Notes/Quotes: January 2nd

Don’t know much about Seton Hall?

You’re not alone.

Andre Drummond said he heard the name “Herb Pope” for the first time during today’s practice.

“I don’t even know who that is,” Drummond said. “I’m not trying to be disrespectful. They said the name to me in practice and I was like ‘Wait, who’s Herb Pope?'”

“I haven’t watched Seton Hall so I wouldn’t know who’s on their team or anything like that,” Drummond added.

According to UConn associate head coach George Blaney, Pope is playing like a Big East first teamer right now. Pope, a 6-foot-8, 236-pound forward, is averaging 18.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Last season, he averaged just 9.8 points per contest.

* Roscoe Smith (wrist) looked fine in practice. He only played four minutes in Saturday’s win over St. John’s, but should see more time versus Seton Hall tomorrow.

Roscoe Smith (AP)

“Roscoe is pretty good,” Blaney said .” (The wrist) is sore, he’s got it taped, but he’s pretty good. He’s practiced really well and he’ll be ready to go.”

* UConn jumped one spot in each poll to No. 8.

* Blaney stressed the importance of starting out strong, something UConn hasn’t  done consistently this season.

“What I told Ryan Boatright was that the guy up in section 326 has got to know that you’re happy being here, so he keeps laughing at me,” he said. ” But I mean that. I think you have to show the other team, you have to show the referees, you have to show the coaches, you have to show everybody that you’re ready to play.”

* This will be Blaney’s final game filling in for Jim Calhoun. He’ll return to the team on Wednesday, Jan. 4 and resume all coaching duties.