A few notes and quotes from UConn in advance of tomorrow night's bout with Syracuse at Gampel
***While much has been made of the fact that UConn has had the fewest fouls called against them in the country this season, Jim Calhoun points out that Syracuse has had the fifth-fewest whistles against them.
Much of that would have to do with Syracuse's patented 2-3 zone -- except for the fact that the Orange haven't been playing as much zone this season. Calhoun estimates Syracuse plays about "60 percent man" now. Whatever it is they're doing, they're not doing a very good job of it: in Big East play, the Orange are allowing 75.8 points per game, 12th out of the league's 16 teams.
On the flip side, Syracuse has the second-highest scoring offense at 78.5 per game.
"When they're scoring in bunches, and that's really what they do, their defense tightens up," Calhoun said. "I think when (Andy) Rautins went out, they really suffered defensively. But they can put points on the board faster than anybody else in our league."
***Stanley Robinson has been sick the last couple of days with a stomach virus -- a result, Robinson said, of some bad Chinese food Saturday night. The Huskies had Sunday off and Robinson didn't practice on Monday, but was back on the floor today.
Robinson should get Paul Harris, the Orange's do-it-all, 6-foot-4 forward, at least to start the game. Harris has been a tough match-up for UConn in the past as a four-man, Calhoun noted, but now that Rick Jackson mans the four and Harris has moved to the three, it should be a better match-up for the Huskies.
Either way, "he's a hard match-up for the whole league."
***Calhoun believes the Orange are UConn's biggest rivals.
"It's probably the rivalry we have. I know the people in Pittsburgh don't like me to say that, but over a 20-year period, beating Syracuse has probably been the No. 1 thing we want to do. UConn-Pittsburgh is a rivalry, but not as much as (this one)."
***Calhoun sarcastically added that Syracuse Jim Boeheim just loves coming to Gampel. When it was mentioned that the two of them have coached in a lot of games over the years, Calhoun couldn't resist a shot at his follicly-challenged friend/rival: "It shows a lot more on Jim than it does on me."
***It's all about resume-building with seven games to go (including two against Pitt and one against Marquette) for UConn.
"I think our resume's pretty good, but it can get even better," said Jeff Adrien. "We've still got great teams to play in front of us, so why not go out there and get those W's and make the resume even better than it is right now.
***Syracuse's Arinze Onuaku leads the Big East in field goal percentage (70 percent) yet is perhaps the worst free throw shooter in the country (29-for-87, 33 percent). In his last seven games, Onuaku is an almost inexplicable 1-for-19 from the charity stripe.
Roll that around your tongue for a while: 1-for-19 in the last seven games!
***I know "Orange Crush" isn't a very original title for this post, but can anyone name the band that performed that song?