UConn is relying heavily on a group of freshman this season. Jeremy Lamb, Roscoe Smith, and Shabazz Napier are all becoming vital players for the Huskies. Marcus Lynam has more from Storrs.
Tag Archives: Jim Calhoun
Going into this season not to many people outside of Storrs, Conn. thought the UConn Huskies were going to be a good basketball team. Frankly, not to many people outside Jim Calhoun, his assistants, and the players, may have thought this team had potential. Oh how things can change in three short days.
Heading out to Maui for the EA Sports Maui Invitational, the Huskies had the opportunity to prove themselves on a national stage against a crop of very good teams; and boy did they ever. Behind an absolute mind-blowing performance from junior guard Kemba Walker, the Fightin’ Jim Calhouns proved to everyone that UConn is still an elite basketball program.
“We wanted to show the world we’re still UConn and that Coach Calhoun can still coach a team,” said Walker, the tournament’s MVP after scoring 90 points in three games.
After a tough opening round game against a pretty good Wichita State team, and a heavyweight fight in the semifinals against second ranked Michigan State, UConn finished up their week in paradise with a shellacking of ninth ranked Kentucky and their head coach John Calipari (Personally, and I feel I speak for most UConn fans when I say, there is no one else in college basketball I love beating more than Calipari).
Calhoun couldn’t have been more proud of his young team: “I fell in love with this team,” Calhoun said. “I know the effort is legitimate and as coaches that’s what you want all the time.”Walker made quite a name for himself as well. He played on an entirely different level than the rest of the field all week. Whenever UConn needed a basket, Kemba was there. UConn knew who was going to take the big shots, the fans knew it, and even the other teams knew it…yet they couldn’t stop him. His performance has bolted him into Player of the Year consideration (granted it’s still November), and has seen his draft stock explode upwards. One NBA scout told ESPN.com, “I’m not sure he’s going to be a star [in the NBA], but I just love how he played here and how hard he’s worked on his game. If he keeps this up all season, he’s a top-10 pick.”
While Walker was the star of the tournament, he did receive help from his supporting cast. Alex Oriakhi seems to finally be living up to his potential as he averaged 15 points and 11.67 rebounds in the tournament’s three games. Other players who seemed to really step up during the tournament, include Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith, and Niels Giffey, all of whom are freshman. They played like experienced players, and seemed to make the right decisions in key moments. Their hustle and energy really sparked the Huskies.
UConn will now enjoy a nice flight back to campus, and then it’s time to get back to work as the team takes on New Hampshire next Tuesday night (November 30th).
What seemed like a normal Wednesday in October, has actually been a pretty busy day for UConn Sports news.
The day started down in New York City at the Big East Conference Basketball Media Day. All of the 16 Big East coaches and select players traveled to the Big Apple and Madison Square Garden for the annual event. However, UConn found themselves in a not so familiar position as they were picked to finish 10th in the preseason rankings. “Well, I got a chance to be coach of the year,” head coach Jim Calhoun joked about the Huskies’ position. “We’re the most unknown team in the league,” he said, “I truly believe that.”
Last year UConn was picked to finish third in the conference, but ended the season near the bottom of the league. Calhoun and his Huskies hope to change that this year. “It’s not if you get knocked down, it’s if you get up and how you do,” Calhoun said.
Pittsburgh was picked to win the Big East.
There was one bright spot for UConn Basketball today, as Junior Point Guard Kemba Walker was selected the preseason All-Big East 1st Team. He was voted to the second-team last year as a sophomore.
The football team delivered some bad news today, as it was announced that starting quarterback, junior Cody Endres, has been suspended for the rest of the year. Reports are that the suspension is due to violations of university substance abuse policies. Endres was suspended early this season, missing the first three games. Since taking over for Zach Frazer in the second half of the Buffalo game, Endres has played pretty well. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions while going 1-1 as a starter.
