As has been the case in recent offseasons, Jim Calhoun has been noncommittal about his future as the Huskies basketball coach. He appears to be leaning that way but hasn't officially announced his intentions. He has stated previously that he'd like to leave the program in good shape before moseying off into the sunset one last time, which would have made last summer the perfect time to retire. But with incoming freshmen DeAndre Daniels and Andre Drummond, as well as a returning cast that featured just about everybody but Kemba Walker, Calhoun returned to the bench.
And the 2011-12 season was an unmitigated disaster, marred by inconsistency, injuries (to Calhoun, who suffered chronic back trouble) and looming sanctions (eventually, the NCAA ruled UConn ineligible for the 2013 postseason). Then five players left the program and the Huskies, national champs just 13 months ago, are now in full-on rebuilding mode.
Earlier this week, Connecticut News' Kevin Duffy made his way to Storrs to talk to rising juniors Shabazz Napier and Tyler Olander.
On Calhoun's future, Napier offered this: “He’ll let everyone know when he wants to, including his own players. It’s good for him. It relieves some stress and allows him to enjoy life with his family. He deserves it….I think coach’s heart is always going to be here, whether he stays or whether he leaves. He understands that we want him, and we understand that he wants us, but at the end of the day, he’s his own man."
And the postseason ban that led to Alex Oriakhi fleeing for Missouri and high school recruit choosing to go elsewhere, Tyler Olander said “It’s pretty much out of our hands. It’s all the administration. They’re doing all they can, but ultimately, the NCAA is going to do what they feel is right. We just have to take what’s given to us, accept it and move on.”
Napier also addressed the ban and spoke about the players to transfer out of UConn, too: “It’s sad that we can’t play in the NCAA tournament or the Big East tournament, but those are things you have to deal with. Like I said, some people deal with them, some people run away. It’s how you’re born. It’ s how you live your life.”