UConn coach Jim Calhoun wasn’t in his office Thursday morning. He was a little under the weather and was unable to participate in the Big East’s conference call.
No word on how many of his team’s fans were also sick Thursday after the previous night’s 58-44 loss to Georgetown.
Associate head coach George Blaney offered a few words on UConn’s status in Calhoun’s stead on Thursday.
— Blaney talked a bit about the loss of Kemba Walker and the Huskies’ current lack of a leader.
“I still would like to see Shabazz (Napier), Alex (Oriakhi) and Jeremy (Lamb) assume those roles,” Jeremy’s been rally working hard it. It’s not his personality to do that but he’s been working hard at it.”
Both Napier and Oriakhi have been struggling a great deal lately.
“Alex is struggling a lot, yeah. He’s working at it, he’s trying to figure it out, we’re trying to figure it out for him,” Blaney said.
Oriakhi is one of the more sincere and dedicated players UConn has seen, which is why it’s safe to assume he’s more frustrated with his own play than his coaches and fans.
“Alex is trying. He’s really a great kid. There’s not too many people that work harder than he does,” Blaney said. “At this stage he’s been doing it (leading) by example. I think we need more of a verbal leader.”
— Like Calhoun the night before, Blaney said a lot of UConn’s misses came on quality shots. The Huskies shot just 30 percent from the field (their lowest since the 1996-97 season).
“Probably, of the 1-for-18 stretch, probably 10 of the shots were great, great shots we just didn’t make,” Blaney said.
–The Huskies get back to action Saturday against Seton Hall. The Pirates, like UConn, have been struggling.
“When you’re playing tough games every single night, you get caught in a cycle and it doesn’t seem like you can get yourself out of it,” Blaney said in regards to both teams.
— Seton Hall C Herb Pope (we all know who he is, right?) has a bruised rib and will be a game-time decision for Saturday’s game against UConn, coach Kevin Willard said.