UConn coach Jim Calhoun and some of his colleagues spent some time on the phone with reporters Thursday as part of the Big East’s weekly conference call.
A few highlights:
— Calhoun was still a little upset about his team’s “investment” in Wednesday’s game.
“Night after night you have to get up and invest in every single game,” Calhoun said. “Last night we lacked something that Cincinnati had.”
“We did not focus in until late in the game,” he added.
— Calhoun had plenty of praise for Shabazz Napier and again prodded Jeremy Lamb a bit.
“Jeremy’s going through a bit of a different time now. We have to get him back on track,” Calhoun said.
— As for Saturday’s game at Tennessee, it won’t be easy.
“They’re the most deceptive 8-10 team you’ll ever see,” Calhoun said.
— A number of coaches Thursday had serious idol worship of Syracuse (or maybe they were using the old Lou Holtz flatter your opponent excessively trick). Of course, Syracuse is pretty darn good so some of it is warranted.
Marquette’s Buzz Williams: “It’s the best team I’ve ever coached against.”
Notre Dame’s Mike Brey: “They can put 80, 85 on the board just rolling out of bed.”
Providence’s Ed Cooley: “That’s as talented a team as I’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Calhoun gave his friend/rival a few compliments, too.
“Jim has done a masterful job. He’s in the Hall of Fame and headed toward 900 wins,” Calhoun said. “It’s not a great surprise.”
Kentucky is good and North Carolina, too, but…
“There’s not a team that has 10 players as good as Syracuse has,” Calhoun said.
— Also, here are my stories today from the Journal Inquirer: