UConn men's basketball beat writer Mike Anthony chronicles a tough year for Jim Calhoun's program on and off the court:
UConn, coming off an appearance in the Final Four but having lost four key players, holds the annual Husky Run in Storrs. Coach Jim Calhoun says of the team, "[To say] we'll have a better record [than last year] would really be a stretch, but to have a really good record and be really good by February -- that would not be a stretch."
Nov. 13: UConn, No. 12 in the AP poll, defeats William & Mary by nine in the opener.
Nov. 25-27: The Huskies defeat LSU in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden, but are manhandled on the glass by Duke in the final.
Dec. 30: Kemba Walker makes a late three-pointer to tie it but Lance Stephenson draws a controvesial foul on Gavin Edwards as Cincinnati hands UConn a heartbreaker in the Big East opener.
Jan. 9: The Huskies lead by 19 in the first half, 15 at halftime, but Georgetown roars back behind Austin Freeman to hand UConn another crushing loss.
Jan. 19: Two days after a loss at Michigan leaves UConn with a three-game losing streak, coach Jim Calhoun begins an indefinte leave of absence for an undisclosed medical reason.
Jan. 23: The Huskies defeat then-No. 1 Texas at Gampel Pavilion, improving to 2-0 in Calhoun's absence.
Feb. 10: Having followed the Texas victory with yet another three-game losing streak, UConn finishes George Blaney's seven-game run with another difficult loss on a late, controversial call -- this one at No. 2 Syracuse.
Feb. 13: Calhoun is back and UConn plays its worst game, losing 60-48 to Cincinnati. Responding to a question about his team's apparent lack of passion in his return, Calhoun says, "I'm really incredibly disappointed in the performance. I'm embarrassed by it. If that's passion enough for you, for those who like to dissect every single word I have to say
Passionately, I was embarrassed by it. I'm not going to apologize to the fans, but if they were disappointed in us, and me, they had more than a right to be."
Feb. 15: UConn responds to one of its worst performances with one of its best, upsetting No. 3 Villanova in Philadelphia. "We were certainly at a crisis of confidence," Calhoun said. "My job was to try to get them through it and stay with it. Normally my thing is to push. But this team isn't in a position, psychologically, to be pushed as hard because they've had so many close ones."
Feb. 22: UConn's NCAA Tournament hopes are alive and well at 17-11 following a home victory over No. 8 West Virginia.
Feb. 28: A Senior Day loss to Louisville sends UConn on the road in a desperate situation.
March 6: UConn wraps up the regular season with an ugly loss at South Florida in which most of the regulars are benched. A three game losing streak leaves the Huskies at 17-14.
March 9: Rumors circulate about Calhoun's retirement and the Huskies are blown out by St. John's in the first round of the Big East tournament. Calhoun denies retirement plans.
March 11: Calhoun and athletic director Jeff Hathaway officially put to rest retirement rumors, issuing statements about ongoing negotiations for a new contract.
March 22: UConn plays hard but loses at Virginia Tech in the second round of the NIT. Close the book on 2009-10. UConn is 18-16, the most losses since Calhoun's first year in Storrs.
May 7: UConn holds a press conference to announce a five-year, $13 million contract extension for Calhoun. "This is not a program on the fall," Calhoun says. "It's a program on the rise.
God gives us one day at a time, and I've come to find that out over the past couple of years. Very simply, I love UConn."
May 28: UConn holds a press conference to announce details of an NCAA notice of allegations that charges UConn with eight major recruiting violations. The resignations of assistant coach Patrick Sellers and director of basketball operations Beau Archibald are announced. Calhoun calls it among the low points of his career.
July 2: UConn announces the hiring of assistant coach Kevin Ollie and director of basketball administration Glen Miller.
Sept. 1: Ater Majok, who spent less than one season in uniform after a recruiting process that lasted nearly two years, withdraws from the university. He is currently playing professionally in Turkey.
Sept. 7: After two extensions granted by the NCAA, UConn files its 700-page response to the committee on infractions. The program acknowledges transgressions and self-imposes a two-year probation and a reduction in scholarships, but denies that Calhoun failed to foster an atmosphere of compliance.
Oct. 15: The men's and women's programs hold First Night festivities at Gampel but Calhoun is absent. He and other university representatives are in Indianapolis for a required meeting with the NCAA committee on infractions.
UCONN MEN: TIMELINE OF 2009-10