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Men's Basketball Heads to 2010 BIG EAST Championship

March 8, 2010

BIG EAST Tournament Notes Get Acrobat Reader | BIG EAST Championship Bracket Get Acrobat Reader

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's basketball team heads into the 2010 BIG EAST Tournament as the No. 12 seed and will open play in the first round Tuesday against No. 13 seed St. John's. The Huskies have a record of 17-14 overall and finished 7-11 in the Conference.

The Huskies finished the season with a 14-4 record at home, 2-8 on the road and 1-2 in neutral site contests, all of which came at Madison Square Garden. UConn spent 11 weeks ranked in the national polls during the season and have a record of 3-5 this season against ranked opponents.

UConn and St. John's met once during the season, a 75-59 Husky win on January 20 in Hartford. That was the first game of a seven-game medical leave of absence for head coach Jim Calhoun.

IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: UConn enters the 2010 BIG EAST Tournament with a 29-24 all-time mark in tourney play. UConn is a six-time BIG EAST Tournament Champion, winning the title in 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2004. The Huskies have been the tourney runner-up three times, in 1995, 2000 and 2003. UConn is one of only three teams to play four games in the tournament, turning the trick in 2000. The Huskies are also the only team in league history to win both the Regular Season and Tournament titles in consecutive seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99). UConn is 28-21 in BIG EAST Tournament games in Madison Square Garden, 28-17 under Jim Calhoun. The Huskies have a record of 25-9 when seeded better than their opponent, 3-14 when seeded worse and 1-1 with an equal seed as their tournament opponent.

UCONN AS THE NO. 12 SEED: UConn will enter play in the BIG EAST Tournament as a No. 12 seed for the second time in its history. The Huskies were the No. 12 seed in the 2007 Tournament, falling to No. 5 Syracuse in the first round.

UCONN AGAINST THE NO. 13 SEED: UConn is 1-0 against the No. 13 seed in its BIG EAST Tournament history, beating No. 13 seeded Boston College in 2000, 70-55, in the first round. The Huskies were the No. 4 seed in that tournament.

UConn Basketball Annual BIG EAST Tournament Seed

2010, #12 2009, #3 2008, #4 2007, #12
2006, #1 2005, #2 2004, #2 2003, #2e
2002, #1e 2001, #6e 2000, #4 1999, #1
1998,#1 1997, #11 1996, #1 1995, #1
1994, #1 1993m #4 1992, #6 1991, #3
1990, #2 1989, #7 1988, #9 1987, #9
1986, #8 1985, #7 1984, #7 1983, #7
1982, #6 1981, #5 1980, #4  

UConn BIG EAST Basketball Records as Seed

as #1, 15-3 as #2, 9-2 as #3, 0-2 as #4, 4-4
as #5, 0-1 as #6, 0-3 as #7, 0-4 as #8, 0-1
as #9, 1-2 as #10, 0-0 as #11, 0-1 as #12, 0-1

UConn BIG EAST Basketball Records vs. Seed

vs. #1, 4-2 vs. #2, 3-6 vs. #3, 2-5 vs. #4, 4-2
vs. #5, 3-3 vs. #6, 0-3 vs. #7, 3-0 vs. #8, 3-1
vs. #9, 4-2 vs. #10, 0-0 vs. #11, 1-0 vs. #12, 1-0

VS. ST. JOHN'S IN THE TOURNEY: UConn will meet St. John's in the 2010 First Round and has a 2-3 mark against the Red Storm in BIG EAST Championship play. The teams will meet in the tourney for the first time since the 2000 Championship game, won by SJU, 80-70. The teams also met in the 1999 title game, won by UConn, and met in the 1994 (UConn), 1992 and 1982 (SJU) quarterfinals. The 1982 game was played at the Hartford Civic Center. Including regular season contests, UConn is 10-9 against St. John's at MSG, 8-7 in the regular season and 2-2 in the BIG EAST Tournament.

VS. POTENTIAL OPPS, MARQUETTE AND VILLANOVA: UConn has never faced potential second round opponent No. 5 seed Marquette in the BIG EAST Championship. UConn has a 2-3 mark in the tourney against potential quarterfinal opponent No. 4 seed Villanova, winning the last two meetings in the 2004 & 2002 quarterfinals. The Wildcats beat UConn in the 1995 title game, the 1983 quarterfinals and the 1981 quarterfinals (at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse).

