Saturday, March 9, 2013

Jim Calhoun: On Kevin Ollie and College Realignment

Spoke with Jim Calhoun briefly at today's game. Here's what he had to say:

(on the job Kevin Ollie did this season)

"There was no doubt in my mind, almost three years ago, that Kevin would be a great guy to bring back someday … we thought at that time a guy who could someday take over the program. Obviously, he’s done a magnificent job."

"For me, with all the assistants, it’s like watching a son and all my other kids. It’s been great. Kevin’s done a terrific job. He’s gotten a hold of the situation, which as you can see was difficult, and he’s actually made it into a pressure-free (environment), judge how we play by ourselves."

(on the obstacles Ollie faced in his first year as head coach)

"Obstacles, to be very honest with you, are a part of coaching. He’ll have more obstacles next year when more is expected from him. I believe that. The best thing you can do is look what your situation is and then build from that. I always believe, you play the game for the game. That part (the obstacles) didn’t concern me. What did concern me, the change of coaches, I basically recruited every one of these kids, and they thought they were playing for me, and they played for Kevin. That’s what he really did great. I’m really so proud of him."

(on the Catholic 7 split from the Big East)

"People say, ‘well, it’s about time.’ I don’t believe that. I thought, nostalgically, it was one of the great things in the history of basketball. Dave Gavitt, God rest his soul, invented something very, very special."

"I do believe what goes around, comes around. I believe that, eventually, all of us will be under the umbrella of four major conferences throughout America. There are about 110 schools who want to do what we do, which is make money to market our university."

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