UConn’s Jim Calhoun very Impressed by Notre Dame


So how important were Notre Dame’s basketball victories over #8 Georgetown and #9 Connecticut in the last week? Well it hasn’t happened in a half-century. The last time Notre Dame defeated AP top 10 teams in back-to-back home games came in 1960-61. They defeated #7 DePaul 61-58, then #7 St. John’s 64-63. Which is especially impressive when you consider they finished 12-14 that season.

Those are the only two times it’s happened in Irish college basketball history.
On Tuesday night they significantly limited UConn’s Kemba Walker, the nation’s leading scorer, and it caught the attention of Jim Calhoun, the dean of Big East coaches.

“Mike’s (Brey, Irish Coach) is doing one of the best jobs in the league because it’s a nice team, a nic team to watch playing together,” said Calhoun.

“They’re good because they move the ball, they have the outside threat, (Ben) Hansbrough is a son-of-a-gun competitor, amd Timmy (Abromaitis) is one fo the most improved players in the country, and the work ethic he’s put in tobecome as good as he is really speaks well.”

By Paul M. Banks

It’s high praise when you consider the source. Calhoun has reached the final four three times (1999, 2004, and 2009). He has won two national championships, (1999 and 2004) and 6 Big East tournament championships in 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2004. In 2005, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and he won his 800th game when Connecticut beat Marquette, 93–82.

During the Jim Calhoun era, the UConn Huskies have put up an impressive 220–112 record (.665 winning percentage) in Big East play. The Huskies have won or shared conference titles in 1990, 1994–1996, 1998–1999, 2002, and 2005–2006.

Therefore, any win over UConn is special, and this is a special ND team. They’re winning with an unconventional starting five, and with a ton of experience. They start five seniors, and ironically, three of those five have another year of eligibility remaining somehow.

“I think it’s the most physical defensive team that Mike’s had and offensively, they’re terrific,” Calhoun said.

On a side note, in 2010 Tim Abromaitis won the BIG EAST Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award– He graduated in three years with a 3.72 average in finance and is now working in the MBA program.

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