Thursday, June 28, 2012
UConn to Face Cincinnati, DePaul, PC and South Florida Twice
The Huskies will play Cincinnati, DePaul, Providence and South Florida both home and away. They'll also host Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, Syracuse and Villanova, while traveling to play Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John's and Seton Hall.
Here are all matchups for all the conference teams next season:
Home: Connecticut, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: Connecticut, DePaul, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Syracuse
Home: Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Providence, Rutgers, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, USF
Home: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova
Away: Connecticut, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, USF, Syracuse
Home: DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse
Away: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Marquette, Notre Dame, Rutgers, St. John's, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Home: Cincinnati, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse
Away: Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Home: Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse
Away: Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, USF, Villanova
Home: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova
Away: Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, USF, Syracuse
Home: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Villanova
Home: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Home: Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, USF
Away: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova
Home: Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, USF
Away: Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, Syracuse, Villanova
Home: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Providence, Rutgers, USF, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's
Home: Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova
Home: Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Villanova
Away: Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, Seton Hall, USF, Villanova
Home: Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, USF, Syracuse
Away: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Andre Drummond Talks Draft, UConn, His Work Ethic, His Mom
Here's some of what Drummond had to say (Jeremy Lamb, by the way, was a no-show):
(on his workouts and everything leading up to the draft)
“It’s a lot of joy and excitement. I’m excited to be here, and I can’t wait for tomorrow to come around.”
(what NBA players have given him advice, and what have they told him)
Drummond has worked out for Portland, Sacramento, Cleveland, Charlotte and Washington. He went head-to-head, fullcourt, with Thomas Robinson at Charlotte.
He said he's hearing he could go anywhere from No. 2 to No. 7 in the draft, but doesn't put any stock into what people are saying in the media.
“I’ve never read anything in the media since I was in high school … I never read what people say about me. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. Whether people say good tihjings or bawd things, I just stay away from it.”
“Hearing stuff like that, I don’t get upset about it. Nobody knows what I’m capable of doing. They just saw what they saw this year … everybody changes from year to year. They had the same doubts about Dwight Howard, and look where he is now.”
“Whatever team I go to, all that talk is going to be put to rest, because I am a hard worker, there’s nothing wrong with my motor.”
(how he'll be able to help a team as a rookie)
Drummond said he's lost 22 pounds since the end of the season, putting him around 275.
"I feel great, quicker laterally, moving quicker on my feet.”
He also said that his mom will move out with him to wherever he goes and live with him in his house, at least until he gets his second contract. At that point, he hopes to be able to buy her a house.
“She’s been my biggest supporter. She definitely needs to relax now.”
But, he added with a smile: “Her work isn’t over. She’s going to be my manager, so she’s got a lot of work to do. It feels great to be able to give back to her after she helped me out so much.”
Drummond said that, throughout the spring, he'd come down to New York to work on his game, particularly his offensive skills set and his free throw shooting.
(on his one season at UConn)
“Connecticut's like a big family. I love Connecticut with all my heart. The fans there are amazing, my teammates are amazing, coaching staff is great, but the fans are really amazing."
(did UConn's postseason ban hasten his departure for the NBA)
“I think I was going to leave regardless of the tournament or not. This is an opportunity that doesn’t ocme up too many times. It’s an opportulnity I needed to take, and move forward with my life.”
Andre Drummond Still Just a Big Kid from Middletown
It's easy to forget that Drummond is still just 18. He was one of the youngest players in the Big East this past winter and may be the youngest player to be drafted tomorrow night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. It's enough to make you realize he certainly could have used at least one more year at UConn, to mature as both a person and a player.
But then, it's doubtful Drummond's draft stock would have gotten a whole lot higher than it is right now. So in that sense, he made the right decision.
Oh, and in case you missed it, here's the story I wrote on Omar Calhoun's arrival at UConn that ran yesterday.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Report: UConn to Open '12-13 Season in Germany vs. Spartans
The Huskies, of course, have three German natives on their roster: junior Niels Giffey, sophomore Enosch Wolf and freshman Leon Tolksdorf. And Jim Calhoun will get a chance to play against his "dear, dear friend" Tom Izzo.
Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Omar Calhoun: 'I Was With UConn at Beginning, I'm Going to End Up With Them, Too' (w/video)
I did a story on Nolan last week, and had a chance to catch up with Omar today, shortly after he began his coursework and had a physical (he's 6-foot-5, people).
