UConn associate head coach George Blaney didn't spend much time Wednesday talking about the recent sanctions handed down by the NCAA. Presumably, he was too busy preparing the Huskies for their Thursday night Big East match-up against Marquette. Blaney, who is filling in for Jim Calhoun while Calhoun attends his sister-in-law's funeral, has more on his mind beyond NCAA rulings. Huskies star Kemba Walker, however, not only spoke about what transpired this week, he came to the defense of his head coach.
Officially, the UConn's men's basketball team has been placed on probation, and Calhoun will be suspended for the first three games of the 2011-2012 conference schedule. Amid reactions -- mostly from the media -- that the school and the coach got off with a slap on the wrist, some of Calhoun's biggest advocates are his players.
“We saw [the NCAA sanctions] and stuff like that,” Walker said. “There wasn’t really any type of mood. It’s a great thing that they didn’t take the post-season play away from us.
“But, other than that, I know coach Calhoun as a person and know him very well. I know he wouldn’t cheat to do anything. But it is what it is. “I’m going to let him and the coaching staff deal with that stuff. There’s nothing I can do.”
Like Blaney, freshman Jeremy Lamb has his mind on more immediate concerns. Namely: Marquette. “I didn’t pay attention to it at all, actually,” Lamb said. “I didn’t know it was coming out. I was in the student union and people said it was coming out. I didn’t pay much attention to it, so I’m not really going to think about it now.”
And, really, there's no reason for Lamb to think about it. There's nothing he can do, and for the most part, he's not directly affected by the sanctions. Not only that, but UConn has 10 days to work out the regular-season kinks as they prepare for the Big East and NCAA tournaments.
Lou Holtz once said not to tell people your problems. "Half of them don't care, and the other half are glad you got them." The lesson? Winning fixes a lot. Lamenting their fate in the meantime won't do anything to get the Huskies closer to that goal.