UConn re-routed on trip to East Carolina
Greenville is about a two-hour drive from Raleigh -- or three hours in these miserable conditions, as I learned this afternoon. Of course, it was my original intent to fly into Raleigh and drive. The Huskies are taking a bus from Raleigh to Greenville tonight, thought I thought it would be more wise to stay in Raleigh overnight and make the trip in the morning.
Or they could have stayed over at Rodney Purvis's house. (Incidentally, Purvis once told me it hardly ever snows in Raleigh. Not this year, Rodney).
"They don't get much of this here," Purvis told UConn SID Phil Chardis. "Any little bit of snow shuts the whole city down. Nobody was in school (Tuesday) ... all my friends have been home, waiting for me to get here. When I heard about the weather, I expected this."
He's excited about playing a game back in his home state, however.
"This is my first time back home and getting the chance to play in front of my friends and family. I think i have about 40 or 50 people coming. They are all rallying up to come and suport me. So i get a chance to play in frobt of them again, so it will be fun. I think it will just give me more energy. I will be excited to be out there. I won't be flat or anything. I think it will help me out a lot and I'm looking forward to it."
Bottom line: this is the last thing UConn needs as it tries to improve its road woes. The Huskies are 3-6 on the road this season, 2-5 in conference play. East Carolina, meanwhile, is 11-3 overall at home and is looking for its fifth straight win at Minges Coliseum.
A long night of planes and buses for the Huskies won't help change either of those trends on Wednesday night. But Kevin Ollie realizes the team has to get past it.
"The trip can't be a distraction," he told Chardis while on the bus ride from Raleigh to Greenville. "We've got to play the game ... we get to the hotel and get back to what we need to do to prepare for ECU. No matter what we're going through now, it can't affect us on the court and focusing in for 40 minutes of playing UConn basketball."
Ollie realizes it's now crunch time for the Huskies, and hopes his team recognizes it, as well.
"If they don't," he said, "then they don't need to be playing right now."