Skip to content

As Jim Calhoun celebrates 70th birthday, challenges lie ahead

May 10, 2012, 11:44 AM EST

jim-calhoun

Jim Calhoun is in a much different position this year, celebrating his 70th birthday Thursday, than he was one year ago, celebrating his 69th.

One year ago, Calhoun was coming off a national championship with his Kemba Walker-led Connecticut Huskies, set to return guard Jeremy Lamb for what many were expecting would be a stellar sophomore season.

But this year, it’s a different program.

Not only have questions continued to linger about his health, following a leave of absence this past season that was spurred by persistent back problems, but there has been a mass exodus of talent and the Huskies have been banned from the 2012-13 postseason.

After the NCAA handed down the ban, related to Connecticut’s non-qualifying Academic Progress Rate, it left no doubt that the underclassman Lamb and freshman Andre Drummond would bolt for the NBA draft.

It also opened a unique opportunity for forward Alex Oriakhi, who left to join Frank Haith at Missouri for his senior season, taking advantage of an NCAA rule that allows seniors to transfer without having to sit out a year if his team is facing an APR-related ban.

Roscoe Smith and Michael Bradley have also departed.

The Huskies have three players signed to come in the fall from the Class of 2012: New York City native Omar Calhoun and recently committed 6-10 forward Phil Nolan, and German forward Leon Tolksdorf.

This isn’t about penning an obituary for the Connecticut program. It’s more about a realization that, as Bob Dylan put it, the times, they are a-changin’.

The pieces of the national championship team have all but been wiped out. The APR ban means a perennial fixture in the NCAA tournament will not be there.

And all of this comes on the backdrop of a 70th birthday of the long-time head coach. Let’s see where the Huskies go from here.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Latest Posts
  1. Kansas State lands guard commitment in 2015 class

    Mar 1, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    (DMV Elite) (DMV Elite)

    Kansas State picked up a Class of 2015 guard commitment on Sunday.

  2. Kaleb Tarczewski produces another quality outing as No. 7 Arizona beats No. 13 Utah

    Mar 1, 2015, 12:43 AM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    In a game that saw both teams struggle to find their rhythm, “Zeus” and Gabe York came up big for Arizona.

  3. ‘Medical setback’ sidelines San Diego State senior forward indefinitely

    Feb 28, 2015, 10:25 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Dwayne Polee II had to sit out Saturday’s loss to Boise State as a result of an abnormal reading generated by his cardiac monitor.

  4. You Make the Call: Was Texas guard Isaiah Taylor fouled on this drive?

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:42 PM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    With the loss Texas drops to 1-11 in games against teams in the RPI Top 50.

  5. Why Iowa State fans shouldn’t hyperventilate after a second straight loss

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:03 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The Cyclones lost at home against Baylor and then lost at Kansas State.

  6. No. 1 Kentucky moves to 29-0 with blowout win over No. 18 Arkansas

    Feb 28, 2015, 7:01 PM EST

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Kentucky has now won 46 SEC titles, and this group looks poised to add more hardware to the trophy case before the season concludes.

  7. Dayton remains tied for first in the Atlantic 10 with win at No. 22 VCU

    Feb 28, 2015, 5:13 PM EST

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Having just seven scholarship players hasn’t kept the Flyers from playing a major role in the Atlantic 10 race.

  8. Kansas will sit Cliff Alexander against Texas as NCAA issue could affect eligibility

    Feb 28, 2015, 3:45 PM EST

    Cliff Alexander (AP Photo) AP

    Kansas will be without Cliff Alexander against Texas on Saturday.

  9. #POSTERIZED: Jake Layman runs and hides, still gets dunked on (VIDEO)

    Feb 28, 2015, 1:55 PM EST

    Jake Layman AP

    Jake Layman didn’t want to get dunked on.

  10. #POSTERIZED: Montrezl Harrell destroys Florida State defender (VIDEO)

    Feb 28, 2015, 12:21 PM EST

    Pittsburgh v Louisville Getty Images

    Robbie Berwick is not going to like seeing this highlight.

  11. Auburn guard Antoine Mason will miss Saturday’s game to deal with the death of his father

    Feb 28, 2015, 11:15 AM EST

    Auburn Alabama Basketball AP

    Auburn will be without second-leading scorer Antoine Mason as he deals with the death of his father.

  12. Marist’s Khallid Hart hits a driving, game-winning layup to beat Saint Peter’s (VIDEO)

    Feb 28, 2015, 10:00 AM EST

    (Marist Athletics) (Marist Athletics)

    Marist’s Khallid Hart made the game-winning layup with 1.5 seconds left for the win.