Prepping for the Pirates
***Jim Calhoun reported that the Huskies are a bit banged up right now. A.J. Price practiced just a little bit today and is feeling it in both knees. His surgically-repaired left knee is simply fatigued, Calhoun said, while his right knee has a contusion. Jerome Dyson's knee has been acting up, the coach added, and Hasheem Thabeet is still a bit bothered by his hip.
***Seton Hall is fifth in the Big East in scoring offense (76.5 per game) and leads the conference in steals with 9 per contest. However, the Pirates are dead-last in scoring defense, allowing 92.2 points per contest, and therefore are also last in the standings (along with Rutgers and DePaul) at 0-4. Oh, and for a team that likes to hoist up 3-pointers, they don't hit many: the Hall is last in the league in 3-point field goal percentage, too, at 22 percent (17-for-77).
***UConn has won the last seven meetings against the Hall, dating back to March, 2001. The Huskies haven't lost to Seton Hall at home since March, 1997, when the George Blaney-led Pirates won in Hartford.
***Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said on Wednesday after the Blue Devils' win over Georgia Tech that the ACC is the best league in the nation. Jim Calhoun disagrees.
"He's wrong," Calhoun said. "I respect Mike, and I know he's right about Carolina, and Wake is very, very good. But we played Miami, who's probably the fourth-best team in that league. We have probably eight teams, at least, as good as Miami – maybe more. Providence is right in that batch of really being troublesome, too. I think it's a no-brainer.
"Their top four may be better than our top four, but we have more close to the top eight. And the bottom – Cincinnati is awfully tough, West Virginia is very tough, Seton Hall's tough, St. John's has already beaten Notre Dame and they'll beat somebody else."
Added Jeff Adrien: "I don't know where (Krzyzewski) got that from. You've got BC beating North Carolina, then they lose to Harvard, they lose two straight. In the Big East, that would never happen. I don't think you'd have a team that would beat the No. 1 team in the nation and then lose to Harvard, no offense. I definitely think our conference is the best, top to bottom. Every game, you really have to bring it. And if you don't, you might be a Notre Dame that loses to St. John's in the Garden."
Take that, Coach K.
***Calhoun was also asked if he believes there is a team in the Big East that could go 17-1 this season, as Calhoun's Huskies did in 1995-96.
"Pittsburgh, they have the components … they have a point guard (Levance Fields) who has (100) assists already, he's so much better than he appears sometimes … he's pretty serious about what he does. (Sam) Young is a young pro, (DeJuan) Blair is one of the most devastating all-around players in the league. They've got depth, and they believe. Could they? Yes. I would bet against it if I was a betting man, only because I think you're going to have a night or two when it just doesn't happen or someone else does great. I think most people would tell you, if you could write 15-3 into their book right now, they might take that."
Adrien also gave the Panthers some props.
"Pittsburgh is very good. What they do, they do very well. You've got Blair playing great, Sam Young has become a player. I also think Louisville's playing really (well) right now. Even though they lost to some teams you'd never expect to at the beginning of the year, they're playing (well). They're 3-0, and I'm looking forward to that game down there in Louisville."
***Good line from Calhoun, who woke up this morning at 7 a.m. thinking it was Sunday, and that he'd have to hurry to Mass in order to get to practice on time: "(I said to my wife, Pat), maybe if we can sneak in and get 15 minutes, He'll understand."
***A.J. Price, on why he had six turnovers against St. John's Thursday night: "I had some tough turnovers, first of all: my fault, combined with another player on the team. I've had some bad turnovers, as well. I've just got to stay focused and cherish the ball a little more."
***There are still about 700 tickets available for tomorrow's game. They can be purchased online at www.uconnhuskies.com.
***Good band playing tonight at The Groggy Frogg in Southington. Name of the band is Dead Flowers, and they play cover music: lots of classic rock, some 90's rock, a good mix. Come check them out if you get a chance, and take particular note of the drummer.