Observations from UConn Practice
Drummond checked into the school infirmary on Friday and will stay overnight as a precaution. Seems highly doubtful he'll play in Wednesday's exhibition with AIC.
“We will not rush to have Andre for Wednesday or any target date,” said Jim Calhoun. “We want him ready for the whole year, that's what's important. To rush him back for an exhibition makes no sense if it sets him back. We need him long term more than just Wednesday.”
*** Meanwhile, with Michael Bradley sidelined until at least December with a fractured ankle, and Enosch Wolf now out at least a week with a strained right groin, UConn is woefully thin at the big man position.
But that's the least of their problems right now, according to Calhoun.
“I’m really concerned with our offense," Calhoun said. "We’re turning the ball over, not shooting well. The past few days we’ve shot 39 percent, we’re not making 3’s. Defensively, I actually think we look pretty good … (but) we don’t have an offensive leader.”
He said Jeremy Lamb, Drummond and Alex Oriakhi have been assertive offensively. Beyond that, not so much.
Calhoun seems particularly peeved at Shabazz Napier, who's "not playing particularly well, either emotionally or otherwise," and was replaced in the starting lineup on Friday by frosh Ryan Boatright.
Oriakhi agreed that Napier could be playing better right now.
“I think it’s kind of hard to ask so much from a sophomore, but that’s the role that’s been given to him," Oriakhi said. "They wouldn’t have asked that of him if he wasn’t able to do it. I just think he needs to slow down a little bit. He’s definitely been hitting shots and playing great defense, but he needs to slow down, take his time and be a little patient – especially with the big men, because his passes are hard to catch, and my hands aren’t the best. I tell him he’s got to be patient with me sometimes.”
*** Oh, and don't be mad at Allen, the Windsor resident who played at Windsor High and Bridgeton Academy. He looks athletic and impressive and has seen some time at point guard in practice, even though, "he's not a point guard, but we try to get him into that in case we have injuries," according to Calhoun. "By nature, he’s a very fun, explosive athlete to watch. But he’s not necessarily a structured guy. He probably came to the right place, as opposed to a Princeton-type offense. I don’t think he’d fit in a Princeton-type offense, suffice to say.”
*** My own personal observation from today's practice: frosh DeAndre Daniels boasts a feather-soft shooting touch.
“Every night I’m here around 9 p.m. to try to make my shot better," Daniels said. "I work on it every day.”
He figures he'll be playing the 2 and 3 this year, though with all the frontcourt injuries, expect him to see time at the 4, as well.
Daniels, a southern California native who went to school in Florida last year, frollicked in Thursday night's snow, making snowballs and thoroughly enjoying the experience.
“Enjoy it now," his teammates told him, "because you’re going to hate it in January.”
*** Calhoun referenced West Virginia's move to the Big 12 on Friday.
“Who won that wrestling contest today?" he asked.
"West Virginia," he was told.
“OK, good. I thought they might be able to pin (Louisville) in the third round.”
*** As for the APR stuff, we'll just go to the videotape. It's Jim Calhoun at either his best or, depending on your vantage point, his worst. I might side with the latter: