Friday, March 18, 2011

Calhoun's Cincinnati Bungle?

One of the main sidebars heading into tomorrow night's UConn-Cincy matchup (9:40 p.m., TBS) will be the Jim Calhoun-Mick Cronin-Kemba Walker "controversy."

A couple of weeks ago, Calhoun was asked about the fact that at least one coach didn't vote for Walker as a first-team all-Big East selection (Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough was the lone unanimous selection).

Calhoun rightly called it "ridiculous" that Walker wasn't unanimous, but then proceeded to seemingly lay blame on Cronin, for whom Walker was bound to play for until UConn swooped in with a late scholarship offer.

"Someone mentioned that before we played one team, that he had committed to, that they’re still upset three years later," Calhoun said. "My advice is, ‘Get over it.’ In the final analysis, in Kemba’s life it’s not going to make any difference. He’s a first-team all-Big East player. He’ll probably have a longer career than that coach who didn’t’ vote for him.”

Calhoun apparently arrived at this conclusion after reading a Feb. 27 article in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Here's the article: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110226/SPT0101/102270341/Cincinnati-almost-got-UConn-star-Kemba-Walker

Not sure how Calhoun interpreted that as evidence that Cronin didn't vote for Walker, but the UConn coach sometimes seems to need to find enemies where they don't exist.

Cronin was asked about the situation after Cincy's win over Missouri late last night. Here's what Cronin said:

"(Calhoun and I) are both big fans of each other. And he gave me a call earlier in the week, and it's like I told him, I look up to him, I have great respect for him. I appreciated his call. He's protecting his player. He knows now I love his player and I voted for his player. So it's nice.
One thing about me is, because of the way I was raised, I like handling things the way they should be handled between coaches like the old days. I'm young, but I look at myself like I'm an old school guy. And it's an honor to coach against him."

We'll ask Calhoun about it all at today's press conference around 3:30 p.m. Be sure to join me for an online chat at 4:45 p.m., where I'll have more information on what happened at today's practice and pressers.

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