Category Archives: Roscoe Smith

UConn Vs. Michigan State: Taking The Train, ‘Not Backing Down,’ Notes, Quotes and Thoughts From The Garden

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie, NCAA, Niels Giffey, Roscoe Smith, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball
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NEW YORK – First, how to get there. Metro North will again provide a special train, added to its regular schedule of trains running between New Haven and NYC’s Grand Central Terminal on Sunday morning.

Here are the details from  the Governor’s Office:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced that MTA Metro-North Railroad will run a special, extra New Haven Line train on Sunday, March 30, to accommodate the UConn men’s basketball fans expected to travel to New York City for the NCAA tournament game at Madison Square Garden (MSG).

 

“With another great win last night, I have no doubt that thousands of Husky fans will be heading down to the Garden on Sunday to show their support,” said Governor Malloy.  “Another win, and our next stop will be the Final Four.”

 

The special train – the “Huskies Fan Express” – will depart from New Haven’s Union Station at 10:40 a.m., and will make just three intermediate stops before arriving at Grand Central Terminal at 12:23 p.m. The train will stop at West Haven at 10:45 a.m., Bridgeport at 11:03 a.m., and Harlem-125th Street at 12:10 p.m.

 

For the return trip, the train will be ready and waiting at Grand Central to depart as needed based on what time the game ends and fans arrive at Grand Central.

 

UConn games at the Garden have historically drawn big crowds from the Bridgeport and New Haven areas, and many of the fans take Metro-North to the games. Fans are urged to buy round trip tickets at their boarding station.

 

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The Huskies have a different destination in mind: Arlington, Texas, home AT&T Stadium, also known as Jerry World, for the Cowboys owner who built it. UConn toured it during their disastrous Houston-Dallas trip at the start of 2014, a reminder of where Kevin Ollie wanted them to go. “It seemed far away then,” Niels Giffey said.

Now UConn is one game away.

But the road is blocked by Michigan State, and that’s formidable. The Spartans have size and experience inside, and the tandem of Adriaen Payne and Brandon Dawson could be too much to handle. We’ll see. UConn’s guards are more experienced, which gives them an advantage.

Whether UConn’s backcourt or MSU’s front court takes control, the game will be about defense. Both teams hold opponents under 40 percent. UConn’s defense broke down in the second half against ISU, something that can’t happen Sunday if the Huskies are to have any chance.

Lot of talk at the podium about Tom Izzo replacing a legend, or program-builder in Jud Heathcote and how Kevin Ollie is doing the same. It’s not easy, more often than not it proves impossible, but both these guys have done it. They were around earlier and players and/or assistants and had the support of their predecessor, but, mainly, both are very comfortable in their own skin and that’s probably the key to stepping into a high-pressure situation like this.

This is the topic of my main advance for the game. Paul Doyle is writing about Payne, Jeff Jacobs about the slap-gone-viral. Lots of stuff in the UConn notebook. Just a ton UConn content on our main web pages, going up this evening, including John Altavilla reporting from Nebraska with the UConn women.

Let’s change it up, and give you some Shabazz Napier stream of consciousness at the podium:

“Like I’ve always said, I felt like I owed this university a lot.  I felt like after my first year we won, and the sophomore year I didn’t play up to my capabilities.  I felt like I owed the Continue reading

On Righting The Wrongs of 2012; Notes, Quotes From Practice In Buffalo

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, American Athletic Conference, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie, NCAA, Niels Giffey, Rip Hamilton, Roscoe Smith, RPI, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Syracuse basketball, UConn men's basketball
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BUFFALO,  N.Y. – Wrapping up a long day at the arena with some notes, quotes and thoughts.

A recurring theme in the UConn locker room – and in any sport one does get a much better feel for a team by working the locker room – was the opportunity lost two years ago against Iowa State. That’s very much on players’ minds.

“We were talented,” Ryan Boatright said, “probably the most talented team in the country. But the chemistry wasn’t right. We weren’t together as a whole.”

That team had two lottery picks, Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb, and two other standout big men in Alex Oriakhi and Roscoe Smith. But the pieces just didn’t fit together.

“I wasn’t the leader my sophomore year that I should have been,” said Shabazz Napier, who was in his first season as the starting point guard.”

Boatright was in and out due to the NCAA reviews, and Jim Calhoun was in and out due to the suspension and the illness. The team faded in February and was blown out by Royce White and Iowa State in the tournament. “You lose in the first round,” Boatright said, “and then we couldn’t play last year, it sticks with you.”

That, more than the perceived slight of the No. 7 seed, will be UConn’s motivation against St. Joe’s Thursday night. Here is our main advance for the Courant.

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Here are some excerpts from UConn at the podium:

Kevin Ollie

It’s just a great opportunity for us.  People see obstacles that we went through, I see opportunities.  We did a great job.  My guys stayed loyal.  We thought we’d be an NCAA Tournament team last year, and now we just took over that same mindset on into this year.
It’s always a players’ game.  They kept this university afloat when everybody else was Continue reading

UConn 69, South Florida 64 (OT): Wrapping Things Up From Gampel

by Categorized: Big East, DeAndre Daniels, George Blaney, Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie, Leon Tolksdorf, Niels Giffey, Omar Calhoun, R.J. Evans, Roscoe Smith, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Terrence Samuel, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball
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STORRS – This past week, someone asked on our live chat what was so special about Kevin Ollie’s performance as head coach. After all, UConn was only beating the teams it was supposed to beat.

