Calhoun to be Honored in Pre-game

By David Scott - January 10, 2007

STORRS, Conn. - We’re about 20 minutes from tip and Gampel is starting to fill up with what will be a predominantly non-student crowd, as the kids are still away on Winter break.

. . . UConn will honor Head Coach Jim Calhoun tonight during pre-game introductions with the unveiling of a banner recognizing his enshrinement as a founding member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. Calhoun (745 career wins) needs one win to tie Phog Allen (746) for 12th place on the NCAA All-Time Division I Coaching Wins List. He is three short of 500 for his UConn coaching career.

The banner is currently covered by a black sheet and will be unveiled high on the wall behind the benches at Gampel. It joins, from left to right, a placard honoring UConn National Players of the Year (so far just Emeka Okafor, 2004); the 1988 National Invitation Tournament champion banner; the 1999 NCAA National Champion banner; the 2004 National Championship Banner; and Calhoun’s banner acknowledging his Class of 2005 induction into the Naismith Baskteball Hall of Fame. The opposite wall has the women’s accomplishments, too numerous to mention here.

. . .There are also some new sections of the upper wall dedicated to the “UConn Huskies of Honor.” The women’s side has been filled in with 11 honorees; the men’s side in the opposite end zone will be christened on February 5 against Syracuse. Ex-players Donyell Marshall and Richard Hamilton are tentatively scheduled to be in the building that night but several of the honorees have NBA commitments which will keep them away. Kitty corner in the end zones are Big East Championship recognitions and NCAA Tournament appearances.

. . . Making his second appearance in a week to support the alma mater, author Charlie Pierce has trekked down westward on the Mass Pike to support Marquette. Pierce, whose current book, “Moving The Chains” (about Tom Brady) is a must-read, was also in the house for last week’s Providence game.

Pierce has been strategically positioned behind the UConn bench this evening and is asking around if he should “heckle ‘Houn.” We would not want to be heckled by anyone with the evil-genius mind of Pierce. The former Washington Bullets heckler extraordinaire, Robin Ficker would be considered amateur next to Pierce’s proud lungs.

Pierce will be the halftime guest with True and McIlvaine if you’re anywhere near a radio that receives WMLW 41.

. . . Hasheem Thabeet has blocked 57 shots in his first 14 college contests, an average of 4.1 per game.

. . . Tonight’s sneaker battle will be waged between two Nike schools.

Posted by David Scott at 06:32 PM on January 10, 2007

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