Redshirt Freshman Michael Box is currently listed 2nd on the depth chart, and will most likely make his first career start Saturday when the Huskies travel to Louisville. Senior Zach Frazer, who was the starter before Endres, might be in the running to make his way back on the field as well. Head Coach Randy Edsall will have a lot to think about before kick-off on Saturday.
The Huskies, who are currently 3-3 (0-1 in the Big East), have been nothing but inconsistent all year, and have yet to live up to the high expectations set forth at the beginning of the season. With six games left in the season, UConn needs wins, and needs them fast if they hope to make a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season.
Overall it’s been a pretty quiet month for UConn athletics, which is to say a good thing. After a rough May with all of the NCAA Violations issues, UConn athletics can start to get focused on the 2010-2011 school year. Here are the latest news, links, and nuggets on UConn sports.
- Former UConn Forward Stanley Robinson was drafted last week by the Orlando Magic as the 59th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Robinson was expected to go earlier (was once considered a possible lottery pick), but had to settle for the third to last pick in the draft. While his contract will not be as big as he hoped, he might have ended up in the perfect place for him to grow. He’s going to an Orlando team that has become an annual NBA Championship contender. He will get to play with players such as Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, and Jameer Nelson. Sticks has a great opportunity to make the roster and grow as a player in Orlando. Congrats Stanley.
- In other UConn Basketball news… It looks like Jim Calhoun is set to announce within the next few days that Kevin Ollie and Glenn Miller will join the UConn basketball staff, as the UConn men’s basketball team’s new assistant coach and director of basketball administration, respectively. Ollie and Miller will replace Patrick Sellers and Beau Archibald, who each resigned last month in the wake of the NCAA’s announcement of alleged recruiting violations by the program.
- The UConn Football team is in the midst of summer workouts as they prepare for the 2010 season, a season with a great deal of hope and expectations. Many college football writers, reporters, and even fans of other schools are looking at UConn to the Big East Champs this season. Rivalry Esq., a respected Big Ten Blog, put out its summer bowl selections, and they seem pretty high on the Huskies.
- UConn Football has already picked up four recruits for the Class of 2011. The Huskies recently held their skills camp for high school players, which is a place where the coaches usually extend offers to players they like, so even more commitments could be coming soon. The four recruits already on board are running back Max DeLorenzo, quarterback Michael Nebrich, offensive lineman Paul Nwokeji, and defensive back David Stevenson.
- UConn senior linebacker Lawrence Wilson and senior offensive guard Zach Hurd have both been named preseason All-American by the Sporting News. Both players were selected to the third team.
The UConn men’s basketball program has seen brighter days. Jim Calhoun has seen better days. The Hall-of-Fame head coach, and the program he has built into a perennial college basketball powerhouse, have both fallen on hard times. Just a year-and-a-half removed from reaching the 2009 Final Four, UConn has been in a steady decline since they walked off the court in Detroit’s Ford Field.
As it was announced a few weeks ago, the NCAA, after a year-long investigation, found eight violations into the UConn basketball program. The violations, which were centered around the recruitment of Nate Miles, cost two UConn coaches their jobs, millions of dollars in legal bills, and possibly the fall of Calhoun and the UConn program he has built. While UConn will have to wait till October to find out their punishment, it is easy to see how the program has been in a steady decline.
Going into last season there was some hope and buzz surrounding the program, as they we’re ranked as high as 14th in the preseason. This ranking came after losing A.J. Price, Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien, and Craig Austrie from the 2009 Final Four team. Calhoun lost arguably his three best players, but the return of Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson, and Kemba Walker, along with the incoming class of Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs-Mcdaniel, gave the Husky faithful hope for the 2009-2010 season. However, the team was unable to play up to expectations, as they suffered many tough losses throughout the season. The program also took a hit, when Calhoun had to take a medical leave of absence in January. The team was able to get a few marquee wins as they beat #1 Texas, #3 Villanova, and #7 West Virgina, but were unable to put a considerable winning streak together. The Huskies missed the NCAA Tournament for just the second time since 1999, and headed to the NIT, where they once again were disappointing, as they lost to Virginia Tech in the second round. UConn finished with an 18-16 record.
