UConn men travel to Providence
Published: Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 01:02
Following an emotionally exhausting loss at home to No. 2 Syracuse Saturday night, the UConn men's basketball team will look to rebound on the road tonight at Providence.
"We can't keep our heads down, we just have to continue to move on to Providence," said Roscoe Smith.
The Huskies lost 71-69 to the Orange at Gampel Pavilion and fell to 17-11 (7-9 Big East).
"We feel disappointed," Smith said after the loss. "We have three games left in the season, the Big East championship and we still have the NCAA tournament. So it's still a long season so we just have to continue to learn from our mistakes and play hard."
UConn, who currently sits in ninth place in the conference, will tip off at 7 p.m. against the Friars, who enter the game in 15th place in the Big East standings with a 3-13 conference record and 14-15 overall mark. Providence is promoting a "Black Out the Dunk" campaign on its athletics website. Playing at the downtown Dunkin' Donuts arena has always given the Huskies trouble. Two years ago, UConn fell in Rhode Island's capital 81-66, and the Friar fans stormed the court. Last season, in Storrs, the Huskies bested Marshon Brooks and Providence 75-57 behind 25 points from Jamal Coombs-McDaniel.
The Friars are led by coach Ed Cooley, whose in his first season at the helm of the program after coaching Fairfield. Prior to his stop with the Stags, he was an assistant at Boston College. Providence has only won three games since the new year. The Friars upset Louisville at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Jan. 10 and beat Rutgers by 11 at home on Feb. 1. Providence snapped a five-game losing streak on Saturday, winning at DePaul. Vincent Council, Bryce Cotton and LaDontae Henton average greater than 14 points per game. Henton averages 8.6 rebounds per contest.
Associate head coach George Blaney will roam the sidelines for, most likely, the last time as interim coach tonight. Jim Calhoun is expected to return from medical leave Saturday for the Pittsburgh game, but if Calhoun can't go, Blaney will remain acting coach.
Calhoun underwent a successful surgery that addressed his foraminal spinal stenosis on Monday morning, according to a statement released by the school. The procedure removed a large disk fragment that was giving him the lower back pain. Calhoun had the operation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
According to the UConn athletic department, doctors told Calhoun he will make a full recovery and will be released Tuesday. He will recover at home and his coaching status will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
"I am very fortunate to have been treated by three of the very best surgeons," Calhoun said in statement. "My heartfelt thanks to them and the entire Beth Israel community, who have made every effort to ensure my stay is as comfortable as possible... Lastly, thank you to the people across Connecticut and beyond who have reached out to offer their support. It means a great deal."
Calhoun was unable to attend the first annual Jim Calhoun CardioRaiser – Workout for Autism Speaks, present by Farmington Bank, on Sunday at Cardio Express in Manchester and Southington, according to a statement. Kevin Ollie stood in for Calhoun at the event, which raised $100,000 for autism.