Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jim Calhoun: 'Right Now, Everything We're Doing is Planning for Next Year'

Jim Calhoun was at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington this evening to present Dee Rowe with the Community Service Award at the 2012 Franciscan Sports Banquet and Silent Auction.

New York Giants Chris Snee, David Diehl and Kevin Boothe were also there to receive the Saint Francis Award.

Calhoun had plenty to say about the status of both himself and the UConn program right now. Here's some of what he had to say:



(What will UConn be playing for next year?)

“There’s a lot to play for … Every game that we’ve ever played, in it’s own way, has had some special importance.

(Warde Manuel said he had no doubt you'll coach team next year. Is it even worth us asking you that question anymore?)

“It’s really not worth asking … right now, everything we’re doing is planning on next year. Last year, quite frankly, after the championship, there was time to pause. ‘OK, you’re at this particular pinnacle, what do you do from here?’ But right now … I really donm’t start thinking about the road trips, etc., until August or September ... The important thing is how I feel as a coach, and am I able to give my kids everything I possibly can. The fact that I have two years on my contract doesn’t mean anything … there’s really nothing to talk about, in my mind. If I decide it’s not the year, it’s not the year.  I love the staff, love the kids coming in, love the guys coming back.”

“The first thing Warde Manuel told me was, 'I played for Bo Schembechler, who made all his decisions on how he wanted to do it.' Dean Smith did it the exact same way. He retired on Oct. 1 … My point being, I never feel rushed. I knew we had to get through the semester, we did exceptionally well, I know we had to get a few more players to add to the roster, and I know I’m talking on the phone to a lot of recruits.”

(How's recruiting going?)

“Couple kids coming up in June, I would think August would be a very big month for us. Quite a few kids scheduled for unofficial visits.”

(What's the most important thing to incoming recruits?)

“Three letters: N-B-A ... If you say to a kid, ‘I remember going down to Dalzell, S.C., No. 34 – the number (Ray Allen) wore at that time – and now we’ve got two kids in the draft, both probably lotteries, and Rudy Gay, Caron Butler, the whole thing. That seems to be the best advertisement we have going, particularly because not a lot of those kids were McDonald’s All-Americans."

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