Calhoun committed to UConn a year ago and sent in his letter of intent in November. Around that same time, the NCAA announced its APR penalties that will leave the Huskies out of the 2013 NCAA postseason.
The $64,000 question, of course, is whether Calhoun ever reconsidered his commitment to UConn (yes, I know at that point he would have had to been released from his scholarship).
"I considered different things like that, a lot of things that had pro's and con's that I was looking at," he admitted. "But we have a family here at Connecticut, and you can't leave your family. That's the way I thought about it. I was with them at the beginning, I'm going to end up with them, too."
He added: "The way I think about it is, you don't need the tournament, really, to showcase what you want. You have the whole season to do that, so that's what I'm here to do."
Here's some of what else Calhoun had to say on Monday (the young man doesn't lack in confidence):
"I'm a competitor, I like to win. Shooting the ball, plus I can run the court. (I'm a) combo guard, I can play on the ball, off the ball, different positions, (play) defense, (be a) team leader, (be) vocal, different attritubes to win the game."
(known as a pure scorer, how he scores the ball)
"I can do everything. I can shoot the ball well, get to the rim both ways. I'm athletic, I can play above the rim. I can find guys, I can pull-up with the mid-range. It's hard to stop me."
(Can he be a vocal leader right off the bat as a freshman?)
"Yeah, definitely. It might take some time, getting accustomed to my teammates. But on the court, we're all basketball players, so I know how to put the game of basketball to my guys. That's what I'm gonna do."
(on what the coaching staff said of his potential for major minutes immediately)
"They just want to see me come here, work hard, be a leader, see me focused when I come in. That's what I'm here to do."
(on his sister, Sierra, who'll be a junior next season at Christ the King High in New York)
"She's a top-notch player. She's looking at Connecticut, too."
(on what it means to see Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb as likely lottery picks Thursday night, and all the other players UConn has sent to the NBA over the years)
"It just means that (Jim Calhoun) can get guys better. Guys buy into what he's saying, what he wants. You can be real successful."
*** One other think worth noting: it appears that, the denial of Michael Bradley's "hardship" request to transfer to Western Kentucky will likely hurt UConn's APR. If he had been able to play right away (like Alex Oriakhi will be able to, for different reasons), Bradley would have been a 3-for-3 last season at UConn -- two points for good academic standing in both semesters and one for retention in the first semester. The second semester retention point would have been waived, since it would have been viewed that he essentially had to transfer.
But since Bradley must sit out a year, UConn loses his retention point for the second semester. Hope that makes sense.
Friday, June 22, 2012
NBA Front Office Source, Scout Assess Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb Draft Stock
Front office source: "I'm hearing Drummond anywhere from 5-10, that's probably his range. Teams love his potential, his body, his athleticism. He's going to be pretty strong. He's a good shot-blocker, moves his feet pretty well. The concerns are free-throw shooting -- shooting in general -- but his free-throw shooting is poor. And, what kind of motor he has. He doesn't have the reputation of being a great worker, a self-starter. I hear he's a nice kid, but not a self-starter."
Eastern Conference scout: "I've got Drummond 2 to 8. He's the best physical specimen in the draft, without a doubt. He's physically the most gifted kid. There's questions about his skills set, his understanding of the game, and some questions about his motor and his desire. When he gets the money and becomes a rich young man, which he will very shortly, how motivated will he be?
"On some boards, he's in almost a separate category. He could be a big star ... or a big bust."
Drummond apparently recently worked out for the Charlotte Bobcats, who currently own the No. 2 overall pick.
Front office source: "I've heard 7 to 14 or 15 (overall). Obviously he's a very long, graceful athlete. He has the ability to play up against competition. He was one of the better players, probably the best player, on the Team USA U-19 team in Latvia last summer. He kind of carried that team. His versatility's intriguing. He shoots the ball well enough, though he needs to get a little better as a shooter. There aren't gaping holes in his game. Obviously, he needs to get stronger, be a little better as a shooter. The (UConn) coaches did have good things to say about his work ethic -- coming back at night, getting up extra shots. He's a bit of a low-energy kid, he's got that sleepy look to him. But the coaching staff says, 'Don't let that fool you. He will come back and do the work. You may have to push him some in games, though.'"
