Jeremy Lamb isn’t normally cracking jokes and shooting the breeze with the media after games.
As you’d expect, he’s pretty low-key, pretty straight-to-the-point during interviews.
After Sunday’s 50-48 loss to Notre Dame, Lamb was flat-out dejected. He didn’t look up from the ground when he spoke, and he didn’t beat around the bush in his answers, either.
“It wasn’t their defense,” he said. “We were horrible…horrible horrible.”
Indeed, UConn’s zone offense was pretty tough to watch. And the Huskies got beat to loose balls and offensive boards. Sprinkle in a few Notre Dame 3′s and you’ve got one of the most disheartening losses of the year.
Here’s the game story and the rundown of the ever-developing Ryan Boatright situation (in case you missed it, Tanesha Boatright’s attorney issued a statement to the NCAA, which promptly fired back a response).
A few quotes from The Boat and then we’ll get to the game:
* “It’s finally over, we can finally put it behind us. You don’t have to worry about me getting pulled out again.”
* “They shut the whole thing down….they have no more questions or anything.”
* “I don’t know what’s going on, whatever my mom and her lawyer have going on, that’s with them. I’m just happy to be back playing.”
And now for some Jim Calhoun quotes on the 50-48 instant classic…
* Calhoun on why Lamb attempted only nine shots (he hit six of them): “I know this sounds like a revelation, but the other team does know who he is. When he comes off the pick and roll, he’s doubled.”
* Calhoun on UConn’s energy: “The crowd, god bless ‘em, they tried to do the best they could to get the team awake, and I played as low-key as I could with them today, tried some different things, a possession team you can’t give two and three possessions because they’re going to grind you down…I think that comes from mental toughness.”
* This one pretty much sums it up: “This is one of the few games where I look down at the sheet and say ‘I don’t know who to praise.’ Collectively, their team beat our team.”
*UConn wasn’t good by any means, but Notre Dame’s tempo — milking the shot clock, turning it into a halfcourt game — has had an effect on other teams, too. The Irish held Seton Hall to 42 points on Jan. 25 and limited high-flying Syracuse to 23 first-half points in a 67-58 stunner a week ago.
* I’ve thrown this stat around a lot this year, but now that UConn is actually in the midst of a three-game losing streak, it’s relevant. Under Calhoun, only two UConn teams — 1991 and 1992 — have suffered three-game skids and still made the NCAA tourney. This team is starting to draw comparisons to the 2010 squad (talented, but never put it together and missed the Big Dance). I won’t go that far yet. As my dad, the perpetual UConn optimist told me, “all teams have bad stretches.”
I still believe these Huskies are fully capable of making a deep NCAA run. These next three games — Georgetown, Seton Hall and Louisville — are absolutely crucial. UConn needs to snap out of this slump soon.