CALHOUN/UCONN AT MSG: Jim Calhoun will be coaching his 76th game at Madison Square Garden as Connecticut's head basketball coach when the Huskies hit the floor in the BIG EAST Tournament. In his 24th year as head coach at UConn, Jim Calhoun and his Huskies have recorded an overall record of 44-31 in games played at MSG.

UConn and Jim Calhoun have won seven championships at MSG--the 1988 NIT Championship, the 1990 BIG EAST Tournament Championship, the 1996 BIG EAST Tournament Championship, the 1998 BIG EAST Tournament Championship, the 1999 BIG EAST Tournament Championship, 2002 BIG EAST Tournament Championship and the 2004 BIG EAST Tournament Championship.

Under coach Calhoun, UConn is 8-7 in 15 regular season games against St. John's University, 28-17 in BIG EAST Tournament games and 8-7 in other tournament play in MSG. Connecticut had a record of 6-16 in Madison Square Garden prior to Coach Calhoun's arrival at UConn.

UCONN IN THE FIRST ROUND: UConn has a record of 2-5 in the BIG EAST Championship First Round. The Huskies have not played a First Round game since 2007, falling to Syracuse, 78-65. In other first round appearances, the Huskies lost to Syracuse in 2001, 86-75, beat Boston College in the First Round in 2000 and lost to Pittsburgh in the First Round in 1997. The Huskies made three First Round "8-9" game appearances, beating Providence in 1989 and losing to Boston College in 1987 and Seton Hall in 1986.

UCONN IN THE QUARTERFINALS: UConn has played 25 times in the BIG EAST quarterfinals and has a record of 12-13 in quarterfinal games. The Huskies had won ten straight quarterfinal games before losing in the quarterfinals in each of their last three appearances in that round, 2006 to Syracuse, 2008 to West Virginia and 2009 to Syracuse.

UCONN IN THE SEMIFINALS: UConn has made 12 appearances in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament and has a record of 9-3 in those appearances. The Huskies have advanced to the semifinals in ten of the last 14 tournaments.

UCONN IN THE TITLE GAME: UConn has appeared in the championship game nine times in its history and has a record of 6-3 in the title game. UConn has appeared in seven title games in the past 13 seasons. The Huskies have the third most appearances all-time in the title game, behind Syracuse (13) and Georgetown (11).

HUSKY BIG EAST HONOREES: Three members of the University of Connecticut men's basketball team received All-BIG EAST honors as announced by the conference on Sunday. Senior Jerome Dyson and sophomore Kemba Walker were each selected to the All-BIG EAST Third Team. Dyson leads the Huskies in scoring at 17.7 per game and 15.9 in league play. Walker averaged 14.9 points per game, 15.7 in league games, and also leads the Huskies in assists at 5.2 per contest.

Freshman Alex Oriakhi was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team after averaging 5.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest. He started 26 games for the Huskies.

Jerome Dyson leads the Huskies in scoring at 17.7 ppg and has topped the 20-pt. mark in 12 games. He is also averaging 4.4 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per contest. He is an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection in 2009-10. • Kemba Walker is averaging 14.9 ppg and leads the Huskies in assists at 5.2 per contest. He has scored 20 or more points five times this year. He had a career-best 29 points in the win at Villanova and was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on February 22. He is an All-BIG EAST Third Team selection in 2009- 10.
Stanley Robinson is averaging 14.9 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Before scoring only six points at Notre Dame, he had reached double figures in scoring in 35 straight contests dating back to last season. He has 1,198 career points.
Gavin Edwards is the first Husky off the bench and averages 10.7 points and 6.6 rebounds. He recorded back-to-back double doubles against Louisville and Notre Dame and has reached double figures in 22 games this season after totaling only six double figure games in his first three seasons.
Alex Oriakhi is averaging 5.0 ppg and 6.7 rebounds, grabbing double figure rebounds six times. He has started 26 games and earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors on January 11.
Ater Majok played his first game as a Husky in the win over UCF on December 20. He has started 21 games and is averaging 2.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 1.6 blks in 15.0 minutes of action per game.
Donnell Beverly is the first backcourt reserve, playing 10.1 minutes per game with 39 assists and 26 turnovers.
Jamal Coombs-McDaniel has notched four double-figure performances off the bench and had eight points in the win at Villanova.
Charles Okwandu had a career-best 10 points in the win over Notre Dame on January 2. Okwandu has played in 37 career games and had 10 of his 32 career points in that win over Notre Dame.

