Xcerpts from the XL Center
***A.J. Price didn’t practice for a second straight day as he rehabs a foot/high ankle sprain injury he sustained in Friday night’s win over Western Carolina. Jim Calhoun said it’s “less than 50-50” that Price will play tomorrow night, and that Kemba Walker will almost certainly get the start at point guard even if Price is cleared.
“If I had to play today, I couldn’t,” Price noted. “I’ll have two more rehabs today, and throughout day tomorrow we’ll see how it feels.”
Price, who hurt his foot when he stepped on the side of an opponent’s foot in the first half Friday night, said the injury was a little more painful today. He’s also mindful that the Huskies play three games in four days starting Friday at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.
“That is in the back of my mind. I don’t want to re-injure myself trying to play through this game. Not to say this game is an easy game or anything like, but with the road coming up ahead of us, I want to make sure I’m 100 percent for those games.”
***Jerome Dyson also missed his second straight practice as he attended his aunt’s funeral. He’s expected to be back on campus later tonight and Calhoun fully expects him to play tomorrow.
***Don’t think Calhoun hasn’t noticed early-season upsets by Virginia Military Institute (over Kentucky) and Northeastern (over Providence).
“I don’t want to be Kentucky, and I don’t want to be Providence,” he said. “And there’ll be more, too. Every time this year, be it Gardner-Webb or whomever it may be … the year they went to the Final Four, Michigan State lost to Oakland. “
Walker, just a freshman, knows Hartford will be pumped to pull off the big upset of its in-state rivals.
“It’s basically a Battle of Connecticut,” Walker said.
***Charles Okwandu hasn’t shown much in the two games he’s played so far, looking a bit green and out-of-step. But he proved in practice today that he’s got some offensive skills, making a nice interior pass to Hasheem Thabeet from the foul line, driving and dunking a couple of times and knocking down a 10-footer off an inbounds play.
Calhoun relishes the idea of playing Okwandu and Thabeet together a lot this season, but it’s not likely to happen tomorrow night against a Hawk squad that plays four men out on the perimeter.
***Asked if he had any lingering regrets about the punch he threw at Western Carolina’s Joey Parker Friday night, Price replied: “Not at all.”
He says he hasn’t seen the replay and doesn’t care to, but believes Parker may have done a little Sir Laurence Olivier acting job after getting hit by Price.
“I got him pretty good, but I think he tried to sell it a little bit, too,” Price said. “I don’t know if I got him as good as he made it seem like, but he did a good job. He got me out of the game.”