Along with the sprained ankle Lamb suffered last week barely five minutes into a workout with Toronto, there are some questions about Lamb's right. The front office source said Lamb's shoulder is "a little loose" -- meaning it has the tendency to pop out of joint.
"It's not a major thing, according to our doctors, but it's something he may need to get minor surgery on to tighten it up. It can pop out of joint easily and he gets a shooting pain. It's not a major surgery, there's no risk to it. He's had it pop out and shift around on him before. It's something where, if it repeated ... it could become an issue some season."
*** If you believe in mock drafts, both DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net have Drummond going sixth overall to Portland and Lamb eighth to the Raptors. Take that for what it's worth.
*** Oh, and this on Shabazz Napier, who recently left the Puerto Rican national team: Napier was experiencing what the UConn medical staff is terming "symptomatic discomfort" in his right foot --- the same foot that bothered him during last season, but not the same injury. He will be in a walking boot for the next six weeks to relieve any stress and then it will be re-evaluated.
The UConn medical staff feels he made the right decision to come home (from Puerto Rico) and have it treated rather than try to play on it and run the risk that it might have developed into something that could affect the upcoming season. He is at home and expected to be back on campus for the second session of summer school.
By all accounts, this is not a big deal, folks.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A Good Day for UConn Sports
Lamb's Agent: 'I Feel Good About Jeremy'
Schwartz, who already represents Jim Calhoun, Kemba Walker, Emeka Okafor and A.J. Price, also added another member of the UConn family to his cliental in the form of Jeremy Lamb.
“If he’s not able to, he’s not able to,” said Schwartz. “We’ll probably still try for teams to meet with him. He’s such a good kid, comes from such a good family, it’ll help for them to see him and get to know him.”
Schwartz still believes Lamb will be one of the 15 players invited to the green room on draft night, but can’t venture a guess where he’ll be selected.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
UConn AD Warde Manuel Talks APR (video)
"We can talk about the APR, that's how good my golf game is," Manuel said with a chuckle.
Wow, must be a struggle on the links for Manuel. In truth, he was ready and prepared to talk APR -- which was officially released by the NCAA today, pretty much making UConn's posteason ban for 2013 all but official -- and said he still had a "slight, slight hope" that the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) might include 2011-12 scores to determine postseason eligibility.
"Look, I’m happy for our student-athletes, first and foremost," Manuel said. "These kids have done a remarkable job. We have three teams with perfect scores, the majority of our teams are above 975 for the year – including basketball. Lots of our teams are above 975 for a four-year rate.
"(The men's basketball team) had a couple of bad years. The timing of the penalty structure was changed. That saddens me, for these kids and for our program.”
He added: “I”ll continue to fight for what I believe is right. They should have allowed membership more time to adjust, they should expedite the way they review the data and include the most reent year. But that’s my persepective.
“There’s a little hope I hold out that they’ll come to the right conclusion and do the right thing, but we’re going to move on and need our fans to support us, and support these student-athletes and support a tremendous program that’s going through one rough year. We’ll get to the point where this will be well behind us and we’ll keep striing to win championships.
“We’re not going to let two years of bad scores from kids who are not on this team stop us from feeling good about what these current student-athletes have done.”
Manuel was also asked about everybody's favorite to someday replace Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie: “I love Kevin. I love what he’s done as a player, I love what I see him doing as a coach, I think the world of him as a person. I’ve gotten to know him, I’m very impressed by him as a coach and a person.”
And as for Geno Auriemma: "Right now, Geno’s working through it. I’m monitoring it, he’s keeping me informed, and that’s where it is right now.”
George Blaney and Tom Moore, playing with pro Bo Van Pelt, were tops on the leaderboard as of 2:15 p.m. at minus-7. Blaney said Calhoun didn't play this year because his "knees are bothering him."
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Jim Calhoun Won't Play in Travelers Pro-Am
UConn is slated to be represented by George Blaney, Geno Auriemma (that oughta be interesting), Chris Dailey and Warde Manuel.
It's not the first time Calhoun hasn't played, and look at it this way: he doesn't have to field any APR questions.
Ah yes, the APR. The NCAA will officially release APR scores for the four-year cycle from the 2007-2011 academic years tomorrow. UConn will notch a 978 for the past '10-11 school year and an 889 for the four-year cycle, the latter leaving it short of the threshold to qualify for postseason play next year.
