UConn’s season came to an unceremonious end of Thursday night, as the No. 9 seed Huskies got bounced out of the NCAA Tournament by No. 8 Iowa State in the opening round.
It was a disappointing end to a thoroughly disappointing season that saw UConn struggle to find leadership, offensive continuity and have anywhere near the success that was suspected of this group.
And now? It’s time to play the waiting game. UConn’s roster is about to undergo a major overhaul, but the question remains who: who is going pro? Who is transferring out of the program? With next season’s postseason ban staring them in the face, you have to ask how many people on this team are actually willing to play a season with no chance at a title.
Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb are probably going pro. That’s a decision that has been all-but made for months now. Alex Oriakhi and Deandre Daniels are expected to transfer out of UConn, and no one would be surprised if Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith and Ryan Boatright made their exit as well.
The biggest decision, however, will be made by head coach Jim Calhoun.
And he wasn’t exactly happy to get questions about that decision after the game.
“We’re talking about tonight’s game,” Calhoun said. “We’re not talking about me. I think we’re talking about that. I’m going to get on the plane tomorrow, go home, and do what I usually do, and meet up with the team on Monday. So as far as my own personal thing, I don’t think it has any relevance here, to be honest with you.”
Calhoun almost didn’t return to Storrs this season. His health is forever a question mark. He has a new AD coming in, a team leaving him and a program that may not be able to play their way into the 2013 NCAA tournament even if they end up being eligible. Most people, in that situation, would call it a career, regardless of your profession.
But college coaches are wired differently. They are addicted to the grind. They are successful because of their tireless work ethic and a diehard competitive spirit. And I’m not the only one that finds it difficult to believe Calhoun is going to be able to hang them up after a season like this.
For now, all we can do is wait. But this much we do know: whatever happens, UConn is going to look very different come November.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.