Since that final game to the disappointing 2009-2010 season, UConn hasn’t seen much hope. During the spring signing period, UConn missed out on a few top national recruits in Corey Joseph, Brandon Knight, and Josh Shelby, settling for just one top-tier recruit in Roscoe Smith.
The notification of violations by the NCAA kept the bad news coming, and as Calhoun and his program prepare for next season, the bad news might keep coming. Kemba Walker and Alex Oriakhi are the only two returning starters (It’s hard to even count Oriakhi as a starter for as bad as he played last season), along with Ater Majok, Jamal Coombs-Mcdaniel, and Donnell Beverely who all received decent amounts of playing time last season (none were huge contributors). Calhoun has a decent incoming class for the 2010 season, highlighted by Smith, but the Hall-of-Fame coach will have his work cut out for him next season.
Many college basketball experts, including ESPN’s Andy Katz and Dick Vitale, are not to high on the 2010-2011 UConn Huskies. Vitale recently released his Preseason Top-40 teams for next year. Want to know where UConn landed on that list? I’ll give you one guess….. Well, if you guessed NO-Where, then you are correct. That’s right, the two-time National Champion, 16-time Big East Champion, with a Hall-of-Fame coach, can’t even find itself in a preseason TOP-40 poll.
It’s a sad decline for Calhoun and his Huskies, hopefully for his sake, the players sake, and for the UConn faithful’s sake, the team is able to move on in the right direction and get this program back to where it belongs…at the top.
News and notes from around UConn sports over the past month.
Recent UConn News:
- Men’s Basketball player Darius Smith has decided to transfer. Smith’s decision has a lot to do with incoming freshman guard Shabazz Napier being on board.
- Kevin Ollie has been rumered to replace Patrick Sellers as an assistant on Jim Calhoun’s staff. Ollie, who is still beloved by the UConn fan base, has mentored some of the game’s greats – from Allen Iverson to Ray Allen – and has become a dependable backup point guard for 11 teams since going undrafted in 1995.
- Stanley Robinson has a workout planned with the New Jersey Nets in the coming week. Robinson is preparing for the NBA Draft, which will take place on June 24th. Robinson is projected to be a late first round draft pick.
- Former UConn running back Andre Dixon was the second overall pick in the 2010 UFL Draft by the Hartford Colonials. The expansion Colonials have recently added two more former Husky football players, in Mike Hicks and Keith Gray.
- It was announced that the UConn football season opener against Michigan on September 4th, will be televised to a national audience on ABC, with kick-off coming at 3:30pm ET.
May 28, 2010
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut announced Friday that it has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA pertaining to the men’s basketball program.
This notice is the result of 15 months of review by the NCAA and the University in response to published reports in March of 2009 which alleged NCAA violations by current and former members of the UConn men’s basketball staff.
This notice of allegations concludes the initial fact-finding portion of the NCAA review. The University has until August 20, 2010 to provide its response to the notice of allegations to the NCAA Committee on Infractions. During this period, the University will continue to review and collect information in regard to this case. University representatives are scheduled to appear before the committee in Indianapolis on October 15-16, 2010.
The notice contains eight allegations of violation of NCAA Bylaws including:
-Impermissible phone calls and text messages to prospective student-athletes;
-Impermissible benefits provided to a prospective student-athlete by a representative of the institution’s athletic interests;
-Impermissible benefit to a prospective student-athlete by a member of the basketball staff;
-Allegations against two (2) members of the basketball staff for providing false and misleading information to the NCAA Enforcement staff and to the institution;
-Providing impermissible complimentary admissions or discretionary tickets;
-A failure by the head men’s basketball coach to promote an atmosphere of compliance in the men’s basketball program and a failure to adequately monitor the program to ensure compliance with NCAA legislation regarding telephone calls, text messages and benefits provided by a representative of the institution’s athletic interests;
-A failure by the institution to adequately monitor the conduct and administration of the men’s basketball staff in the areas of: telephone records, representatives of the institution’s athletics interests; and, complimentary admissions or discretionary tickets.
