April 9, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - On senior night, Kevin Ollie made a promise to the Connecticut fans. He would bring his team back in April with a banner. The Huskies promptly lost their next game at Louisville, 81-48. They lost to the Cardinals again in the American championship game. They never lost again. Starting with a survival game against Saint Joseph's on the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament, the seventh-seeded Huskies kept playing better and showing different dimensions game to game, upsetting Villanova, Iowa State, Michigan State, Florida and, finally, last night at AT&T Stadium, mighty Kentucky, 60-54, to win the program's fourth national title, all since 1999.
March 23, 2014 |
BUFFALO - It has probably been more than two decades, give or take a season, since the best player on the University of Connecticut's basketball team was a senior. That says something about the impatient nature of big-time college basketball - always willing to trade tomorrow's stability for the short-term fix of today's elite prep players - and it says something about UConn's ability under Jim Calhoun to successfully fish those waters. The streak is over, however, and that says something much more about Shabazz Napier, the 6-foot-1 senior point guard who led the Huskies in points, rebounds, and assists and was named the American Athletic Conference's first-ever player of the year.
March 21, 2014 |
BUFFALO - Kevin Ollie, coach of the Connecticut Huskies, played three brief stints with the 76ers during a 13-year NBA career in which all of his stints around the league were relatively brief. There were an awful lot of them, though. He played with 11 franchises, and it seemed there was always a place that wanted him for his influence in the locker room and on the court. "Class. Class personified," said St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, whose Hawks meet up with Ollie's UConn team Thursday in the NCAA opener for both schools.
February 13, 2013 |
KEVIN OLLIE is, if nothing else, a survivor. How else do you describe someone who, after starting his career in the CBA, spent all or part of 13 seasons in the NBA with 12 different teams? I mean, has anyone ever had more 10-day contracts? The Connecticut point guard spent more time with the Sixers (1999-2001, 2004-08) than any other franchise. So Philadelphia will always remain a large part of him. Especially the indelible run to the Finals with Allen Iverson. "My time there was special," Ollie recalled recently.
September 15, 2012 |
To the early Big East list of coaching characters - Louie and Rollie, Big John and Sour Jim - one more was added. It was as if the Big East Conference realized it needed a crazy and fearless Boston Irishman to complete the cast. Jim Calhoun may have been the craziest. I'm looking at a typical game photo, Calhoun screaming at one of his guys, three inches away, mouth wide, eyebrows arched, all creased and craggy and explosive. (Soundtrack easily imagined). The player is standing expressionless, and a teammate is walking behind them, paying no mind.
September 13, 2012 |
UNIVERSITY OF Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun is expected to announce his retirement at a news conference Thursday, the school confirmed. Calhoun, who coached the Huskies to three national titles, will be replaced by assistant coach Kevin Ollie, sources said. Terms of Calhoun's exit and Ollie's deal were not finalized Wednesday. Calhoun, 70, won 873 games in 40 years as a head coach, first at Northeastern and the last 26 years at UConn, where he put four teams in the Final Four, winning national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011.
May 9, 2012 |
CONNECTICUT athletic director Warde Manuel said Monday he has no plans to name Kevin Ollie or anyone else as a coach-in-waiting for the men's basketball program. Coach Jim Calhoun , who turns 70 this month, is expected to return next season, but has not made his final plans public. Manuel said he is operating under the assumption that the Hall of Fame coach will be back, noting that Calhoun has two years left on his contract. He would not disclose the conversations he and Calhoun have had about the future of the program, but said the plans don't currently include naming a successor while Calhoun is still coaching.
October 13, 2011 |
JIM CALHOUN, longtime coach at defending national champion Connecticut, said he hopes the Huskies to remain in the Big East. The Hall of Fame coach, speaking to reporters during his team's annual 3.4-mile "Husky Run" around campus, said the school has worked for 32 years to build itself into a national sports power, and needs to find the right conference fit. But, he said he is "pro Big East," and hopes that is where UConn lands. Calhoun said even after Syracuse and Pittsburgh leave, the league still will have nine basketball programs that made the NCAA Tournament a season ago, and in his opinion is a stronger basketball conference than the ACC. "My thing is that I'm never, ever, to this day, never, ever will be anti-Big East," Calhoun said.
April 5, 2011
HOUSTON - It was a game for the record book but not the video library, as Connecticut won the national basketball championship Monday night with a nearly unwatchable 53-41 victory over Butler. At least the ending wasn't as painfully close for the losers as was last year's attempt at the title for the mid-major Bulldogs. It wasn't one missed shot that cost them the championship, but a raft of them. Butler scored just 19 points in the second half and went more than seven minutes between field goals as UConn took control of the game for good.
March 28, 2011 |
ANAHEIM - Jim Calhoun missed Connecticut's First Night season-opening event last October because he was in Indianapolis defending his embattled program against an NCAA investigation. But the 68-year-old coach isn't missing another action-packed minute of the improbably sunny ending to a season that started under such a cloud. After winning nine postseason tournament games in a thrilling 19-day stretch, Calhoun's tireless Huskies are preparing for the Final Four in Houston. Scoring sensation Kemba Walker and his teammates punched their tickets by winning the West Regional on Saturday with a 65-63 victory over Arizona.