Commentary

UConn wins despite Calhoun's suspension of two players

Originally Published: January 26, 2008
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun will decide Sunday afternoon whether suspended guards Jerome Dyson and Doug Wiggins will play Monday night against Louisville (ESPN, 7 ET).

But another decision looms as to their status for the rest of the season.

"During the week, something will happen," said Calhoun on Saturday by phone after the Huskies stunned No. 8 Indiana, 68-63, in Bloomington, Ind.

"I will make a decision this week," Calhoun said. "There are more facts to come. More information is coming. It's complex. I'm going to get more facts."

Calhoun said he didn't make the decision to leave Dyson and Wiggins at home until "15 minutes before the bus left" to go to the airport for Indiana on Friday.

[+] EnlargeAJ Price
(AP Photo/Darron CummingsA.J. Price celebrates UConn's biggest win in years.

"The players have no idea [what Dyson and Wiggins did], and I'm not revealing," Calhoun said.

"We still have no idea," UConn's A.J. Price said on ESPN's Radio GameDay after the game. "[The coaches] told us to be prepared to go just as we did."

Calhoun said he would not have second-guessed his decision had the Huskies lost.

"I knew I made the right decision," Calhoun said. "I'm the one that made the decision, no one else. There were a couple of people strongly suggesting that I bring them, play them over the weekend and reassess the situation.

"I just said we're going to go forward and win the basketball game."

And now -- with the upset win over Indiana despite missing the two guards -- the Hall of Fame coach and two-time national champion certainly has the leverage.

Calhoun said he won't be influenced to play Dyson and Wiggins even though Louisville will pressure the perimeter Monday.

In fact, the Huskies will have more time to prepare for potentially playing Louisville without Dyson and Wiggins than they had to get ready for Indiana. UConn was still tweaking the game plan a few hours before Saturday's 1 p.m. ET tip-off in Bloomington.

"This is one of the special wins," Calhoun said of beating the Hoosiers. He ranked the win behind beating Duke in the national semifinals in 2004. "Very few games meant more to me. The kids gave everything they had."

The odds were stacked against the Huskies. They trailed 9-0 just three minutes after tip-off. And Price had to gut through 36 minutes in a game in which Calhoun said the junior was so sick he vomited on the sideline at one point.

"We had some guys playing out of position, but everybody brought the intensity that we needed and everybody just played hard," Price said.

That intensity has been there this week. The Huskies (14-5 overall, 4-3 Big East) beat Marquette on Sunday, won a last-second thriller at Cincinnati on Wednesday, then topped No. 8 Indiana on Saturday.

They play Louisville and No. 17 Pitt this week at home.

"The win over Indiana certainly speaks volumes for us," Calhoun said. "We're going to have to obviously do more [to get into the NCAA Tournament], but I would think we'll move up a bit now."

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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