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UConn Ends The Season In Ugly Fashion

By Daniel Dinunzio

Today's 71 to 53 defeat against St. Johns in the Big East Tournament is arguably the worst performance of any UConn team in the Jim Calhoun era. From the start, Calhoun went back on his word and the nonexistent turnover machine of Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson were back in the starting lineup.

This game was over before it ever began. The expression on the looks of these UConn players said it all. I don't remember last time a team didn't show up like the Huskies did the last four games of this season.

If I was UConn I wouldn't accept an invitation to the NIT or CBI. Why extend the season any longer? This team went on enough of a rollercoaster ride throughout this season. Such a disgrace to see three seniors from a final four team finish with a horrific record of 17 wins and 15 losses.

There's nothing that explains the shooting and playing woes of Jerome Dyson to end the season. Was he jealous of the way Kemba Walker had established himself as the leader? Could there be a personal matter that Dyson couldn't focus on the court?

Honestly, the only person that can answer that question is Jerome Dyson. He played four seasons at UConn and didn't win a game in the NCAA Tournament or the Big East Tournament. That may be hard to believe, but it's true. This team was ranked 10. at one point this season, but it never was able to establish a run as a team.

Stanley Robinson was an mirror image of how his game has been in past years. Showing glimpses of greatness one minute, and the next was as if he wasn't even in the building. I don't know how that will transition to the NBA. Regardless, Sticks has a lot of work to do in order to be a successful NBA player.

Then, there is Gavin Edwards. He led the country in minutes played off the bench. After Edwards, UConn didn't really have any players that produced when called upon. Gavin Edwards improved drastically during his senior year, but the team went in the total opposite direction.

It's sad to see a group of guys finish their collegiate careers in the same exact way it started. This team is filled with talent, but if that talent can't be put together on a basketball court for a full forty minutes then what's the use?

Jim Calhoun had a tough season with this group of kids. As he said before he loved these guys as a group, but when it came to basketball it was a different story. The road doesn't get any easier for this UConn team. The departure of these seniors will not be easy to overcome.

The uncertainty around the future of this UConn programs depends on Coach Calhoun and whether or note he plans on signing a contract that will make him the UConn coach for another four years. That's a long time for someone of his age, but he still has that passion and fire it takes to recruit and put together a team that compete with the best teams in the nation.

Who knew a team could collaspe like UConn has over the last two weeks. This same Huskies team was riding high on its horse after beating West Virginia on Big Monday. Fifteen days later UConn was ran out of MSG by an improved St. Johns team and is now headed back to Storrs for a long bus ride.

Quite frankly this UConn team has a lot to improve on between now and November. No matter what players are coming or going, this team has to have an entirely different attitude. The facial expression and body language of this team today looked demoralized and defeated just sitting on the bench.

All programs have down years, but the implosion by this group of seniors is unacceptable. Jim Calhoun tried everything to make this team gel together. It wasn't meant to be and it never came together.

Let's hope Connecticut basketball is able to regroup and get back to the prestige and promise that has made UConn a Big East powerhouse.

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