Thursday, March 22, 2012

Calhoun Talks; Says Drummond 'Wants To Be Here'

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 there.”

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 we’ve had.”

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 summer.”

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.”

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Anonymous TCAFF said...

The NCAA knows the time table and they want to make certain that it fouls up UCONN's program as much as it can. They hate Jim and they hate UCONN. They are not level headed people, they are people with vendettas and an I'll show you mentality. Why else would a grown man remove the opportunity of a lifetime from a kid that is doing his classwork, a team that is doing their work. Punishing them for teams and players of the past seems illegal, but they will get away with the delay and the program will have to be rebuilt. They win this round of GO FISH! They got what they wanted. A H es

March 25, 2012 at 9:17 PM 

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