Tis' the season
to be jolly! And it starts where it always starts at
Joy to the world! This team is as stacked with as much quality talent as any team Calhoun has ever had. They go a legit 10-deep and could go 11-deep once point guard Marcus Williams returns. Calhoun will likely shorten the rotation a bit but it's a good problem to have when Denham Brown rests his ailing knee for two games and freshman Marcus Johnson fills in with 34 points! When I visited a Husky practice a few weeks ago I came away quite impressed with Johnson. He plays tough defense and attacked the rim on offense more than any other player. I'm not surprised he's produced like he has. Ed Nelson hadn't reached double-figures all season but has scored 12, and 17 respectively in the last two contests. "Ed gives us a physical presence that we're going to need going into conference play," said Calhoun. We haven't even mentioned freshman warrior Jeff Adrien, or junior Josh Boone, and remember, three-point marksman Rashad Anderson comes off the bench for this team! That's depth.
Which reminds me…Sing it with me, "Ra-shad the UConn sharp-shooter …" We
could certainly sip some extra egg nog and celebrate the return of Rashad
Anderson. UConn's senior finally has his legs and seems as if he's fully
recovered from a skin abscess -- he's certainly found his jump shot.
particularly happy for Rashad. Coming back from the situation of last year,
playing his way step-by-step last fall, I had my misgivings. When I think of him
going 7 for 7 today, I've seen that before. I've seen it against Vanderbilt.
I've seen it in the Final 8 against
"He will be on track to be the greatest three point shooter we've ever had here, and we've had some pretty good ones," said Calhoun.
You know the
star you put at the top of your Christmas tree? That's sophomore Rudy Gay. Make
no mistake about it Gay is the leader of this one horse open sleigh. He is a
"Rudy had perhaps his best all-around game. He was unselfish. Certainly he could have scored 30 himself very easily but instead had 8 assists, 5-6 blocks, 4 steals," Calhoun commented after Friday's game.
But when UConn fans take a peek into their Christmas stockings they'll find the one gift they've been looking for – Marcus Williams. He returns on January 1st just when the competition starts to kick into gear.
Though I'm not
convinced Santa shouldn't leave a little something extra under the tree for
guards Craig Austrie and Robert Garrison. UConn got an early, but necessary
Christmas present this summer by adding Garrison and Austrie to the roster.
Williams will now have two very capable backups right behind him. The freshmen
duo faced their toughest test out in
"He's (Craig Austrie) done a lot of things I didn't really expect early on. He played against a lot of good point guards and he's also battle (tested). What more could you ask of him?" Gay asked. "He's a freshman taking on a big role at a high Division I college. It's going to be hard for Marcus to come in and do a lot of things but I think Marcus is a great player and Craig's a great player so I just can't wait to see that in practice."
"Craig and Rob
have been really good really," stated Boone. "I think that