresno State in 1998, Tarkanian was vindicated by an out-of-court $2.5 million settlement with the NCAA, which he claimed had tried to drive him from college basketball.

HBO Sports’ documentary group has earned 30 Sports Emmy® Awards and eight Peabody Awards over the years. HBO’s rich history of college basketball films includes “Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs. Carolina” (2009), “The UCLA Dynasty” (2007), “Perfect Upset: The 1985 Villanova vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship” (2005) and “City Dump: The Story of the 1951 CCNY Basketball Scandal” (1998).

The executive producers of RUNNIN’ REBELS OF UNLV are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Joe Lavine; produced by George Roy and Steve Stern.

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Roscoe Likely No-Go vs. AIC

Here's a bit of what Andre LaFleur told reporters today before practice, regarding tomorrow night's season-opening exhibition bout with AIC (7:30 p.m. start).

***Roscoe Smith has tweaked his left ankle will be a "game-time decision" tomorrow night, according to LaFleur. Sounds like Smith won't be playing, but the injury is "nothing serious," the coach added.

***No word on the starting lineup. Kemba Walker and Alex Oriakhi seem like givens, and Charles Okwandu would appear likely since Jim Calhoun often favors seniority in these early exhibition games.

***Donnell Beverly has been back on the practice floor after suffering an ankle injury and should be ready to go tomorrow.

***Jeremy Lamb may see some time at point guard this season, according to LaFleur.

***Don't put too much stock in stats and results from tomorrow night's game. Don't forget, when the Huskies played AIC last Nov. 4 in their exhibition opener, Oriakhi had 16 points and 16 boards.

"We thought we had the second coming of Dennis Rodman on the boards," LaFleur noted.

It didn't exactly pan out that way the rest of the season, however.

***AIC freshman guard Janek Schmidkunz hails from Berlin and played on the same ALBA Berlin team that Niels Giffey played on last year. In fact, LaFleur saw Schmidkunz hit 6-of-6 3-pointers in a game while he was recruiting Giffey.

***Some local flavor on the AIC roster: Jason Perrier, a 6-3 freshman guard, and Braxton Gardner, a 6-5 redshirt frosh guard, each hail from Bridgeport. Mark Ellis, a 6-6 freshman forward, is from Stamford.

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Big East Expansion Approved

The Big East presidents have approved expansion, agreeing that the league would be better served by increasing the number of Bowl Subdivision football-playing members to 10. They unanimously approved the process to evaluate the terms and conditions for potential expansion candidates.

"Today, our Board of Directors affirmed a set of key strategic initiatives, including expansion, designed to enhance membership stability and maximize our value," stated Commissioner John Marinatto.

Marinatto said the conference will refrain from commenting further on the expansion process.

***Jim Calhoun won't be available to the media before practice today as both he and George Blaney were attending the funeral of an old friend. Calhoun apparently is a pall bearer at the funeral. He is expected to be at the Huskies' 4:30 p.m. practice.

We'll talk with assistant coach Andre LaFleur prior to practice.

***Some UConn-AIC notes:

Calhoun graduated from AIC in 1968. He was a two-time All-New England player for the Yellow Jackets and, in fact, twice played against UConn (scoring nine points on Dec. 4, 1963 and a team-high 27 on Dec. 1, 1964)

UConn is 20-0 all-time against AIC in the regular season, and Calhoun is 6-2 (all while at Northeastern). The only three times the Huskies have played AIC under Calhoun have been exhibition games. UConn defeated the Yellow Jackets, 75-59, on Nov. 1, 2006 at Gampel Pavilion – but trailed 36-35 at halftime! In 2008, the Huskies rolled to an 83-58 rout. On Nov. 4, 2009, UConn rolled to a 106-67 whitewash behind 28 points and 12 assists from Kemba Walker, 25 points from Stanley Robinson, 17 from Gavin Edwards and 16 points and 16 rebounds from Alex Oriakhi

UConn is 39-6 in exhibition games under Calhoun, including 32 wins in a row dating back to a loss to Marathon Oil on Nov. 21, 1993 at Gampel.

More to come ...

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