Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dougie's Done

What's been inevitable since he declared he'd be transferring to UMass a couple of months ago became official last week: Doug Wiggins is no longer a student at UConn.

Wiggins finished his last summer course in Storrs on Friday. He'll be at home in East Hartford for the rest of the summer before beginning classes up at Amherst on Sept. 2. As a transfer, Wiggins will have to sit out all of this season and will have two years of eligibility beginning in 2009-10.

"I'm going to have to be mentally tough all year and keep my goals in mind," he said on Tuesday after helping his team, Nu Skool, to an overtime win over Cambyland in a Greater Hartford Pro-Am game.

Although Jim Calhoun liked Wiggins as a sparkplug off the bench, the 6-foot-2 guard never seemed to quite win over the coach. It certainly didn't help that he failed a couple of drug tests while at UConn and was arrested for possession of alcohol as a minor in mid-January, resulting in a suspension that wound up lasting two games.

"I kind of felt like, being a sparkplug that I was, I felt like I didn't have enough times to show I could play at the next level," Wiggins said. "For two years, I worked hard enough but never got a chance to be a starter."

Wiggins also craves the opportunity to play point guard -- something he wasn't going to get at UConn, with A.J. Price still there and Kemba Walker enrolling in September.

UMass's current point guard, Chris Lowe, is a senior this season. Wiggins said incoming coach Derek Kellogg has assured him that he'll be able to play the point as a junior ans senior.

"He's going to be running a Memphis offense, an up-and-down game," Wiggins said. "That's what I need."

Of course, Wiggins may have some competition from another East Hartford native. David Gibbs, who recently graduated from the Master's School in West Simsbury, will be a freshman for the Minutemen this season.

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