SCORING TRIOS: Depending on how much longer the UConn season continues, the Huskies may have an opportunity to reach a statistical first at UConn. Jerome Dyson (549 pts), Stanley Robinson (461 pts) and Kemba Walker (462 pts) are only the sixth set of UConn teammates to crack the 400-point mark in the same season and the second set to reach 450, joining the 2008-09 trio of A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien and Hasheem Thabeet. If Robinson and Walker can get to the 500-point mark, it would mark the first time UConn has ever had three players reach 500 points in the same season. UConn has also never had four 400-point scorers in the same year and Gavin Edwards has 332 points this season.

CALHOUN IN MARCH AND BEYOND: Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun has posted an impressive 23-year overall record of 100-48 (67.6%) in the months of March and April. During his tenure at UConn, Jim Calhoun's record post-February is as follows: 20-14 in regular season play, 28-17 in BIG EAST Tournament play, 40-13 in NCAA play, and 12-4 in NIT play.

Kemba Walker was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on February 22 after leading the Huskies to a pair of road wins, including scoring a career-best 29 in the win at Villanova. Walker is the first UConn POTW honoree this season and the first since Hasheem Thabeet on February 16, 2009. He was also on the BIG EAST Honor Roll for March 1 after averaging 24.5 in the games vs. WVU and Louisville.
Jerome Dyson is now 13th all-time in scoring at UConn, No. 3 all-time in made free throws (439) and three steals away from the No. 5 spot all-time in steals.
Gavin Edwards is averaging 30.4 minutes per game and is No. 1 in the nation among players coming off the bench. Edwards started the first three games of the season, but has come off the bench since. He averaged 9.1 minutes per game in his first three seasons.
Alex Oriakhi has totaled six double figure rebound games this season, including four games with 13 or more boards. His rebounding has put him in relatively heady company among Husky freshmen under Jim Calhoun. His total of four 13+ rebound games ties him with Emeka Okafor and Josh Boone for the most under Calhoun. Okafor totaled 16 double-figure games as a frosh, but Oriakhi needs one more to tie Caron Butler for second place at seven. Boone and Kevin Freeman also had six double figure rebounding games as freshmen.
Jerome Dyson leads the Huskies in scoring at 17.7 points and reached the20-point mark for the 26th time in his Husky career in the win at Rutgers. He is one of 10 UConn players under Jim Calhoun to crack the 20-pt mark 20 or more times. Richard Hamilton, with 53 20-pt games, holds the UConn/Calhoun mark.
Jim Calhoun returned from a medical leave of absence on February 11 and has assumed his complete coaching responsibilities with no restrictions. Coach Calhoun went on a temporary medical leave on January 19. He missed seven games during that time, during which the Huskies went 3-4. UConn has a record of 20-8 in games that head coach Jim Calhoun has missed all or part of during his tenure at Connecticut.
George Blaney has coached 14 complete games in Calhoun's absence and UConn is 7-7.

SENIORITIS: Gavin Edwards is finishing his Husky career in impressive fashion, drawing comparison to another Husky in recent memory who made a substantial jump in his senior season. Hilton Armstrong entered his senior year in 2005-06 with career averages of 2.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots in his 97 games in three seasons. As a senior, Armstrong averaged 9.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks en route to earning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and Second Team All-BIG EAST honors. Armstrong was taken with the 12th pick of the 2006 NBA Draft. Edwards entered this season at 3.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg and 0.6 bpg in 89 career contests. Through 31 games in 2009-10, Edwards is averaging 10.7, 6.6 and 2.1, ranking nationally in blocked shots. He would rank nationally in field goal percentage at 60.3%, but does not have enough attempts to qualify.

CALHOUN/UCONN IN BIG EAST: UConn enters the game with an all-time record of 327-230 in BIG EAST competition, including tourney play. Jim Calhoun has led the Huskies to a mark of 289-163 in BIG EAST games and his win total in BIG EAST play is second all-time only to Jim Boeheim.