One win, as big as it was, has catapulted UConn from zero top 25 votes to a spot in the Week 1 Associated Press poll. The Huskies landed at No. 23, and (not surprisingly) it doesn’t mean much inside the locker room.
“If you’re satisfied with being No. 23, you shouldn’t be playing a sport,” said junior point guard Shabazz Napier.
A few other notes from Monday’s practice:
*Ryan Boatright, who was taped up Friday when he twisted his ankle, said it felt “tender and swollen” during Monday’s practice. Even so, Boatright participated in all but one drill. Expect him to be a full-go Tuesday versus Vermont.
*Despite my glowing preseason reviews, Omar Calhoun (0-for-2, 1 point) was virtually non-existent against Michigan State.
“He just didn’t get in the flow and we discussed that,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “One thing I didn’t see from him was the intensity on the defensive end. I want him to get better on that end because he’s going to be a great defender for us. Everyone says his scoring ability, but he’s going to be a tremendous defender. Those are effort things I want to see from him, but we saw it on the tape and he understands what I’m looking for. He’s a great kid. He’s going to bounce back. We always say in our locker room that we have bounce-back power in our DNA. We know that’s how he’s built.”
*Ollie praised Shabazz Napier for his leadership late in the Michigan State game.
“(Michigan State guard) Keith Appling made that and-one and it put them up one, I looked at the tape and the first thing I saw was Shabazz bring everybody in together and that’s what I want my leaders to do,” Ollie said. “I knew we were going to be fine when I saw that. He brought everybody in on the free throw line and got our composure.”
*Vermont, voted tops in the America East preseason poll, comes into Storrs following a 54-53 victory over Siena in the season opener. The Catamounts, 24-12 a year ago, have a relatively big lineup, including 6-foot-9 freshman Ethan O’Day, who played at E.O. Smith High (Mansfield) with Tyler Olander.