Just spoke to Jim Calhoun for the first time since UConn's season ended last Thursday in a loss to Iowa State. Here's some of what he had to say.
Calhoun knows he has to come to a decision quickly
whether he’ll return to coach UConn for a 27th
season, and that
decision should be made shortly after the Final Four is over.
“Despite what other people think, I realize it’s not the
best thing for UConn to have this situation,” Calhoun said about questions
about whether or not he’ll return. “We need
to, for recruiting purposes and other things, keep the program stable,
and I don’t think this can be a long-term situation, nor will it be. By the
time the college basketball season is over, word will be coming out of Storrs
about our future. I don’t think there’s any way we can leave ourselves out
Of course, many other questions surround the program’s
future, as well. Alex Oriakhi is looking into transferring to another program.
“We met (Wednesday) morning, and the only thing Alex told
me was that he was exploring his options,” Calhoun said. “I know what other
people have said in the papers, but beyond that, that’s the only conversation
Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond are also prospective NBA
lottery picks who need to decide whether or not they’ll return to UConn by
April 10. Calhoun has never stood in the way of a player who has the chance to earn millions of dollars. But still ...
“Jeremy seems to be the one more in the process of trying
to make up his mind,” Calhoun said. “There are reasons some teams really like
him and for him to think very seriously about it.”
It seems there’s more of a possibility of Drummond
returning to UConn, however.
“The only conversation I’ve had with Andre, he told me, ‘Coach,
I want to be here,’ and we talked about things he needs to work on,” Calhoun
said. “All we really talked about was looking at the Junior National team this
But the coach added that he will soon have serious
conversations with Drummond, his mother and uncle about what the 6-foot-10
freshman center should do next.
“Without any question, he and I will have the opportunity
in the coming days to talk more about his future. With his potential and the
possibility of his draft status, that discussion will come up.”
Then there’s the likelihood that UConn will be banned
from the 2013 NCAA tournament due to recent poor Academic Progress Rate (APR)
scores. The Committee on Academic Progress has met twice to discuss possibly
using scores from 2010-11 and 2011-12 (which would make UConn eligible) rather
than scores from 2009-10 and 2010-11. The committee has also had recent
conference calls about the subject and will meet again April 23-25, but still
may not come to a decision until July.
“My understanding,” Calhoun said, “is that a final
resolution will be given some time in May.”
Labels: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Jim Calhoun