Friday, March 20, 2009

A&M Radio (and Video)

Here's what we've got today from the Wachovia Center, where UConn, Texas A&M, Villanova and UCLA met with the media and held closed practices. (UConn actually practiced earlier in the day for two hours at the historic Palestra, home of Penn and its coach, Jim Calhoun disciple Glen Miller):

***As covered in a prior post (scroll down), Calhoun is back with the team and feeling great after being given a clean bill of health. He said he was champing at the bit to get out of the hospital last night.

"I started bargaining, using tickets, anything I possibly could, to get out of there as quick as I possibly could: T-shirts being sent to their children, their next of kin, anything I could think of to get out of there as early as I can."

Didn't work.

***Here's some video of Calhoun talking about yesterday's trip to the hospital, and his current health situation.

***Texas A&M is a long, athletic team that can shoot the ball pretty well and rebound, too. The Aggies shot 44.6 percent from the floor this season and 36.6 from beyond the arc. They outrebounded their Big 12 foes by nearly five per game.

A&M is 16-1 when it scores at least 72 points, including 8-0 in Big 12 play. It's 18-2 when shooting at least 43 percent from the floor. In their last seven games, the Aggies have shot 49.6 percent from the floor and 43 percent from Trey Land, going 6-1 in that stretch. They hit their first 10 shots in a 79-66 first-round win over BYU on Thursday and never looked back.

***The Aggies are led by 6-7 senior forward Josh Carter, who averaged 14.1 ppg this season and was an all-Big 12 Third Team pick. Derrick Roland, a 6-4 guard who earned Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors, will guard A.J. Price tomorrow.

Carter will guard red-hot Stanley Robinson.

"I watched him grab a rebound yesterday and I was like, 'Whoa,'" Carter said. "He's a freak athlete … (but) I'm up to the challenge. He's a great player, a great jumper. He's probably the first one I'll face who's that athletic. But I look forward to it. I'll just do what I usually do, try to keep him off the boards and make it hard for him."

***Only Fifteen. Hasheem Thabeet needs 15 points to become the 43rd UConn player to reach 1,000 for his career. He'd be the fourth current member of the Huskies to do so, joining Price, Jeff Adrien and Jerome Dyson. This would be the first time UConn has had four 1,000-point scorers on the same team.

***The 99 Pub. Adrien and Craig Austrie will go for their 100th career win against A&M. They're 99-31 in their four years at UConn.

***20-20-20 Vision. In the romp over Chattanooga, UConn had three players (Robinson, Price and Thabeet) go for 20 points for the first time in a game since a December, 2003 win over Ball State. Emeka Okafor (25), Ben Gordon (25) and Denham Brown (20) did the honors that night.

***On the Double. Adrien and Thabeet each notched double-doubles against the Mocs, just the fifth time in Husky history that teammates have done so in an NCAA tourney game. The last time: Okafor and Johnnie Selvie in a 2002 opening-round win over Hampton.

***Bringin' on the Heartbreak? A&M is one of 16 schools to appear in the last four NCAA tournaments. Its last three trips ended in heartbreak, losing in the final three seconds each time. LSU's Darrel Mitchell hit a long 3-pointer with three seconds left in a loss to the Tigers 2006, Memphis's Antonio Anderson made two free throws with three seconds left for a 65-64 win in 2007, and UCLA came from behind for a controversial, 51-49 win last year.

***Who sang "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"?

***"40 minutes to Phoenix." That's Calhoun's mantra, as a UConn win would send the Huskies to Glendale, Ariz. (about 12 miles from Phoenix) for the West Regionals.

***So here's a story that animal lovers (like myself) will hate at first, but ultimately enjoy.

The other night, I and a couple of other writers pulled into the hotel parking lot after dinner in South Philly. As we get out of the car, we hear several loud "Meows" from an obviously distressed cat nearby.

The Post's Neil Ostrout notices a pillow case in between cars, from which the imperiled cat's crying is emanating. A closer look reveals that the top of the case is tied in a knot. Some idiot actually put a cat in a pillow case, tied it up and left it in the parking lot. Sick world.

Anyway, Neil unties the case and the cat walks out – not frantic, hinting that it was pretty well-domesticated. The next couple of days, the cat is seen everywhere – the parking lot, inside the hotel lobby. And here's the happy ending: a hotel manager apparently has decided to adopt the black-and-white cat and take it home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Def Leppard

Go Huskies!

8:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neil has a heart! Stop the press!
(Just kidding...)

7:29 PM 

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