Jim Calhoun has coached in a lot of games. He has coached numerous All-Americans. His alumni list of players in the NBA is quite impressive. He knows his basketball, that's for sure.
But Wednesday night, after netting his 800th win, Coach may have over-hyped one of his own.
UConn beat a very good Marquette team on the road, 93-82. One could argue that the Huskies would have lost that game if not for A.J. Price's career high 36 points and his late game heroics.
Now, A.J. Price is a nice player. Last night he had a good game. To put him in the same class as three of the top UConn players ever may be a bit of a stretch.
A.J. Price has had a roller coaster career in Storrs. From his life-threatening brain trauma, to his reported involvement in the laptop scandal, to him tearing a knee ligament last year, it hasn't been easy. I'm not taking his comeback away from him. Price has worked hard to get to where he is this year, but let's leave it at that.
As a basketball player, he has not lived up to his hype. He has not led his teams to any titles. No Big East Championships -- regular season or tournament. No Final Fours. No National Championships. (At least not yet.)
If Price and his teammates can deliver on any of those this March, I will be first in line to anoint him. Till then, Price is what he is: A nice point guard on a good team.
Richard Hamilton won a national title and three Big East Titles. Ray Allen was an All-American, Big East Player of the year, and on a Big East Championship team. Ben Gordon won a Big East Championship and a National Title. These are three of the greatest players in school history. It's an insult to those three that A.J. Price was put in their category.
Now, I've been a huge UConn fan my whole life. Calhoun has brought this team up from nothing. Hamilton, Allen, and Gordon have been three of the biggest contributors to this rise. One could argue that those three players have hit three of the biggest shots in the history of the program (outside of Tate George of course.)
If and when A.J. Price can lead this team to championship heights, then by all means, put him in the class of Husky greats. Till that happens, lets take it easy on the comparisons.