Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jeremy Lamb Goes to Timeout

Nowhere in the UConn men's basketball record book is there a mention of "Longest Time it Took to Dribble the Ball Through the Husky at Midcourt." Jim Calhoun believes the old record may have been about three seconds, until Thursday night.

"It took us five seconds to get the ball across, through the Husky," Calhoun exclaimed.

So, he called a timeout -- five seconds into the half. Apparently, that's not a record either, according to Maine coach Ted Woodward (a former UConn assistant).

"I do believe I've seen that once before, a long time ago," Woodward said with a smile. "I wasn't surprised."

During the TO, Calhoun really laid into Jeremy Lamb, the ballhandler who didn't push the ball fast enough.

“He was just trying to push me,” Lamb explained. “He didn’t think I was playing as hard as I could, so he just basically told me to pick it up.”

Apparently, Calhoun’s trigger-finger timeout and tirade sunk in, as UConn responded with a 23-2 run to open the latter half en route to an 80-60 win over Maine Thursday night before 10,726 at the XL Center.

“I hate taking timeouts, I hate yanking them in an out,” Calhoun, who's been doing such for years, insisted. “But we seem to make a lot of the same mistakes.”

*** Calhoun wasn't happy overall after the game. He says the team still lacks an identity and isn't playing with enthusiasm. He acted like the team had just lost by 20, not won by 20. To me, he's trying to energize and motivate this team. They're not playing that poorly, though there's certainly a lot of room for improvement.

The only player he thought played well on Thursday was Andre Drummond, who finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds (11 of them offensive) and four blocks.


The downside: Drummond was a grisly 1-for-8 from the foul line (and the misses weren't even close) and is now shooting 23 percent (3-for-13) from the stripe this season.

“Andre’s already asked about coming back and shooting foul shots,” Calhoun said. “I’m not going to worry about it … He’s going to work at it. I’ll take the package he is right now.”

“I was like, yeah, I’m going back as soon as I get back to the gym," Drummond admitted. "I’m going to change in my practice gear and going to shoot. I’m not going to make any excuses. That’s just me, right now. I’ve just got to go out and work harder, and make sure I get my free throws down.”

Drummond didn't start, but that could change soon.

“I’m not going to keep a guy with 11 offensive rebounds on the bench, that’s for sure," Calhoun said.

*** Personally, I thought DeAndre Daniels (in the first half) and Shabazz Napier also played pretty well. Daniels, in his first start, scored 11 of his 15 points in the opening half, canning a pair of 3-pointers, though he cooled off in the latter. He wound up with seven rebounds.

Napier, still playing very much under control with the knowledge that Ryan Boatright isn't there to back him up, picked and chose his spots nicely and finished with eight points, five rebounds and three assists. He twisted his ankle with about eight minutes left and never returned, but it doesn't appear to be serious.

*** Boatright continues to sit out as the NCAA explores his eligibility. According to Calhoun, it appears college sports’ governing body is now determining the enforcement process. If UConn receives no word by Friday at 5 p.m., it likely won’t hear anything until Monday at the earliest, meaning Boatright’s trip with the team to the Bahamas could be in jeopardy.

*** Calhoun was asked about the molestation charges levied Thursday against longtime Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine.

“I know nothing about it,” he said. “I’d be shocked, just like I was about Penn State … anybody in America, I’d be shocked by it … (Sexual abuse of children) is just a horrific thing for America.”

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