He has done a great job coaching this UCONN program, and putting it all together.
This years collapse however, just shows how overmatched he has now become. Sure, they lost Jerome Dyson so that’s why a lot of people are going to overlook this horrific loss and say, well they did better than expected! No I’m sorry, that’s not acceptable for a “legendary” coach.
UCONN entered the game against Michigan State knowing what to expect. Michigan State is known to be a very physical team, with a strong team emphasis on rebounding. Hm, sound like any other teams (PITTSBURGH)? Jim Calhoun did not prepare his team for this game. No one in the nation can dispute the fact that UCONN is a much more talented team, yet they are out of the tourney and get to sit and watch the game they should have been in. So how did this happen?
A: The loss of Jerome Dyson was too much to overcome.
Wrong. They have been showing all season this team has too much talent to let that stop them. Yet, come time to put up, they fall short.
B: Jim Calhoun is no longer a great coach.
DING DING. Absolutely right. The distractions that the UCONN team faced this year, all stemmed from their “legendary” coach. Be it how much money this fraud makes a year, his health and well being, his recruiting scandal. It doesn’t matter. HE was the distraction. Not only did he serve as a distraction, or an excuse, for his immature team, however he did not get them ready for the big games. Losing to Pittsburgh twice in the same season, when you are the team to beat, is not the makings of a great coach. A great coach reads and reacts to what is happening. Yet, both of those games they were overmatched physically and beat to the ball far too often.
Not enough for you? What happened vs. Michigan State? The team had NO HEART. They got beat physically and mentally. They didn’t play like they wanted to win that game. They played like they were okay with whatever happened. You let your team dance around for 20 minutes in front of the camera like they just won the world series, when all they really did was clear the quarterfinals, and this is what happens to your immature program. ALL THEY DID WAS MAKE THE FINAL FOUR. BIG DEAL. The team is already filled with extremely immature players, who know their lives have been gift wrapped for them. You don’t let them take pride in the fact that they made the semifinals of a tournament. You drive them for more.
You win that tournament and then you celebrate.
Michigan State brought heart and determination. They weren’t content with making the semifinals because they knew they weren’t supposed to be there. They knew this was not their tournament to win, but they were going to win it. Tom Izzo got them to believe they needed to win this for their state. To bring joy to a state in economic ruin.
That’s what Calhoun is missing now. He doesn’t have the heart to convince his players that they are playing for more than popularity. Calhoun is content to ride in the spotlight and let whatever happens happen. He’s content to let the spotlight be on him, while his team falters in the big games. He’s selfish and washed up.
It’s time for you to go Jimbo. Not because of your health, but because the program shouldn’t be about you.