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Postgame tidbits: UConn 83, AIC 58

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Kemba Walker may be what the Huskies need to live up to their high expectations.

Kemba Walker may be what the Huskies need to live up to their high expectations.

So it turns out this Kemba Walker guy's not half bad, huh?

Walker dominated the court tonight. Although he finished fifth on the team in points, with 10, he was every where all night, and everything he touched turned to gold. He pushes the team unlike any player they have on the roster, and when he's in you feel an excitement that wasn't there before -- one of the fatal flaws many said the 2006 team suffered from.

Jim Calhoun and most of the players agreed with my gushing over the frosh, saying that Walker pushes the ball more and the team plays faster with him in the lineup.

As Jeff Adrien so eloquently put it: "Zoom, zoom."

I'll refrain from making any Zenon the Zequel jokes and just tell you to jump for more from the game.

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  • While Walker shined, A.J. Price struggled a bit, finishing with just eight points. Price chalked it up to it being the first game, and said his knee was fine. He is wearing a brace/legging, but said after the game was because it keeps the heat flowing. It looks like, and apparently garners the responses, as the leggings LeBron and DeWayne Wade wore until they were banned by the NBA. "It felt fine," Price said. "I gave 100 percent, I didn't hold back at all. I'm happy with the results." Calhoun, however, said Price didn't look very assertive -- bad knee or no bad knee.
  • Also struggling was Jerome Dyson, who finished 0-for-4 from the field for one point. Nothing seemed wrong with the junior physically, and Calhoun only said afterward that he needs to see more from him. "He's been involved in practice, but I don't know where he is on the practice schedule," Calhoun said, seemingly taking a small jab. "He's not out best runner."
  • Hasheem Thabeet had a monster game, but I'm sure you can read that any where, including just simply looking at his line in the box score. Thabeet said afterward his success (9 of 9 from the floor) came from all the hard work he put in during the offseason. These are the type of games Thabeet should be having against inferior opponents. Perhaps his offensive game has finally caught up to his defense.
  • Scottie Haralson finished with three points, all of which coming off of -- you guessed it -- a 3-point shot. Haralson missed his first shot, a 3 from the right corner, but seemed to use space well. He did, however, finish just 1-for-5 from the field on the night. Calhoun said something to the effect that Haralson hasn't seen a shot he doesn't like, and it's true. Even he'll admit that. But Haralson said that will come over time, and when he shakes out some early-season jitters.
  • Also, when Haralson wasn't sitting around the arc, he looked a bit stiff running the court. He's listed at just 215 pounds on a 6-4 frame, but he's very muscular and a bit bulky. He kind of reminded me of a wind-up robot moving around.
  • Although he took a few shots at him in the preseason, Calhoun was pleased with the way Craig Austrie played. Although he scored just 11 points and didn't really standout during the game, Calhoun singled he and Walker out the most in the postgame press conference. Therefore, this leads me to the ultimate question of the night: Who will start now? It's clear; Walker is the future of the program. But this game showed he's also the present. Austrie should hold down his spot, but I don't know how much longer Calhoun can keep Walker on the bench. Like I said, he's dynamic and the team just plays better with him. And you can tell the players love him, too. "I had to really play my role almost because Kemba Walker did such a great job," Price said. This may be one of those situations where talent beats out stability ... something Craig knows all too well.
  • Gavin Edwards finished with 15 points on the night, good for second best on the team. Edwards has really embraced his role as the do-everything guy. He may not wow u (see Kemba Walker) but he's the type of guy team's need, the ones who do the dirty work. He said after the game he enjoys his roles, because his versatility creates so many matchup problems. He player the four tonight, but also can shift between any frontcourt position.
  • Nightly Dove Post: I've said it once, and I'll say it again: LADIES LOVE THE DOVE. Jonathan Mandeldove played 10 minutes and finished with one point. Yes, the Dove scored. Take a second to wipe those tears of joy from your eyes. You'd also be happy to know that when he did score his first point on a free throw, the crowd (read: student section) let out a raucous cheer, even when the game was out of reach. Now, of course the Dove would go on to miss the next free throw, but we know what happens when we get too greedy. And honestly, I enjoy my milk and would therefore like to keep it.