Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Calhoun: Boatright Frustrated Right Now

For those who see Jim Calhoun screaming maniacally on the sidelines during games, it may come as a surprise that he’s normally pretty serene during practice.

That changed briefly on Wednesday. Calhoun appeared peeved at something Ryan Boatright had done, and Boatright appeared to talk back to the coach.

“Shut the (bleep) up!” Calhoun loudly exclaimed.

Boatright got quiet in a hurry.

“There are a couple of words you can say to them to let them know you don’t want them speaking, and the conversation has come to an end and (they) just don’t know it,” Calhoun said after practice. “There are certain words you can use to say that are right to the point.”

Calhoun said Boatright is just a little frustrated right now – not so much on the court, but off it. The NCAA has yet to clear him to play due to an eligibility question, and it appears he won’t be able to go in UConn’s season-opener Friday night.

After practice, Boatright said something to the coach about his own play.

“I’m not worried about your play,” Calhoun said. “I’m worried about you getting down.”

“He’s missed two exhibition games,” Calhoun added. “It’s difficult for him.”

It seems Calhoun is a bit frustrated by the situation. He seemed to try to measure his words when talking about the situation on Wednesday.

“The situation’s somewhat simplistic,” he said. “We’re looking at case precedents … We’d love to have him back on Friday, but I have no idea (when) … He will return. When, I don’t know.”

He added that the NCAA has never “formally talked to” the UConn basketball program. “They didn’t include us in any discussions.”


*** Niels Giffey spent most of Wednesday’s practice on a stationary bike and appears doubtful for Friday. His ankle is more sore than his knee is, Calhoun said.

*** Calhoun is happy with UConn’s non-conference schedule: “It’s a deceptively tougher schedule than people think.”

*** Alex Oriakhi on his two disappointing exhibition performances: “I could have been more aggressive, as far as rebounding. Hopefully, I’m going to get more minutes than I did in the last game.”

“I feel when I’m on the court, I can get a rhythm. I wasn’t able to get a lot of playing time last time, which was unfortunate. But the rest of our big men stepped up.”

*** Calhoun said likely the same starting five for Friday as Sunday’s exhibition finale: Oriakhi, Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith, Tyler Olander and Jeremy Lamb. Yup, that means Andre Drummond makes his collegiate debut off the bench.

Said Drummond: “I’ve come off the bench before. I’m not used to really coming off, but that’s some of the things you’ve got to get adjusted to. I’m not expecting to start or anything like that. I know I need to come in and play my role. Hopefully, one of these games I do end up starting.”

Drummond has been struggling from the foul line in practice and missed his lone attempt in an exhibition game. There’s a reason, he says: “I wasn’t always a bad free throw shooter, but my arms got longer out of nowhere, for some reason. That kind of threw me off a little bit, so I was trying to figure out my muscle memory to get it all back again … It’ll be back shortly.”

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November 10, 2011 at 2:17 AM 

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