Notes/Quotes from December 20: Shabazz turns ankle, Calhoun talks suspension

Just got back from Storrs to preview the Olander Bowl — as its been dubbed — on Thursday between UConn and Fairfield.

*Shabazz Napier appeared to suffer an ankle injury during a drill late in practice. Napier attempted to go behind the back against a defender and subsequently turned his ankle and hit the deck.

Shabazz Napier (AP)

He stayed down for well over a minute, clutching the ankle and grimacing. Once he got up, though, he walked around without a noticeable limp.

Jim Calhoun didn’t appear too concerned.

“He wanted to end the drill,” Calhoun said with a laugh.

No immediate information regarding the injury was available. We’ll check later to see if his status for the Olander Bowl will be affected.

*Coach Jim Calhoun had some high praise for the Stags: “I think it’s been awhile since an in-state team came in that I really, really think – on paper – can matchup to us, physically and skill-wise. They’ve very good.”

“Lets say they won’t be the easiest team — personnel wise as we go into the game — that we play the rest of the way. We have to go to Tennessee, we have 18 Big East games. From a talent standpoint, I think they’re better than some of the teams we’ll play in the Big East.”

* Calhoun also spoke briefly about his upcoming NCAA suspension for UConn’s first three Big East games (South Florida, St. John’s, Seton Hall). The suspension stems from the illegal recruitment of Nate Miles and Calhoun’s “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance.”

“I just don’t think you should drag these things on, particulary, in light of, a lot of things have gone on in college athletics,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun will not travel to South Florida for the Dec. 28 game, but hasn’t yet learned if he’ll be able to travel to Seton Hall on Jan. 3. It’s unclear who will serve as the head coach in his absence. In years past, George Blaney was always the pinch-hitter.