Feelin' Stronger Every Day
Now, thanks to No. 1 Duke's loss to Wake Forest tonight, all that seemingly stands between UConn's first No. 1 ranking since mid-February, 2006 would be Providence on Saturday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion.
But that's not on the Huskies' minds right now.
"Right now, if we get back home safely and have a good practice tomorrow (that's all we care about) … that's premature," said Calhoun. "The biggest thing right now is that Providence beat us twice last year. That's what everybody's thinking about."
Not only that, the Friars have defeated UConn the last four times the teams have played on the Huskies' home floor, dating back to 2003.
Added A.J. Price: "Being No. 1 is not our goal right now. I think it's more for the fans. This team, even if we weren't ranked, knows how good we can be on certain nights. We're confident in our abilities. Whether we're No. 1 or No. 25, we know we need to come out and play with the same intensity."
***Jerome Dyson scored 18 points to lead the Huskies and became the 41st member of UConn's 1,000-point club.
"It felt real good," Dyson said. "It means a lot. There have been a lot of great players here, so it's an honor just to be up there with them."
Dyson's 1,000th career point came on a free throw with 2:35 left to play. He hit three more the rest of the way and now has 1,003 points for his career.
"I knew going into the game (how many points I needed)," he said, "but in the midst of the game it didn't really pop in my head. When I got to the bench, Coach let me know."
***Kemba Walker hurt his left ankle and left the game with about 7 ½ minutes left in the first half after getting it stepped on by Tucker while going for an offensive rebound.
Walker returned to the game about four minutes later and wound up with five points and four assists. His ankle was wrapped with ice as he left the locker room after the game, but Walker said it was just sore, and that he had only "tweaked" the ankle.
***Stanley Robinson, still trying to find his game, missed all three field goals and had two points in nine minutes of action in the first half, then didn't start the latter half (Craig Austrie did). Robinson didn't re-enter the game until there were about two minutes left.
Robinson's lack of PT in the latter half had to do with "(his) ineffectiveness early," said Calhoun, "and I thought the match-ups, guard-wise, were so good, it wasn't as much Stanley as it was how good Craig and everybody else was playing. In fairness to him, he came out ready to play tonight – a couple of jump shots and so on. He's trying to make the effort to get involved in things, and I think he will. And as a matter of fact, I'll make the statement: we probably need him to. We can't keep getting away with small ball all the time."
***A crowd of 9,502 in a building that holds over 15,000 tonight. There was a line at the entrance, we're told, but only because there was just one ticket-taker on duty. One fan asked the ticket-taker if the game was a sell-out.
"No," she responded, "but we had one last night for Metallica."
***DePaul's school band played "Feeling' Stronger Everyday." Highly appropriate. Who sang that one?