Back in 2011, Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies celebrated a national championship after a scrappy, yet ugly title game victory over Butler.
UConn head coach Jim Calhoun could have simply retired then, walked away on top with a Hall of Fame career under his belt.
That Hall of Fame career has not changed, but the outlook in Storrs certainly has.
Due to low APR scores, the Huskies are banned from the postseason in 2013, a ruling that even shape-shifted their roster from a season ago. After a tremendous start to the season and high expectations, UConn disappointed down the stretch, qualified for the NCAA Tournament, but failed to advance past the Round of 64.
Senior forward Alex Oriakhi (eligible immediately) transferred to Missouri, fellow forward Roscoe Smith moved forward to UNLV, while both Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb were lottery picks in this past June’s NBA Draft.
Looking ahead to the 2012-13 season, uncertainty lies ahead in terms of their expectations, but the fact of the matter remains that the Huskies’ top goal will only be a Big East regular season championship.
Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright return, while incoming freshman guard Omar Calhoun (no relation) helps give the Huskies’ one of the top back courts combinations in the nation.
However, following a bicycle accident just last month, Calhoun’s future is once again hanging in the balance.
According to a report on SI.com, Calhoun is expected to make a decision regarding his future within the next two weeks and retirement could very well be the chosen option.
While Calhoun continues his 2-3 month recovery, the head coach did say that he has yet to make up his mind.
It has become clear that Calhoun would like a succession plan in place and wants current assistant and former UConn point guard Kevin Ollie to take over the coaching duties. However, UConn recently hired a new athletic director in Warde Manuel, who has openly said that a successor may not come from within the current program.
While a decision should be looming, Calhoun has fought back from health problems throughout his illustrious career, but at the age of 70 and no postseason opportunity in 2012-13, fans know a potential decision to retire could be looming.
Here’s what Calhoun told SI.com:
“I would be very, very surprised if I didn’t have something to say within the next two weeks,” he said as he talks more about the past than the future. Calhoun said he has not decided whether or not to retire, but he sounds like he might be ready to step away. Although the competitive part of him thinks he could coach for another two years, the practical side realizes that this might be time.
“I could have walked away last year,” said Calhoun, referring to when UConn won the national title in April 2011, the last crowning moment in a Hall of Fame coaching career that has produced 873 wins and three national championships, making him one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history. “But I walked off the stage [in Houston], there were 70,000 people and we had all those guys back. I couldn’t do it. I thought we could do it again. We had the players. We had a team that won 53 games in two years. We’ve had 25 consecutive winning seasons. That’s hard to do.”
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