The Huskies are expected to get a similar score in the 978 area for the '11-12 year, but there are still things to be determined. For instance, there apparently is still some question how much (if at all) Alex Oriakhi's transfer will effect UConn's score, since he received a waiver to transfer to Missouri and play immediately.
At least we know there are no APR problems with the Huskies' golf, cross country and tennis teams.
Noah Vonleh Expected to Visit UConn
Monday, June 18, 2012
How Phil Nolan Wound Up at UConn
Confused? Well, read my story on Nolan, the 6-foot-11 lefthander who'll be arriving at Storrs in about a week. Nolan went to four high schools in four years and struggled academically in Huntington Prep's rigorous academic environment. But he's got his academics in order and is a soft-spoken, impressive young man, according to all who know him.
Nolan has battled some negative perceptions over the past few years, but Ollie (whose friendship with Trevor Trimble, stepfather of UNC-bound J.P. Tokoto, was a big help in Nolan's recruitment), and two of Nolan's high school coaches, Milwaukee-Riverside University High's Tyrone Lewis and Huntington Prep's Rob Fulford, all speak glowingly of the big man.
“He’s a good kid," said Fulford. "You're not going to have any problems with him."
(And yes, Fulford now coaches Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the highly-touted Class of 2013 point guard who had an 'amazing' visit to Storrs last fall, at Huntington Prep. Fulford had no new info on which way Rathan-Mayes may be leaning, but did offer this: Rathan-Mayes's father is Tharon Mayes, the New Haven native who starred at Florida State and still lives in Connecticut).
Some Good APR News for UConn
Labels: Warde Manuel
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Uniform Numbers for New UConn Players
Ben Wood Finds a Home in Rhody; Charlie Villanueva Cut by John Calipari
I must have missed this, having gone on vacation soon after the basketball season was over, but former UConn grad assistant/jack-of-all-trades Ben Wood has found a new home at the University of Rhode Island.
Wood, a graduate of Woodbury's Nonnewaug High School, is the director of player development at URI. He'll run the team's video operations, coordinate film exchange and opponent breakdowns and edits, as well as oversee the team's community relations program, staff of team managers, and serve as the staff liasion with the academic services office.
Wood, a 2007 UConn grad (and 2009 masters grad from UConn), was a well-respected part of the Huskies' program for the past several years. He started as a team manager as a freshman, became the head manager as a junior in 2007 and, after graduating with a geography degree, became graduate manager while working on his geography master's.
This year, he was slated to begin writing his dissertation and his professors told him he really had to fully commit to that for a year. Not wanting to get out of basketball, he looked for a job and, with a great deal of help from UConn associate head coach George Blaney (who shares Seton Hall bonds with new URI coach Danny Hurley), got the job despite never having met Hurley before the interview.
Everyone in the UConn program was happy for Wood, including Jim Calhoun.
The Dominican head coach, of course, is John Calipari.
"Charlie was not in good form when we saw him," Calipari said to Deportes en la Z, after Villanueva had a private workout for the team in New York. "He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively."
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Former UConn Trainer Joe Sharpe Heads to Finals with Oklahoma City Thunder
Joe Sharpe is the head trainer for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who dispatched San Antonio on Wednesday night to advance to the finals. Sharpe spent about a decade as a trainer at UConn and still manages to remain close to the program (even from some 1,500 miles away).
In fact, Jim Calhoun said on Wednesday evening that Sharpe had invited Calhoun out to Oklahoma City if the Thunder made the finals.
Calhoun said he probably would take Sharpe up on the offer (though it's hard to believe he'd be rooting against Allen and his hometown Celtics, should they advance).
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Jim Calhoun: 'Right Now, Everything We're Doing is Planning for Next Year'
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:
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Hasheem Thabeet an 'Inspirational Figure' in Native Tanzania
Labels: Hasheem Thabeet
Jim Calhoun, Rebecca Lobo Among Riders on Saturday
Friday, June 1, 2012
SEC/Big East Challenge Clarification from UConn
The way the challenge works is that over a three-year period, each Big East team has a home game, road game and a year off from the event. Last year, UConn hosted Arkansas, this year it is not a part of it and next year it anticipates a road game at an SEC school.