Posts Tagged ‘Hasheem Thabeet’

Calhoun Should Cut Losses at Connecticut

March 10th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Calhoun Should Cut Losses at Connecticut
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Nineteen turnovers, 37.5% shooting from the field, and a bitter 22-point loss to a 13th place team in the Big East later, and the 2009-2010 Connecticut Huskies effectively watched their season come to an abrupt end on Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

This UConn team is going to be one that is remembered for all of the wrong reasons. For starters, this was a squad that was in the Final Four a year ago. Who could forget when a young, promising G Kemba Walker dropped 23 points on the Missouri Tigers in the Elite 8 or when F Stanley Robinson ate up Purdue for ten points and 11 boards in the Sweet 16? The only major piece to this puzzle from last year’s team that didn’t come back was C Hasheem Thabeet.

Sure, Thabeet was the #2 pick in the NBA Draft that next season, and if he was still on this UConn team, the story could be completely different. But let’s be real here. This is Connecticut. Finishing 17-15 isn’t acceptable.

While watching television on Tuesday night, ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb mentioned that HC Jim Calhoun may not even want to take this bunch of Huskies to the NIT, assuming that they are invited.

Originally, I thought this was crazy. But upon further thought… why would Calhoun want to play with this bunch of kids anymore?

F Jerome Dyson had a miserable game against St. John’s on Tuesday. He turned the ball over nine times and shot just 2/6 from the floor before getting benched for lack of production. I might not be some college basketball guru, but even I can tell that he pretty much gave up on this team.

The aforementioned Kemba Walker shot 4/17 from the floor and was taking some ill-advised shots. I’ll give him this: Walker was fighting the whole way through, which is why Calhoun let him keep playing. But this was a case of a youngster without much experience ultimately trying to put the whole team on his back instead of playing team basketball to try to erase a huge deficit.

Calhoun’s health issues are well-documented. It felt like his leave of absence really took any potential momentum away from this team. Even when he came back from his hiatus, a miserable 60-48 loss to Cincinnati at home was called “an embarrassment” by the head coach.

Three straight wins were nice after that, but a 78-76 home loss to Louisville might’ve marked the end of the season. Losses got progressively worse. Dropping to Notre Dame without F Luke Harangody was disgraceful. Losing at South Florida was appalling. Wrapping it up with a 22-point defeat to St. John’s just has no description.

Calhoun has reportedly been offered a new contract by the university, but he is going to strongly consider whether or not he wants to take the Huskies up on it or not. After winning 822 career games and two National Championships, the sixth most winningest coach in NCAA Division I history has nothing left to prove.

It’s pretty clear that the Connecticut Huskies are still a long ways away from being able to compete in the rough and tumble Big East again. If Jim Calhoun is smart, he’ll realize that it’s time to step away and let the Huskies fend for themselves.