Drummond Could Play vs. AIC
Drummond, who suffered a mild concussion and broken nose in practice on Friday, has been participating in non-contact drills. He was fitted for a mask and will try it on before the exhibition opener with AIC. If he feels comfortable with it on during UConn's 2:30 p.m. shootaround, he'll likely see some time -- though he won't be in the starting lineup.
Jim Calhoun said tomorrow's starting five will likely be Jeremy Lamb (who has clearly emerged as the team's leader, per the coach), Shabazz Napier (who has shown improvement in practice over the past few days), Alex Oriakhi, freshman DeAndre Daniels and Tyler Olander (who's been "our best overall big guy," according to Calhoun).
Here's my advance on the exhibition opener. A few other notes and quotes from today's availability:
*** Impressive walk-on Brendan Allen should see some significant playing time on Wednesday.
*** Calhoun feels very good about the team's man-to-man defense. The fast break has been better, too, now that Napier has been playing better.
*** Napier said he's been dealing with a sprained left ankle and a left knee injury, but is healthy now.
*** Kemba Walker and Kevin Ollie were complaining about not getting calls during scrimmages in practice. Ollie, apparently, even lobbied for a three-second violation.
"There has never been a call for the gray team," Calhoun said, "and there never will be."
*** When asked about Tony LaRussa's decision to retire as a world champion, Calhoun said, "Smart man." But he went on to stress how he has no desire to retire right now from a job he loves so much.
*** Jeremy Lamb apparently doesn't read his own press clippings. When asked how he felt about being named an AP Preseason First Team All-American, Lamb responded: “I think I heard about it yesterday. I can’t say it’s surprising, but I guess it’s a good accomplishment.”
*** Calhoun scored 27 points for AIC in a game at UConn on Dec. 1, 1964. His most memorable stat from that game?
"Eight stitches from Toby Kimball."
Indeed, Kimball tore down 28 rebounds that night, to go with 30 points in a 98-67 Husky win.
*** Enosch Wolf (right groin) has returned to practice and will be in uniform tomorrow night.