ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I – Omar Calhoun, UConn’s promising freshman, scored 44 points in the two exhibition games. Since then his impact has been lessened. He scored just one point against Michigan State, 12 against Vermont, with 11 in the first half.
“I just want him to play with energy,” Kevin Ollie said, as the team reached its hotel here in St. Thomas. “Defense, offense. I want him to play his brand of basketball which is attack mode. I know it felt good for him to see that ball go into basket. I did see four steals, I did see his energy pick up [against Vermont].
“And I won’t let him accept anything less. I want him to get even better, and I will keep challenging him to do that. Against [MSU] he played against Brandon Dawson – that’s a tough match-up for anybody. That’s a man right there. I thought [Calhoun] handled it well, he came back to practice and got back to work. That’ s what I expect all our guys to do. That makes your grow, that give you the muscle, when you go through things like that and are able to adapt to it. He’s going to be fine.”
The Huskies had a long, grueling plane ride, sharing the plane with Quinnipiac and Wake Forest. The flight was delayed a bit when a woman fainted on the plane. After dropping off their luggage, the players went right to practice, Ollie scheduling a 30-minute workout. “We’ve got to get that jet lag off us a little bit,” he said.
Because they had left the office, there was no one to receive Terrence Samuel’s signed letter, so Ollie could not comment on him yet. Samuel tweeted that he had signed. Kentan Facey, UConn’s other commit, has not made known whether he will sign during this early period.
There will be more on the UConn-Wake Forest match-up, and on Ollie’s donation to the school, on our main website later this evening.