UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Notes/Quotes from Calhoun Charity Classic

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The big story out of Uncasville Saturday evening was Jim Calhoun’s latest physical setback, a fractured hip that required surgery.

Of course, there was some basketball played in Calhoun’s absence. Here are some interesting tidbits from Saturday’s Calhoun Charity Classic:

Kemba Walker (AP)

*Kemba Walker (38 points on 14-of-27 shooting) was named the game’s MVP. Rashad Anderson (4-for-19 from 3-point range) was, well….not.

After talking about Calhoun, Walker also touched on his own NBA career, which got off to an interesting start (to say the least) when his Bobcats finished with the worst single-season winning percentage in league history. Walker, a fringe starter as a rookie, will likely be the team’s top point guard next season (the Bobcats did not re-sign incumbent D.J. Augustin). He’ll be counted on to help dig Charlotte out of the NBA’s cellar.

“Just working hard, just trying to get better,” Walker said. “It’s just me and a couple of other young guys. It’s just a start….It takes more than just me and (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), but as long as we can bring that winning culture, that’ll help a lot.”

*Hasheem Thabeet recently signed with Oklahoma City, his fourth NBA team in as many seasons. The 7-foot-3 shotblocking specialist is expected to compete with former lottery pick Cole Aldrich for a back-up job.

“It’s another opportunity for me,” Thabeet said. “(I want to) establish my position somewhere. I haven’t been consistent. That’s what I’m working on just to stay consistent and have a spot somewhere.”

Nothing short of dominant in college — he was on pace to set the NCAA record for blocked shots had he returned for his senior season — Thabeet has admittedly struggled to adjust to the next level.

“To fit in, it’s really hard,” Thabeet said. “You go to different teams and every team expects something different out of you…It’s not an easy league at all. There are still challenges for me every day. I have a great opportunity. Not many people get the chance to where I am right now, I just have to go and capitalize on it.”

Saturday’s charity game — a collection of dunks and 3-pointers — was a reunion for Thabeet: Ex-UConn players A.J. Price, Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson, Jeff Adrien, Gavin Edwards, Donnell Beverly and Walker all made the trip to Mohegan. In fact, Craig Austrie was the only rotation player from that 2008-09 team who didn’t show.

Unfortunately, The Dove didn’t make it, either.

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