Monday, December 01, 2008

GE Brings Good Things to Storrs

With Stanley Robinson and -- more to the point -- possibly Ater Majok on the horizon, Gavin Edwards "has a chance to have a fight on his hands" for playing time, according to Jim Calhoun. "And the better the fight is, the better it is for UConn basketball. The deeper we can go, the more we can press and run."

Edwards knows he could face some competition from minutes, particularly from the 6-10 Majok who, like Edwards, is a natural power forward.

"From what I hear, Ater's a pretty good player," Edwards said. "It's always a fight in practice for as many minutes as you can get. It's definitely going to be a very competitive situation."

Edwards certainly made a case for himself tonight with a career high 17 points in UConn's 79-49 drubbing of a horrible Delaware State team. Nine of Edwards' points came over the final 5:49, kicked off nicely by catching a long pass from Kemba Walker on the run and breezing in for a layup.

"The run and catch was a magnificent athletic play," Calhoun pointed out.

Added Jerome Dyson: "(Edwards) runs the floor so well, he gets easy buckets just off that. We're going to find him all the time because he always seems to beat the other team up the court."

***As he's been doing all season, Robinson took in the game. Robinson will join the team on Dec. 14 after sitting out the first semester to handle some personal issues. He'll be back for UConn's next home game on Dec. 15 against Stony Brook and hopes to get right back into game action.

"Whatever Coach wants me to do, I'm going to do it," Robinson said.

Robinson said he's been working out at East Hartford High with longtime coach Anthony Menard three days a week. He's been lifting weights and shooting jumpers at Gampel, as well, and running 3.5 miles every day on campus. All this while working 8 ½ hours a day as a sheet metal worker in Willimantic. Robinson said he had gotten up to 225 pounds but is now at 211, about six pounds heavier than his playing weight last season.

***Hasheem Thabeet had 10 points and a career high-matching 17 boards. Over the past two games, all 10 of Thabeet's field goals have come on dunks.

**With Gonzaga now ranked No. 5 in the nation, UConn's Dec. 20 "Battle in Seattle" with the Zags has the potential to be the first time two top-five teams face each other in a non-conference game since No. 2 Tennessee beat No. 1 Memphis on Feb. 23, 2008.

**Freshman Scottie Haralson hit a pair of 3-pointers over the final 1:30 and, although one of them was banked, has now made three straight after missing the first nine treys of his career.

***A.J. Price struggled, shooting 1-for-8 from the floor for just three points. He did dole out five assists, but Calhoun said he's a bit concerned about the way both Price and Walker (nine points) have played the last couple of games.

"Hard work pays off. I guess a little luck was on my side," Haralson said. "I told them I called glass, too."

***DSU's Donald Johnson scored 16 of his team's 18 first-half points and finished with a game-high 25. He hit 6 of 11 3-pointers, but at least UConn didn't have yet another player notch a career-best performance on it. Johnson's 25 points were one shy of his career-high.

**The win was the 781st of Calhoun's career, moving him past Lute Olson for sole possession of eighth place on the all-time list.

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