Nov. 29, 2010
Storrs, Conn. -
The latest national polls were released today and UConn is ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. It was also announced today by the BIG EAST Conference that junior guard Kemba Walker (Bronx, N.Y.) has been named the Player of the Week. Connecticut sits at 5-0 to start the season.
Walker currently leads the nation at 30.0 points per game and was crowned MVP of the Maui Invitational, which the Huskies claimed by defeating No. 9 Kentucky, 84-67. During the three-game tournament, Walker notched 90 points (three shy of the Maui Invitational record) to go along with 12 assists and eight steals.
Walker's sensational start includes several records and firsts in the Calhoun era. Walker set a new career-high with 42 points in a victory over Vermont on November 17. The 42 points are the most ever during Coach Jim Calhoun's time in Storrs. The mark also tied the XL Center record.
After scoring 42 against Vermont, Walker opened the Maui Invitational with 31 points against Wichita State before pouring in 30 points against No. 2 Michigan State the following night. Walker became only the third player in UConn history and the first player under Calhoun to record three-straight 30-point games.
With 42 against Vermont and 31 against Wichita State, Walker's 73 points are the most in consecutive games under Calhoun. Walker's 150 points after five games set a new standard under Calhoun and are the second-most in UConn history.
Led by Walker, UConn has jumped in the polls from unranked to No. 7/9 in the AP and Coaches' polls, respectively. UConn's incredible "entrance" into the polls is the second-highest leap since the Associated Press poll went to 25 teams in 1989-90.
Kansas went from unranked to No. 4 on Nov. 27, 1989 after beating No. 2 LSU, No. 1 UNLV and No. 25 St. John's to win the Preseason NIT. Arizona held the second best entrance, going from unranked to No. 8 on Nov. 20, 2001 after beating No. 2 Maryland and No. 7 Florida to win Coaches vs. Cancer and beating No. 23 Texas.
In 2009, UConn was ranked for 11 weeks. The Huskies were last ranked on January 25, holding the 19th spot.
Connecticut is in action next when it hosts New Hampshire on Tuesday, November 30. That game will take place in Gampel Pavilion on the UConn campus in Storrs, Conn. beginning at 7:30.