Monday, August 25, 2008

No Quinnipiac This Season

Here's what we know about the UConn non-conference schedule: the Huskies won't play Quinnipiac this year for the first time since the 1999-2000 season, but they will play a "local team" on either Dec. 27 or 28, according to Jim Calhoun. That local team doesn't appear to be Hartford, either.

Also, the Huskies will host Michigan some time after New Year's. Of course, they'll also play in the Paradise Jam festival Nov. 21-24 in the U.S. Virgin Islands; UConn will face La Salle University in the first round. Other participants in the tourney will be Southern Mississippi, Miami, San Diego, Valparaiso, Iona and Wisconsin.

The Huskies will also face Gonzaga on Dec. 20 at Seattle's Key Arena.

Why no Quinnipiac?

Well, the Huskies are 9-0 against the Bobcats since they started playing in 1998, including an 82-49 thrashing last season. And with two of Quinnipiac's top players from a year ago – leading scorer DeMario Anderson and center Karl Anderson – graduated, second-year coach Tom Moore saw no need to put his team through a similar scenario this season.

"I think it was twofold," Moore, the former longtime UConn assistant, noted. "Coach Calhoun and I were both real uncomfortable, on a personal level, playing the game last year. It was awkward for me emotionally, and for him, too. And I didn't feel our program is quite established enough to start taking on programs of that caliber. We have too much youth and inexperience for it to benefit us this year. It could be re-visited in the future, but we both felt best to take a year off."

Said Calhoun: "He wants to play (the following) year. We've been pretty flexible with them. He had a really good player last year, and this year it's predominately a freshman, sophomore team. I think he'll look forward to playing us the following year."

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