Sunday, March 10, 2013

My AP Top 25, and Some Praise for UConn's Assistant Coaches

Jim Calhoun was at a lot of UConn practices this season, and most home games (other than when he went on a trip to Cancun, and possibly one or two other home contests). He only made three road trips, I believe: to Germany, to St. Thomas and to the Garden for the NC State game.

I didn't find his presence overbearing on Kevin Ollie. Maybe Ollie would beg to differ, but I doubt it. The man is truly like a father figure to Ollie. At home games, Calhoun could be seen perched at along the base line, watching rather stoically but approvingly -- indeed, like a proud father watching his son do fine work.

Here's what Calhoun had to say about Ollie's first season as head coach. One other thing to note: as good a job as Ollie did, he had some great help. Ollie was always quick and adamant in heaping praise on his assistants, going out of his way to do so at the Dec. 29 press conference announcing his new, long-term contract. Glen Miller, Karl Hobbs and George Blaney combine for 57 years of head coaching experience with 860 wins between them. They all also boast UConn NCAA championship rings, as do director basketball administration Kevin Freeman and assistant director of basketball administration Ricky Moore (both as players). They were invaluable this season.

Meanwhile, here's my penultimate AP Top 25 ballot this season. Yeah, Syracuse isn't in it. Yeah, four Atlantic 10 teams are in it. Deal with it.

1.       Gonzaga
2.       Duke
3.       Indiana
4.       Georgetown
5.       Louisville
6.       Kansas
7.       Michigan
8.       Miami
9.       Ohio State
10.   Michigan State
11.   Kansas State
12.   Florida
13.   Oklahoma State
14.   New Mexico
15.   St. Louis
16.   Arizona
17.   Memphis
18.   Marquette
19.   Pittsburgh
20.   Creighton
21.   Virginia Commonwealth
22.   St.Mary’s
23.   Colorado State
24.   Butler
25.   Temple

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