Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Milwaukee's Best

Greetings from Milwaukee, home of Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, Johntel Franklin, Jeffrey Dahmer, sausage races, the Brewers, Bucks, Bud Selig and, of course, beer. Lots of beer.

Oh, and home of Marquette, too, alma mater of Doc Rivers, Dwyane Wade, Buddy Cianci (law school) and Chris Farley (holy schneikies!!!) among many others. Currently enrolled there is perhaps the best senior guard triumvirate in the nation – Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews and Dominic James. Throw in small forward Lazare Hayward and it seems one of the four breaks a new school record every night.

With the Golden Eagles so strong at guard, tomorrow night's game should be the one where the Huskies miss Jerome Dyson the most.

"I think it'll be the greatest challenge from the perimeter we're going to face all year," said Jim Calhoun. "Notre Dame has two good players, but they aren't the quality of the combination of the three of them. And then Hayward can make jump shots. It just really spaces you, which makes it a little more difficult for us."

Since Dyson went down with a season-ending knee injury five minutes into the Syracuse game on Feb. 11, Calhoun said the Huskies (25-2, 13-2) have held opponents to 33.7 percent shooting. But Marquette is a whole different animal.

"We have great fear of their 3-point attack and particular fear of their penetration," Calhoun noted. "The only team in the league that could eventually surpass us in free throw attempts would be Marquette, because of the penetration of all three perimeter players."

Added Jeff Adrien: "They'll blow by you if you fall asleep. They're scoring very well, they execute, they run their stuff. I think they're really more free this year than in years past."

Of course, in Adrien, Hasheem Thabeet and Stanley Robinson, UConn boasts a big size advantage over Marquette. Should be a good one tomorrow night (7 p.m., ESPN).

***The Ken Krayeske fallout continues: this afternoon, Gov. Jodi Rell told reporters she believes Calhoun would welcome "a do-over and not have that embarrassing display" when he shouted at the self-important blogger on Saturday. (Apparently, Rell had a lot of positive things to say about Calhoun, as well, which didn't make the Associated Press story).

Anyway, Calhoun wasn't about to get into a war of words through the press.

"I'm getting ready for the Marquette basketball game," he said. "Whatever people want to say or do, we have three really tough games coming up, and that's what I'm interested in."

***Calhoun was asked if Donnell Beverly and Scottie Haralson have looked good in practice lately and could be ready for more game action.

"Scott was given a long chance today, I thought he played pretty well. Gavin (Edwards), we'll give him some extended minutes to play Hayward, in case we have a problem. I don't think Jeff has done the small things, defensively, that he's capable of doing. Yet we need him, there's no question. We need his offense, because that's one of our advantages – his inside power."

No mention of Beverly.

***Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Time to go find Shotz Brewery … or just a local watering hole. Been a long day, definitely could use a little of what made Milwaukee famous.

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