UConn Basketball Summer Updates
Jim Calhoun held his summer elite camp this weekend, and plenty of program news and notes stemmed from such a weekend.
Many wanted to know what the deal was with senior PG A.J. Price, as he is in the midst of his rehab from an ACL injury suffered in the first round of the NCAA Tourney. People who attended the camp were very surprised with how he was moving. He was flying around in agility drills and didn't seem to lose the stroke on his jumper.
Price had surgery performed about four months ago. The time frame for a full recovery is six months, and his doctors view him as being well ahead of schedule. It seems as though Jim Calhoun will have his star PG back at full speed for the start of October practices.
In other news, Stanley Robinson was in attendance for the camp over the weekend. Robinson will not be a part of the team for the first semester, citing academic and personal reasons.
Stanley was speculated to transfer and perhaps return closer to home in Alabama, but he has put those rumors to rest. He plans on getting things straightened out and has begun working around campus in an attempt to pay for his tuition for the second semester.
Stanley would be able to walk on to the team as long as he pays his student bills. He would be able to apply for financial aid.
"I'll be here," Robinson said according to Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant. "I'm not going home any time soon. I've got to stay focused, work. I'm going to take an online class. Everybody thinks I'm going to be out a year, but I'm going to be back in December. I just call it a blessing. Coach Calhoun has given me another opportunity to play. I just don't want to jinx it.
"I slipped on my grades, not going to this class or that. I can't blame anybody. There are rumors around. Back at home, it's coming out in newspapers that I'm going to Alabama or UAB. I just called and I was like, 'Don't put any more rumors in the paper. I'm still part of the UConn family.'
"I don't want to transfer. I've found my home, made my home and I'm going to keep my home. There were different options and all that, but why go back home when I know I have a great chance to make a better man of myself right here?"
Coach Calhoun has vocally defended Robinson and still believes that he will make something of this situation when all is said and done. "He wants to go to school here," Calhoun said. "He wants to prove to people he can do the right thing, and we're going to give him ample opportunity."
Calhoun has gotten plenty of calls from other schools inquiring about the talented Robinson, but Stanley has told the coaching staff to turn down such requests. Calhoun calls Stanley a great kid, and they are both doing everything in their power to get his life on track and get him to where he needs to be so he can once again be an important contributor to the team.
Coach Calhoun uses his camp to help aid in the process of recruiting. He invites players that he and his coaching staff have a strong interest in. One of his main targets is top recruit and high school senior SG Dominic Cheek, who attends St. Anthony's in New Jersey.
The coaching staff aren't the only members from UConn trying to court Cheek. Incoming freshman Kemba Walker has been giving him an earful. Walker and Cheek played together this summer on the U-18 US National Team. Mike Anthony provides so more interview responses:
"I love playing with Kemba," Cheek said. "The first time I played with him, he got me the ball. He's a team player. On the way to Argentina, he was telling me I have to come here. He was just saying: 'Me and you, two and done.'"
"UConn has a great coach, they get players to the league and they're known for making a great run in the NCAA Tournament," Cheek said. "When I make my list, UConn is definitely going to be one of the top schools.
"I talked to the coaching staff and to Coach Calhoun. He told me I was his number-one shooting guard recruit, he wants me really bad and that I could come here and make an impact. He tried to compare me to Ray Allen. All I have to do is keep working hard. It's going to my head a little bit but I'm me. I'll make a name for myself."
Cheek had impressed many as he out-dueled Memphis-bound SG Tyreke Evans in a nationally televised game. Evans was the star to watch in the game, but Cheek seemingly stole the show as he displayed his long range jumper and his high flying act. Cheek would be the top notch SG that UConn has been looking for.
Another top recruit in attendance was 6'10" Center Daniel Orton. UConn has been heavily recruiting this big from Oklahoma City as they are hopeful he will be the next great UConn big man.
"I'm looking for minutes as a freshman, mainly," he said of choosing schools. "I've talked to a lot of the UConn coaches. They told me they are really interested in my game, they really like what I do and how I perform really well. The development of the big men—I really like that. I take bits and pieces from Charlie Villanueva, Emeka Okafor, Hilton Armstrong, a bunch of them."
When asked about his future, Orton responded by saying, "Right now I'm looking to stay one year. Two years isn't bad, but I'm looking for a college where I can see myself for four years. You never what can happen."
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