Would He, Haralson?
Jim Calhoun said Scottie Haralson might start instead of slumping Craig Austrie in UConn's opening Big East tourney game Thursday night. Nothing's set in stone yet, and it could very well be a ploy for Calhoun to light a spark under Austrie.
Haralson hadn't been told as much by Calhoun, and didn't even know it was a possibility until being told by reporters after practice.
"It makes me feel good, to know that he's starting to get more confidence in me," Haralson said. "I'm just looking forward to making a good adjustment, and hopefully it'll build my confidence more and I'll be more comfortable being in the starting lineup ... Hopefully, I'll start. If I don't -- oh well ... I'm just going to come off the bench and try to help my team win."
For what it's worth, Haralson practiced with the first team all day today. He was also the last player off the court, working on his 3-point shooting long after everyone else had left (and, by the way, draining most of those treys).
"I always pride myself in always being the first one in and last one off the court, because I love getting better, getting more shots up," Haralson said. "It translates to the game, so I try to get more shots in every day."
***Hasheem Thabeet almost didn't practice today due to a pulled groin, but Calhoun doesn't think it's too serious.
***Kemba Walker wasn't even at practice due to a strep throat. The earliest he'll return to practice is Wednesday.
"If he's ready to go (Thursday), we won't say it's a game-time decision," said Calhoun, shaking his head, in an obvious reference to Levance Fields' situation on Saturday. "We'll let you know what it is."
***Calhoun said that Charles Okwandu has shown vast improvement over the past several weeks, largely due to practing against Thabeet every day.
"Charles is a different player than he was first semester," said the coach. "He'd be playing some significant minutes right now."