Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Feeling a bit of pressure tonight, covering a UConn game at WVU Coliseum. No, not because of the infamous musket shot that will loudly go off shortly before game time -- though I'm told that no matter how prepared you think you are for it, the blast is still bound to startle you.

No, the pressure comes from being a Register writer here for a UConn game. See, the last time the Huskies played here, on Dec. 30, 2006, Jim Calhoun was a little testy after an 81-71 UConn loss and took it out on the Register's then-beat writer. I wasn't there, so I can't tell you who was in the right or wrong -- though by most accounts, it was a case of wrong-question, wrong-time with a famously temperamental coach who was just about looking for a fight.

It certainly wasn't Calhoun's most famous blow-up with a reporter. It wasn't even his most famous blow-up with a Register reporter (as our columnist can tell you). But it was memorable; they tell me there's a plaque in the press room dedicated to the outburst. So, do I ask a postgame question sure to irritate Calhoun, just to keep up the tradition?

Otherwise, a little thin on the pregame notes tonight. It'll be interesting to see how much UConn's Kemba Walker and WVU's Darryl "Truck" Bryant, a pair of freshmen point guards, square off tonight. The two were teammates for some great New York Gauchos AAU teams and remain very good friends.

"They ran and pressed for 60, 70 games," UConn assistant Andre LaFleur recalled. "They won just about every tournament they played that summer (of 2007)."

Other players on that team included Jordan Theodore, now a freshman at Seton Hall, and Danny Jennings, who's currently at St. Thomas More but will take his talents to West Virginia next season.

Anyway, I'm ready for some Big East basketball. They were just showing highlights of WVU's 2007-08 season on the big screen, with plenty of footage from the Mountaineers' win over UConn in last March's Big East tourney.

The Huskies hope not to make any similar highlight reels tonight.

More to come ...


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