I had a chance to speak with UConn coach Jim Calhoun briefly today. He was headed down to New Jersey to rejoin his team, his three-game NCAA suspension having ended after Tuesday’s loss to Seton Hall.
The full story will be in Thursday’s Journal Inquirer, but here are a few of the coach’s comments:
— The Huskies had a team meeting scheduled in the evening, though they didn’t practice Wednesday.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Calhoun said.
“I know we played well against St. John’s, at least we played well offensively,” he continued. “And we obviously didn’t play well (Tuesday) night.”
— Calhoun said sitting out the three games was hardly a picnic, though he didn’t expect it to be comfortable.
“I honestly think that it’s ever going to be easy. It never has been, I don’t care what the situation is,” Calhoun said. “I’ve had cancer, I’ve had pneumonia when I’ve been out. It’s not easy.
“It’s never easy watching your own team, at least without having some kind of voice,” he added. “It’s a lot easier when you’re sitting there. Well, I don’t do a lot of sitting, it’s mostly standing.”
I didn’t process what Calhoun said immediately and didn’t ask him for clarification on the pneumonia comment. I don’t remember him ever missing a game for that reason, though perhaps that had something to with his leave in January 2010.
Thursday morning update: A smarter man than I, or at least one with a better memory, reminded me that Calhoun missed a pair of games with pneumonia back in 1994.
— Watching Tuesday was especially painful, even from the start he says.
“I didn’t like what I saw (Tuesday) night, certainly,” Calhoun said. “I didn’t even like it when it was 11-4. I didn’t think we were playing good defense.
“Against St. John’s, they missed a lot of treys, and last night they made a lot of treys,” Calhoun said.
— As for Seton Hall, Calhoun said: “Seton Hall is certainly legit.”
That’s it for now, I’ll check in again Thursday.