UConn coach Jim Calhoun was back at practice Friday, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be coaching the Huskies when they play host to Pitt on Saturday.
In fact, Calhoun was mostly there to alleviate some restlessness, not because he feels better after having surgery to alleviate nerve pain in his back.
“I feel tired now,” he told the AP. “It’s the first time I’ve practiced in almost four weeks. So it’s kind of hard to anticipate where I will be. But hopefully I’ll wake up tomorrow and feel better. If I don’t, if I feel like I can’t give the kids my all for a couple of hours, then I won’t do it and I’ll try it on Sunday in practice again.”
“I have not made plans to do anything else except come back,” he said. “A few things along the way have gotten in my way.”
Calhoun, 69, has been on indefinite medical leave since Feb. 3, missing eight games in that span. UConn (17-12) has gone 3-5 without him and in is danger of not making the NCAA tournament and not defending as champions.
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.