Two things: Michigan State and Notre Dame on the road wouldn’t fit that category and, well, in the Big East beating all the teams you’re supposed to beat it kind of special. Neither Louisville nor Syracuse can necessarily say they have done that. Even teams at the bottom of the league are going to be competitive and pick one off occasionally.

That nearly happened here, where UConn, probably in a let-down from the emotional game at Providence, stunk out the joint in the first half, played sluggishly and hit 5 of 27 in  the first half. At one point, I saw Continue reading

NCAA’s Decision on Roscoe Smith Waiver Could Have Big Impact for UConn

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, APR, NCAA, Roscoe Smith, UConn men's basketball
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STORRS – Former Husky Roscoe Smith completed the transfer process last week, committing to UNLV. His new school is seeking a waiver that would allow Smith to play next year, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz, without the usual one-year sit-out period for transfer students.

How this plays out, of course, could affect UConn, which remains ineligible for the NCAA Tournament next season due to its APR scores. Continue reading

Roscoe Smith Once Again Has Clock Management Issues, Watch ‘The And Now’ Clips Here

by Categorized: Roscoe Smith
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It seems like UConn’s Roscoe Smith is getting attention again for the wrong reasons for another NCAA clock-management issue, this time coming with time running out in the first half of the Huskies’ season-ending loss to Iowa State. Smith, who threw up a desperation shot with 11 seconds left vs. Texas last year, heaved up a shot Thursday night against the Cyclones with about four seconds left. We provide both video clips for comparison:
Continue reading

Huskies All Business on Selection Sunday: Wrapping Things Up From Gampel

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Big East, Jim Calhoun, NCAA, Roscoe Smith, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball
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STORRS – A few notes, quotes and thoughts from Selection Sunday at Gampel Pavilion

There was some theorizing that UConn would be a No.7 or 10 seed, rather than an eight or nine, to “protect” a No.1 from drawing such a potentially dangerous opponent in the second – um, I’m sorry, we’re supposed to call it the third round now, I guess.

Anyway, that did not come to pass. The committee made the Huskies a No.9 seed and sent them right into the path of Kentucky. UConn faces Iowa State, which had a Continue reading

Syracuse 58, UConn 55; Wrapping Things Up From The Garden

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, NCAA, Roscoe Smith, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball
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Some notes, quotes and thoughts following UConn’s third loss to Syracuse and, of course, a road map to all our coverage for the website and the Friday edition of The Courant.

First blush: UConn did well here. They won the two games they were supposed to win, got to 20 wins and in all likelihood will be in the NCAA Tournament. They are  playing better lately. But, not to be ants at a picnic, it Continue reading

UConn 71, West Virginia 67: Jim Calhoun’s Take

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Big East, Jim Calhoun, Ray Allen, Rick Pitino, Roscoe Smith, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball
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The story of UConn’s OT win over West Virginia as only Jim Calhoun can tell it:

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“Well, needless to say, I think probably, I’m not sure what Bobby [Huggins] would have said, but?? actually I loved coaching against Bobby and all of our guys that I know and some of these other guys I don’t know all that well.  But he knows that next week is an important week for all of us.

“For us, we got pounded on the boards.  We know that.  It’s kind of been happening a little bit, and we couldn’t Continue reading

UConn 81, DePaul 67: Wrapping Things Up at The Garden [Updated, 6:45 p.m.]

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Big East, Jeremy Lamb, Jim Calhoun, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Roscoe Smith, Ryan Boatright, UConn men's basketball
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Some notes, quotes and thoughts from UConn’s win over DePaul.

I asked Jeremy Lamb if he was somehow more comfortable shooting at Madison Square Garden. He said he didn’t know about any of that, “but I do like this gym.”

To some it’s The World’s Most Famous Arena, to Lamb it’s “this gym.” The low-key, even keel approach can be an asset this time of year. Lamb doesn’t get fazed. Here’s my Lamb-centric game story for the Wednesday Courant.

“I’m not trying to be Kemba,” he said. “But everybody would like to lead their team to a championship.”

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It really is so much better to cover a game when you can work the locker room, like we can at the Big East Tournament. Just putting that out there. … I asked Roscoe Smith about the way he’s putting up jumpers with Continue reading

UConn 74, Pitt 65: Wrapping Things Up From Gampel

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Andre Drummond, Big East, George Blaney, Jim Calhoun, NCAA, Roscoe Smith, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball
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Some notes, quotes and thoughts from UConn’s 74-65 win over Pitt.

First blush: Emotional, with a cap ‘E.’ Having Jim Calhoun back on the sidelines did make a difference. Oh, there was a time, when UConn let the 15-point lead slip away, that you were saying, ‘no difference, just like the Providence game,’ etc. But the Huskies, after absorbing Pitt’s best shot, regained the momentum and control of the game. … In Continue reading