UConn’s not shaking up starting lineup for home stretch


Kemba Walker’s supporting cast keeps getting better. First it was Jeremy Lamb providing the extra scoring punch, then Jamal Coombs-McDaniel came out of nowhere to dump 25 points in 31 minutes in Sunday’s win over Providence.

It’s a nice boost for a team that’s still trying to shake off its recent Big East slump as it plays host to Georgetown tonight.

Not that Jim Calhoun’s gonna do anything drastic. Coombs-McDaniel won’t be starting, 25-point outburst or not.

“I like that spark off the bench,” Calhoun told Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant. “I talked to Jamal. ‘If you give me 31 minutes,’ he said, ‘I don’t care.’”

That’s an ideal response for a coach who’s still trying to figure out just where UConn (19-5, 7-5) figures in the Big East race and in the NCAA tournament picture. With games remaining against G’town, Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Notre Dame, the Huskies can hardly cruise into next month.

“The biggest thing is trying to get a feel for everybody else in the league,” Calhoun told Anthony. “Three teams have separated themselves. Pittsburgh has done that. Notre Dame has done that. And Georgetown, with eight straight wins at this particular time of year, has done that. And then the rest of us are going to battle for six or seven spots, probably [for the NCAA Tournament].”   

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