The University and Athletic Department will not be making any further comments as this is an ongoing process with the NCAA.
According to an AP report, UConn will hold a press conference Friday morning as the NCAA will announce a notice of allegations. UConn is expected to reveal the NCAA’s notice of allegations that indicates the NCAA enforcement staff believes that violations have occurred. The notice of allegations, in effect, notifies all involved parties of the alleged violations of NCAA rules uncovered during the inquiry.
This is from Fox News:
Two UConn staff members have parted ways as the NCAA is set to release a notice of allegations on Friday morning stemming from a report more than a year ago which documented numerous rules violations.
Assistant Pat Sellars and director of basketball operations Beau Archibald, according to multiple sources, are both out of jobs
Sources have also told FOXSports.com that UConn is slated to have a news conference on Friday at 10 a.m. to discuss the notice of allegations.
Yahoo! Sports reported in March of 2009 that there were violations in the recruitment of former UConn player Nate Miles and the involvement of former Huskies manager Josh Nochimson — now an agent.
The report stated that phone record showed hundreds of calls and text messages between Nochimson and UConn staff members.
Update: May 27, 2010 11:34pm ET
Jeff Goodman over at Fox Sports tweeted that, “the official terminology for Pat Sellars [sic] and Beau Archibald’s departure will be “resignation”. However, it wasn’t by choice.”
In addition, Goodman tweeted that two of the names being mentioned to replace Sellers and Archibald are former Huskies Donyell Marshall and Kevin Ollie.
A lot has gone on at the University of Connecticut over the past month. Changes have been made, the biggest of which has come from the top. UConn President Michael Hogan has announced his resignation, as he will leave at the end of June to become the President at the University of Illinois. His departure leaves a mighty void in leadership for UConn in the coming months. With the talk about UConn possibly leaving the Big East for the Big Ten or ACC, the lack of an experienced UConn leader might hurt the university’s chances of moving to a top conference like the Big Ten.
- Speaking of the Big Ten…The Conference held their annual meetings of athletic directors and coaches in Chicago, this past week. Many thought news on expansion would come out of the meeting, but no new news became available. Conference commissioner Jim Delany made it clear that the conference’s timetable for expansion announcements is 12-18 months. UConn and other schools will have to wait for a possible invite.
- UConn Football continues to gain some respect from national media. Athlon Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s Brian Bennett, and other national media, have all ranked or discussed UConn as a preseason top-25 team for the 2010 season. Randy Edsall and his players will have the biggest amount of hype for a season in team history. The Huskies begin the season on September 4th, when they travel to college football powerhouse Michigan.
- The main figure at UConn will be around for a few more years. Men’s Basketball coach, Jim Calhoun, has signed a five-year, $13 million contract. His total compensation in the 2011-12 year will be $2.7 million and he will receive $3 million in each of the final two years of the contract. The new contract includes multiple clauses that could come into play over the next few seasons. Since UConn is under investigation by the NCAA for recruiting violations, UConn can terminate Calhoun if the punishment is large enough. There is also a clause that would allow Calhoun to remain at UConn, even after he retires, as an advisor in the athletic department.
Calhoun explained why he signed the new contract and how he will asses it in the coming years. “I want to coach at UConn,” Calhoun said. “But I also think that I want to make sure I compete with the passion, the energy and be there all the time for them, and that’s what I need to make sure I assess every single year.”
Comparing the amount of money Calhoun will make as the highest paid state employee, to UConn’s other head coaches, Women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who has guided his teams to seven NCAA titles, has an average annual salary of $1.6 million. Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall makes about $1.5 million per year.
UConn could be in some serious trouble. After a long investigation by the NCAA, Yahoo! is reporting that the NCAA has found “multiple violations” and a report will be issued soon. Click below to read the rest of the Yahoo! article.