Huskies Packing for trip; Evans might play


UConn freshman Omar Calhoun, a Brooklyn native who will be making his Madison Square Garden debut Tuesday, talks to reporters after practice Sunday.

A few quick notes after spending Sunday afternoon watching the UConn basketball team practice in Gampel Pavilion.

FOR STARTERS, guard R.J. Evans just might be able to play Tuesday night against N.C. State after all.

The graduate student went through most of Sunday’s workout, though he wasn’t “full contact.” His sternoclavicular joint injury is getting much better.

“I’ve been in the training room twice a day getting my rehab in with James (Doran) our trainer,” Evans said. “I feel we’ve made a lot of progress and I felt pretty good out there today (in practice).”

His playing status for the game at Madison Square Garden might be made just before tipoff.

“I talked to James after practice and it’ll probably be a game time decision,” Evans said. “It’s feeling pretty good but I just have to get through a few little aches and pains.”

UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said it will be a big lift to get Evans back, whenever that is.

“R.J. was playing 20 minutes when he left, and he was averaging eight points,” Ollie said. “And his numbers don’t even entail all the things he brings and the added dimension he brings to our team _ his energy, his leadership, just being an extension of the coach.”

TYLER OLANDER KNOWS he has to stay out of foul trouble so he spent some time over the weekend looking at film of how he got into foul trouble in recent games.

“We looked at the tape with the coaches and I’ve just been a step slow with everything, with my help and then recovering back to my guy,” Olander said. “And then just not being straight up. I’m reaching in a little bit.”

— THE HUSKIES WILL be playing their first and only game at MSG this season on Tuesday. It’ll also be the first time a number of the Huskies get a chance to play on the famous floor.

“It’s my first time playing in the Garden and I’m excited for it, definitely,” said freshman Omar Calhoun, a Brooklyn native who has yet to suit up for a game there.

It’s also would be Evans’ first time there, assuming he plays.

Junior Shabazz Napier said it’s one of the special places to play basketball.

“It feels like the Apollo. The atmosphere just feels so crazy,” Napier said. “The lights are on you. Everything else is so dim and dark. You can’t see the fans but you can hear their voices.”



About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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