Photo Credit: www.ctpost.com
If Calhoun is allowed to appoint his successor, and he has undoubtedly earned that right, Kevin Ollie is his clear choice. It has been no secret around UConn circles that Ollie was brought in specifically to be groomed as Calhoun’s heir apparent.
In his two years on staff, working mostly with guards, Ollie has shown the impact he can have. In his first season as an assistant, Ollie worked extensively with Kemba Walker, helping Kemba play more under control and not force the action.
It is no coincidence that Walker’s historic 2010-11 season coincided with Ollie’s addition to the UConn bench. This past year saw the emergence of Jeremy Lamb, whose ball-handling was greatly improved under Ollie’s tutelage.
Given the current nature of recruiting in college basketball, Ollie’s skills on the recruiting trail are equally as important as his on-court instruction.
Last offseason, Ollie played a major role in landing Andre Drummond, who, at that time, was the most heralded recruit in UConn’s history. This year, Omar Calhoun is the prized recruit, and again, it was Kevin Ollie who played the biggest role in his recruitment.
Any concerns about Jim Calhoun being too old and out of touch to convince the best high school players to commit to his program have been alleviated by Ollie’s presence on the staff.
Ollie's familiarity with the UConn program would serve him well if he were to replace his former coach. He understands how Calhoun runs the program and the type of player it takes to succeed. Ollie's UConn and NBA experience make him the best candidate to replace Jim Calhoun.