Saturday, June 11, 2011

Calhoun Spins His Spokes, Then Speaks

Jim Calhoun participated in his fifth annual ride and walk against cancer on Saturday. Starting amidst a torrential downpour ("I'm a rain-maker," he noted), the clouds were clearing by the time he finished his bike ride.

Fitting, as things couldn't be much sunnier for the UConn men's basketball program these days.

Here's a little of what Calhoun said on a number of topics Saturday afternoon in Simsbury:

(On what he's telling prospective recruits about his future at UConn)

“Whatever answer I’m giving them, apparently, they like it.”

(On the Huskies' program as a whole)

“I want the program to be like Carolina’s and, somewhat Duke, but more like Carolina’s in the sense that Bill Guthridge went to the Final Four when Dean (Smith) left, Matt (Doherty) had a really great year then a not such a great year and Roy (Williams) came in and they moved on. What we’re selling in our situation is the ability to get you ready to succeed, get to postseason play and get to the NBA. We had a pretty good year this year doing that.”

“The program is exactly where we want it to be.”

(On the team's APR situation)

“We just need some change, so that we don’t have a situation like we did with the APR. Not drastic change, just change. It’s actually already built in there, we’ve just got to get everybody aboard.”

“Having Susan (Herbst, the school's incoming president) out here like this is, I think, terrific. She was at the Final Four, at the Big East. We need people to be active, just like our coaches are active.”

(On the recruiting efforts of Kevin Ollie and Glen Miller)

“They’ve done a terrific job, I didn’t expect anything less. When Kevin Ollie talks, you’re going to listen … (Glen) knows the terrain, he knows what he’s doing, he’s smart and he’s a great basketball guy. I thknk a lot of times we lock too many things into Kevin Ollie, Glen Miller or whomever it may be. It’s UConn. We happen to have very good guys in place, doing a wonderful job. But we’ve had other good players come in before. We got Ray Allen, we got Emeka, we got Ben Gordon ... we've got some guys who can play a little bit. I’ve always said that one of the greatr recruiting jobs of all-time in recognizing that he would be good was Andre (LaFleur) with Hasheem Thabeet. I didn’t’ see what he saw. He saw that, and plenty of other coaches didn’t see that. He did.”

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