Monday, October 30, 2006

Good basketball reading

Only a few days remain until an entire state gets its first glimpse of the current installment of UConn men’s basketball.

After Wednesday's first exhibition against American International, we will be able to dissect and analyze everything about this team. Guard production. Offensive production. Interior defense. Defense. Defense. And, oh, defense.

With Hasheem Thabeet’s eligibility no longer a question, the Huskies’ front line not only grew but most believe it improved. Jim Calhoun said Thabeet has the ability to change games not only in the Big East but across the country. We will find out. In the meantime, read Tuesday’s Register to find out a little more about his past and journey to Storrs. It hasn’t been easy.

So before we delve into numbers and some news toward the end of the week, spend some time reading a few good finds from across the country from the past few days.

These stories say basketball season has arrived.

The winter begins soon. For UConn, it begins Wednesday.

1) The Kansas City Star’s Bill Reiter takes a look at what new Kansas State coach Bob Huggins did during his year off. How confident was he that he would land another coaching gig somewhere?

After this read, pretty confident. The man is driven but are his ethics questionable?

2) Old Saybrook’s Vin Baker has limited time remaining in the NBA. The Timberwolves know that. He knows that. The last decade has been filled with some ups and downs for the former Hartford standout.

Some problems were self-inflicted. Makes you wonder what his life would be like if he chose a different path. It’s a story about diminished skills and how he should have coped.

3) DePaul? Big East sleeper? Maybe.

4) Mike Wise of the Washington Post spends some time with Gilbert Arenas, one of the more intriguing players in the NBA when the league is in dire need of personality. It hasn’t been the easiest path for Arenas, but this two-part story has two sides. Here's the first part.

5) There is pressure to excel because of where you grew up or who you are or where you come from. What happens if an entire country wonders if you’re good enough? What happens if an entire culture feels the same way? Or what happens if an entire country and culture wonders if you’re turning your back on where you come from?

Introducing Yotam Halperin. He’s trying to break into a league where Israel has never had a stake - the NBA.

6) Finally, The Boston Globe’s retrospect on the one and only Red Aurebach. Never has one man been so synonymous with one organization. Steinbrenner is close, but he’s no Red.

For all of these, pack a lunch because they’re all lengthy.

Then light up a cigar.

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