Leaks and Valleys
"We had to move around a little bit," he deadpanned. "It kind of helped us."
Indeed, Calhoun noted after watching film of Tuesday's unimpressive win over UNH that the Huskies were uncharacteristically slow. Even Kemba Walker. While UConn's travel schedule from Hawaii may have contributed to that, Calhoun wants his team to be more consistent.
“If it’s just effort, I’ll take that right now," he said. "Our effort has been so great through 32 practices. We need to have that full, all-out effort in every game we play. That will lead to more fast breaks and, more importantly, better defense.
“We’ve got to have a better effort. I don’t think anybody’s lackadaisical … but they can’t go by the name on the front of the jersey. They’ve got to go by playing basketball to the best of their abilities.”
The Huskies might be able to get by without their 'A' game tomorrow night, however. UMBC is 0-6, including a loss to Howie Dickenman's Central Connecticut State a couple of weeks ago. The Retrievers have also lost to Penn, Duquesne, Loyola (Md.), VMI and future UConn opponent Coppin State.
***Calhoun critiqued the performances of a few of his freshmen against UNH: "We need more consistency from Niels (Giffey). Defensively, for the first time, he didn't have a particularly good game. Jeremy Lamb, what I thought before we started, I feel today: yesterday in practice, he was unstoppable. Shabazz (Napier) has been terrific on defense, but he wasn't as good against UNH. He went for the steal too many times ... Shabazz could start, but I think he's more effective for the team off the bench."
***Always good to give props to a local boy (OK, local man ... he'll be 25 in January). UMBC is led by Travis King, a New Haven native who is a graduate student at the school after graduating from George Washington University last spring.
King, a 6-foot-2 guard, leads the Retrievers in scoring at 15 points per game and is shooting 58 percent from the floor – including an impressive 55 percent (17-for-31) on 3-pointers. He and junior Chris De La Rosa (14 ppg) are “two terrific guards,” according to Calhoun.
King is a former Hyde Leadership standout who earned Register second team all-state honors after averaging 18.4 points, five steals, four rebounds and 6.7 assists as a senior. He played three seasons at GWU, averaging 4.9 points per game over his career. He missed all but one minute of the 2007-08 season after fracturing his right knee cap in November and earned a medical hardship waiver.
King earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from GWU last year and is pursuing his master’s in the same discipline at UMBC.