Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — A year after winning his third national championship at UConn, Huskies coach Jim Calhoun says this year’s team has some advantages that last year’s squad did not.
“We got our rings and now we’re ready to go on and try and win another championship,” Calhoun told SNY.tv Wednesday at Big East Media Day. “I think that’s the goal of every coach in this room.
“But do I think we’re more talented? I think we’re longer, bigger and more athletic but we don’t have Kemba [Walker] and Kemba had the best single season in 114 years of Connecticut basketball. Pretty tough to match that.”
The Huskies lost Walker to the NBA but bring in a tremendous three-man recruiting class, highlighted by 6-foot-11, 277-pound big man Andre Drummond, the Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year. Calhoun compared Drummond to former UConn standout Emeka Okafor.
“Right now he’s a tremendous, tremendous athlete who’s working every day to become a tremendous, tremendous player,” Calhoun said.
On a day in which Louisville coach Rick Pitino went off on Pittsburgh and Syracuse for bolting the Big East, Calhoun hedged his bets on UConn’s future in the league.
“I have a love affair with the Big East and I think that 32 years ago the Big East gave UConn a chance to be on the national stage and we in turn worked hard and took advantage of that and eventually won three national championships out of the Big East,” he said
“When it’s all said and done I hope things can work out in the Big East. If they don’t I’m very confident that we’ll be in a good place…”
“We want to be the best team that we can be, and wherever that may be. I have always said to my kids, ‘Let’s line ’em up and play them.'”
UConn offered 2014 shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes of Huntington (W.V.) Prep Wednesday….6-9 Our Savior New American forward Chris Obekpa is slated to take an unofficial to UConn Thursday.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.