Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dyson Returns Tomorrow

Jerome Dyson has apparently passed his latest drug test and will return to practice with the UConn men's basketball team today. He could make his return to game action on Tuesday night at Rutgers.

"We'll have a new player at practice tomorrow, we'll see where he fits in," said coach Jim Calhoun. "I fully would expect that I'd start the same team, there's no reason why I wouldn't start the same team at Rutgers that I'm starting right now. We'll see how he gets in the mix. We had a very difficult time with our guards creating opportunities today. I don't know when and if he'll play, but we'll give him a look in practice."

The Huskies had won eight straight games without Dyson prior to Saturday's 67-65 loss to Villanova. But UConn will welcome Dyson and his 14.3 ppg back with open arms.

"He's another guy that will help us out tremendously," said Craig Austrie, who has taken over Dyson's spot in the starting lineup. "We're eager to have him back. He's only going to help us."

Added point guard A.J. Price: "He'll give us another option to score the basketball really well, put up a bunch of points in a short period of time. He's the type of player that will come in and understand what he needs to do. We can't wait to have him back."

Dyson and fellow guard Doug Wiggins were suspended back on Jan. 25 after the two were caught with two bottles of alcohol in Wiggins' parked car. A small amount of marijuana was found near the car, prompting drug tests on the two players. Wiggins passed his and was reinstated after missing two games; Dyson failed and has been on a 30-day suspension.

More Notes & Quotes from Saturday's game:

**Just as the Huskies get Dyson back, they lose Curtis Kelly for what could be 2-3 weeks. Kelly dislocated his left elbow late in the first half. He had played a grand total of 9 minutes in UConn's prior 6 games.

**Villanova guard Corey Stokes scored 18 off the bench and showed the Huskies what they could have had. UConn recruited him hard, but Stokes opted for Villanova.
"It came down to UConn and Villanova. I'm here now," Stokes said.
"He can state the obvious, man," 'Nova coach Jay Wright said with a laugh. "He is the best."

**Hasheem Thabeet was credited with just three blocked shots on Saturday, a number Calhoun believed was criminally low.
"Anybody who would have the audacity to write down three blocks in the game, that (person) should never take a stat sheet out for the rest of their life," the coach said. "Be that as it may, that doesn't change the outcome of the game."

**Stanley Robinson threw up an ill-advised 3-pointer in the game's opening seconds and was quickly yanked from the game and scolded by Calhoun. He returned about a minute later and played with renewed energy, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds.

**Jeff Adrien had a horrid first half, scoring just two points and playing just 11 minutes after incurring foul trouble. He rallied back with 13 points in the latter half. He also became the 40th player in UConn history to notch 1,000 career points and now has 1,013 for his career.

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