The symbolism of freshman guard Jeremy Lamb taking an assist from junior Kemba Walker to put UConn up by one point late in the Big East Tournament final, and freshman Shabazz Napier nailing the final two free throws was almost too perfect.
Most of the attention on UConn’s backcourt goes to Walker, the explosive scorer who is expected to graduate this year and enter the NBA Draft with his stock sky high. Yet Walker is symbolically passing the ball off to freshmen guards Lamb and Napier, who have become integral pieces in the current success of the Huskies, and will likely play bigger roles in any future triumphs. Read More »
Kemba Walker scored 130 points over five days in the Big East Championship, easily eclipsing Eric Devendorf‘s previous tournament record of 84. But while his step-backs, fearless slashes to the basket and timely threes will forever live in Championship-week lore, his best play might not have involved any of these. Read More »
When the highlights of past Big East Championships run on ESPN and SNY, they are dominated by theatrics from Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Ben Gordon and Gerry McNamara. But what Kemba Walker has done over the last four days might be the most impressive Garden Championship Week performance of any. Read More »
For years, I’ve said that the Big East Tournament makes up my five favorite days of the basketball year. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the NCAA tournament or the NBA Playoffs, but to me, it doesn’t get better than many of the best teams in the college playing in the biggest city in the country in the World’s Most Famous Arena. Thursday’s games were just more testimony to my already strong beliefs. Here are my awards from Day 3… Read More »
But this afternoon, with Pitt and UConn knotted at 74 in the Big East quarterfinals, there stood the Huskies’ Kemba Walker, a Bronx native, at the top of the key defended by the Panthers’ 6-11 center Gary McGhee with a trip to the Big East semis on the line. Read More »
When it comes to conference tournament play, some programs always seem to rise to the occasion. But without the right leader on the sideline and on the court, your team aura can only take you so far in a tourney that is stacked with contenders like the Big East. Yesterday, UConn took its second step towards being that team. You know, a squad that could steal the Big East Tournament, as they have both the sideline leader (Jim Calhoun) and floor general (Kemba Walker) to make a serious run at what has once again become “the tournament of all tournaments” during Championship Week. Read More »
Five NCAA teams that got my attention this past weekend for various reasons:
1. Connecticut (7-0)
According to preseason predictions, the Huskies would be overachieving had they reached sixth place in the Big East. Today, UConn is undefeated and ranked No. 6 in the nation following its rout of Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday. Kemba Walker is the alpha and omega of Coach Jim Calhoun‘s young squad. Read More »
College basketball analysts and experts love teams with experience. A team full of seniors represents the ultimate college basketball team for many. The Connecticut Huskies, however, are defying the odds.
Led by New York native Kemba Walker, the Huskies have shown what they are capable of at the Maui Invitational by knocking off Michigan State and Kentucky. Their supporting cast consists of Alex Oriakhi, Charles Okwandu, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, Donnell Beverly, and five freshmen. Read More »
Ask yourself: How many people had Duke as a preseason national title favorite last year? Outside of Durham, N.C., close to zero. The Blue Devils were ranked 9th and 8th, respectively, in the preseason AP and ESPN/coaches polls. They were considered a dangerous team, but not on the level of Kansas and Kentucky.
Over the course of the schedule, however, the realization hit that Duke possessed most of the pieces you’d want for a national title run: Experienced guards, quality shooters, versatile forwards, solid defense, good coaching and NBA-caliber talent in the right spots. Throw in a healthy “Us against the world” mentality (because they’re Duke) and a favorable NCAA Tournament bracket, and the Evil Empire was back on top of the game. Read More »
Let’s say you’re one of those who hasn’t picked a side yet going into the Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals. Now, if there was a chance any city’s media contingent could swing your vote away from their team before Game 1, you gotta admit Boston would have been the odds-on favorite. But then some dick columnist wrote this in the Los Angeles Times: “By the way, (Paul) Pierce‘s idea of a fun night is going clubbing and getting stabbed. Good times!” Although the newspaper eventually removed the piece from its website, radio station KTLA kept it up. Wow. Still not sure what to say about that one, except it sounds like a job for White Chocolate. Better yet, sic Jim Calhoun on the guy. Calhoun has chunks of writers like that in his stool … Read More »