Thursday, December 10, 2009


The headline match-up of the 2009 SEC/Big East Invitational did not disappiont as John Calipari's Cats Hold off Huskies (NY Post) at Madison Square Garden in Kentucky's 64-61 win over Connecticut.

Highly touted freshman John Wall, a near lock for the #1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, matched the hype that has been bestowed upon him by scoring 25 points and harassing UConn with six steals. Wall Was the Difference in an Amazing Game (Hartford Courant) as Jim Calhoun's No. 14 Huskies Fall Short to No. 4 Kentucky in a Thriller (TheDay.com).

Wall got UK off and running, thrilling the crowd with an end-to-end lay-up and finishing an alley-oop on a break as he scored six of the Wildcats' 12 points in an opening 12-0 spurt to start the game in the first three minutes. After using two timeouts, including one 33 seconds into the game where Calhoun pulled senior Jerome Dyson from the game, UConn responded with a 20-6 run to take the lead. UConn led by as many as eight points in the first half and took a 29-23 lead at the half as UK was slowed by foul trouble.

In the second half UConn Crashed into the Wall (New Haven Register) full bore as the star frosh scored 11 of UK's 14 points to pull out the victory.

“He’s all of that, whatever that is,” Jim Calhoun said of Wall after the game. “He’s a tremendous, tremendous player. He’s no freshman.”

Wall scored one big basket after another over the final 7 1/2 minutes, including a conventional three-point play with 30.8 seconds left that put Kentucky (9-0) ahead for good, 63-61. The Huskies could not come up with a big score of their own in the final seconds and a Ramone Harris free throw provided the final margin of victory.

Dyson led UConn with 17 points, Gavin Edwards had 16 points, 8 rebounds and three blocked shots, Kemba Walker scored 12 and Stanley Robinson added 10 points and 9 rebounds. Connecticut, which turned the ball over 19 times and missed 10 of 24 free throw attempts, falls to 6-2 on the regular season with both losses come on the Madison Square Garden floor. The also lost to Duke last month at MSG in the finals of the NIT Tip-off Tournament.

The Huskies are now off until December 20th when they wrap up the pre-conference schedule with UCF, Maine and Iona before starting Big East play at Cincinnati on December 30th.


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Monday, December 07, 2009


Jerome Dyson filled the stat sheet on Sunday afternoon and Connecticut needed just about every ounce of his big day as the Huskies Get Away With Another Inconsistent Performance (TheDay.com), edging Tommy Amakers' Harvard club 79-73 in Storrs.

Dyson finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks as Inconsistent UConn Holds off Harvard (Hartford Courant) and Crimson senior guard Jeremy Lin, who torched UConn for 30 points.

The Huskies saw a 16-point lead whittled to four as Lin (22 of his 30 in the second half) led the charge. However, the experienced players for UConn stepped up and secured the victory. Kemba Walker added 10 points, Stanley Robinson provided 18 points and 12 rebounds with Gavin Edwards scored 12 and blocking 6 shots as the quartet, with Dyson, scored 74 of the 79 points scored by Jom Calhoun's club.

Coming up this week for UConn is a date with Kentucky on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in the SEC/Big East Invitational.


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Thursday, December 03, 2009



HARTFORD--The sight was alarmingly familiar, and that's what made it all the more frightening for the Connecticut Huskies.

Jerome Dyson, the Huskies' best player--Jim Calhoun's description after the Huskies' 92-64 blowout of Boston University--landed awkwardly during the opening moments of the second half.

"I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous seeing that," said UConn forward Gavin Edwards, who scored 12 points and ripped down nine rebounds.

Dyson stayed down for a few minutes, and it was tremendously similar to the scene that played out last February against Syracuse.

That's when Dyson, who's averaging over 20 points to lead the No.13-ranked Huskies, knocked knees with Syracuse's then-forward Kristof Ongeneat.

An MRI later revealed Dyson had a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, an injury which sidelined him for the season.

"We were just hoping 'rome would come back," said point guard Kemba Walker of the tense few minutes when Dyson was down on the floor.

"We can't afford that (loss) this season. Everybody was just praying that he would come back."

That Dyson did, emerging from the bench four minutes later to a standing ovation at the XL Center.

"I knew when I rolled over that nothing was wrong," Dyson said.

"I knew initially that it was my groin area, but when everybody ran out, they thought it was my (knee) again."

Dyson was dominant Wednesday night, scoring 22 points and dishing out four assists as the Huskies (5-1) overcame a sloppy start.

Dyson scored the rock in a variety of ways. He was burying mid-range jumpers, knifing to the basket, and hitting from beyond the arc.

After shooting 3-for-9 from the free throw line in a nightmare of a performance during a loss to Duke, Dyson bounced back. He knocked down all but two of his nine free throws.

The UConn backcourt bludgeoned the injury-plagued Terriers, who were forced to play with just six scholarship players.

The Terriers (2-6) were without star guard Corey Lowe (inflammation in the right knee) and 6-foot-9 forward Scott Brittain (concussion).

Walker scored 15 points and doled out a career-high 10 assists.

The New York City native was also impressive defensively, with three steals. He ran the show, setting up fast breaks. Walker got just about everyone open looks, including freshman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (12 points, 7 rebounds in 20 minutes).

"Kemba clearly could have had 15-16 assists if some of the big guys didn't drop the ball," said Calhoun.

Calhoun was most impressed with the Huskies' work on the glass. The Huskies outrebounded the undermanned Terriers to the tune of 54-29.

"When you beat a team on the backboard by 25, that's a significant number," said Calhoun.

"I think the stat sheet is starting to look a little more normal for us. I do understand that BU was down a couple players. But you know what, we played an 0-6 Colgate team and certainly didn't put up the kind of numbers we did tonight."

Edwards, Stanley Robinson, and hulking freshman Alex Oriakhi each tore down nine boards apiece.

Edwards said that with the Huskies' notably thin frontline (6-10 freshman Ater Majok is eligible in just under three weeks) and the results from the first five games, UConn made a concentrated effort to hit the boards harder.

"Every UConn team has been known for being able to rebound and then get out on the fast break and we haven't really been doing that," Edwards said.

The high-flying Robinson, who scored 16 points, was having a quiet night until he erupted for four gravity-defying dunks in the second half.

His eye-popping alley-oop slam from Walker's lob kick-started a 10-2 surge that gave UConn an insurmountable 68-39 lead.

A washout ensued.

The Huskies reeled off a 10-1 run to seize a 25-16 lead early on.

Walker buried a trey to kick-start the run. BU forward John Holland, who had a game-high 23 points, thwarted the spurt with a layup.

Early on, it looked as if UConn was going to put together another lackluster performance at home.

BU guard Tyler Morris, a three-point sniper who played at Indiana powerhouse Lawrence North HS (see Oden, Greg or Conley, Mike, or Louisville-commits for more on Lawrence North) nailed a trey and a jumper on back-to-back possessions, giving the Terriers an 8-7 edge 4:42 into the game.

The Terriers, or the walking wounded, seized an 11-9 lead on a four-point play from Holland.

The Huskies continued to trail, 13-9, before Robinson crushed home a two-handed dunk plus the foul at 12:19. This lit a fire underneath the Huskies.

One way or the other, Dyson was the story Wednesday.

"When he feels it, he's just so tough," said Calhoun of the Huskies' top dog.

"If he pulled a groin, it would have been some time. Certainly he would have missed a few games or may have been out 2-3 weeks. The way he's playing and starting our season, we can't afford that."


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