UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Notes/Quotes from Fordham: “We can’t go out and get Patrick Ewing. He’s not around.”

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That’s Kevin Ollie on UConn’s frontcourt. The Huskies have tried Enosch Wolf, Tyler Olander and Phil Nolan at center, and not one has been consistent.

Ryan Boatright (AP)

Fortunately, UConn didn’t need a frontcourt Friday night. The four guards — Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun and R.J. Evans — combined for 71 of the team’s 88 points in a rout of Fordham.

The Huskies (9-2) led by 29 at halftime, but they eased up a bit and allowed the Rams back into the game (kind of). Fordham never drew closer than 13.

“We played the scoreboard and we relaxed instead of just going full speed and continuing to do what we did in the first half,” Ollie said. “We stopped playing basketball, stopped sharing the basketball, stopped rebounding and stopped doing the different things that got us the lead.”

Or, as Jim Calhoun put it when UConn almost blew a 22-point lead versus Fairfield in its final game before the Holiday Break, “We looked up at the scoreboard, saw we were up 20 and decided to go home early for Christmas.”

Waterbury Rep-Am beat writer Ed Daigneault and the New London Day’s Gavin Keefe gave me an even better Calhoun Holiday quote. Apparently, after an ugly win about 10 years ago, Calhoun entered the press conference and said, “I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas….but I can’t.”

Wish I was around for more of those.

In other news…

*2014 recruits Abdul Malik Abu (6-foot-8 forward), Jared Terrell (6-foot-4 guard) and Kahari Beaufort (6-foot-4 guard) were in attendance Friday. Afterwards, Terrell tweeted, “Talked with Coach Ollie & Coach Calhoun they informed me and Abdul that they want us. Stay tuned to read my blog on (ZagsBlog.com).” Likewise, Abu tweeted, “Really enjoyed my self at the Uconn game got to meet Calhoun and Coach Ollie , they made Uconn feel like home , really expressed interest!”

*R.J. Evans (sternalclavicular sprain) looked like he was back to full strength. He scored nine points and added three steals.

*UConn closed the first half on a 42-13 run.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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