Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tom Moore Doesn't Dwell on What Could Have Been for Him at UConn

Had a nice chat with Tom Moore recently. Moore brings Quinnipiac to the Paradise Jam this week -- the school's first-ever trip to an in-season, invitational tournament. It's a great opportunity for his program, and obviously raises the possibility of Moore going up against UConn for the first time since the whole Nate Miles/Josh Nochimson/Yahoo ! Sports affair.

Moore had some interesting things to say, as I wrote for the story in today's Register. He doesn't dwell on what his future at UConn could have been had the whole Miles not thing gone down. Rather, he couldn't be happier for Kevin Ollie, or for where he is right now.

"Coach Calhoun and I had had a lot of dialogue about his eventual successor, tons of discussions about it the last seven, eight years," Moore said. "I think we had some serious talks about it in March, April last year. But on (the day Ollie was hired), I didn’t have emotions like that. Kevin’s such a special person to all of us. I’m happy for him.”

He added: “I try to explain to people, getting the head coaching job at a place that successful, you really have to have everything line up perfectly. The timing has to be right on every level for it to happen for you. If you go back 10, 12 years, there was a window for different people to get the job. Dave Leitao might have been the most logical choice people considered. There was a window where Karl Hobbs was a logical candidate, and a window where I was a logical candidate. I think the way everything’s shaken down, Kevin was the logical choice at this time.”

Anyway, we'll be meeting with Kevin Ollie and some players Thursday evening before they head to the Sports & Fitness Center of the University of the Virgin Islands for practice. We'll have some video and more notes and quotes Thursday night. Until then, here are a few UConn-oriented tidbits regarding the Paradise Jam:

*** UConn is 14-3 all-time against the teams it could face this week. Its never faced Mercer or UIC and is 1-0 against New Mexico, 1-1 against Wake Forest, 3-1 against Iona and 9-0 vs. Quinnipiac.

Oh, and also 0-1 against George Mason -- but then you probably already knew that.

*** Wake Forest is young. Three of the Demon Deacons' five starters and five of their top eight players are freshmen. Their best player, however, is a senior -- guard C.J. Harris, who tossed in a team-high 19 in the team's season-opening win Friday over Radford.

*** Intriguing storylines this week re: UConn potential opponents: Quinnipiac (obviously, Tom Moore); Iona (Kemba's former Rice High teammate, Momo Jones); New Mexico (coached by Steve Alford); Geroge Mason (revenge!?!?!?).

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