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Jim Calhoun's Best Coached Game

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Which games (s) stand out where masterful substituting at the right time, lock down defense on the opponent's best player(s) and otherwise in-game coaching were really at the top of the mountain?

I almost want to exclude the 1999 championship game only because I cannot in my mind, compare it to anything short of outstanding and hard to beat.

Maybe there were other games I cannot recall that may have been comparable.
 
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Honestly my mind went right to the 1999 Championship too. That aside and thinking of it differently, JC was the National Coach of the Year for the Dream Season. Talent wise, on paper, that team was outmannned by a ton. UConn won games that year because of his masterful coaching and him realizing they needed to try to create extra possessions if they stood a chance to win. He put on a coaching clinic that entire season and I guess you could pick one of those big games. In 1999 that team was loaded and had major league experience and savvy.
 

geordi

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The thing I remember most vividly is that, about midway through the first half, Jim inserts Antric Klaibur. Klaibur hadn't played much all season, but Jimmy was saying to K and the rest of the Pukies, "I don't care who you are or what you do. We are still going to beat your ass with any one on the bench." That statement just sealed the deal for me. Jim was the best bench coach I ever saw - even after watching hoops for over 60 years - bar none. That 99 Championship game was the best coaching job of all time.
 

storrsroars

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1999 championship game

/end thread
Yep. First time there, underdogs, team stayed focused, solid subs, solid time management, almost as if there were no nerves at all. I'd have to go with 2011 as a #2, but that encompasses the whole run as it was a rather lousy championship game, but he did make 2nd half adjustments that worked.
 

willie99

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99 Championship game, where he totally schooled K
 

UChusky916

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99 Championship game is obvious.

Dark horse is 2011 Championship vs Butler and Brad Stevens. Stevens was in his second consecutive finals with a veteran squad and getting all the hype, and Calhoun took him to school.

Calhoun had the guys ready to play defensively like I've never seen. Aside from a small Butler flurry at the end of the 2nd half, they could not BUY a basket. Butler shot I think 18% from the field as a team. Mack, Howard, and Vanzant were locked down. It's not like they were missing open looks... our guys were just well prepared and contesting everything.
Early in the second half, Calhoun figured out what they were doing defensively and drew up all sorts of great looks for each of our guys(Lamb, AO, Bazz, and Kemba) to put together a decently balanced attack on offense. The team was able to pull away and win comfortably, despite no one playing particularly well, including Kemba.

People love to crap on that game because of the offensive ineptitude, but defensively I don't think we'll see a display like that from a UConn team ever again... especially considering the stakes.

Lots of credit to the players, but Calhoun had them ready and totally showed up Stevens in the second half.
 
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That game was awesome, though it was as much about k-Free putting in an "!" performance as it was about anything else.

77-74 was a perfectly coached game. Just exceptional.

I'd also argue the 1990 BET vs. Georgetown.
Khalid was huge in that game as well. I think he had high 20s or 30 that day.
 
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'99 championship is number one by a long distance. The 2011 championship game is #2 in my mind. Great defensive game plan, but we went into the game thinking that we could dominate with Walker on the high pick-and-roll. Butler was as good at defending it as anyone we had seen that year, and we really struggled. We made one adjustment at halftime -- we abandoned the high ball screen for our "circles" -- curls and baseline screens. With some motion freed up, we got easier shots and built a lead while continuing to swallow them up on the defensive end.
 
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We were 9.5 point dogs vs the 1999 team and 2 point favorites vs the 2004 team. Not even close which was the better coaching job.
Calhoun's strategy paid off big time in that 2004 National Semi Final vs Duke. He left Okafor on the bench for the rest of the first half even though he picked up two fouls early on. That was always Calhoun's strategy, but it showed guts that he stuck with that even though the game looked like it was getting out of reach. On the flip side of that, Coach K failed by leaving his big guys In with foul trouble because Sheldon Williams fouled out. That gave us the advantage at the end of the game.
 
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The only answer is his first NC ur was exceptional. From the way they contained Brand to the defensive strategies to close the game, tremendous. He had many, many more but this one is simple.
 
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The only answer is his first NC ur was exceptional. From the way they contained Brand to the defensive strategies to close the game, tremendous. He had many, many more but this one is simple.
Coach was at his best in the most significant game in UConn history.
 
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'99 as he got into everybody's head on our bench, their bench, on the floor, in the stands, the media, worldwide viewers, people in heaven, and proved he is the greatest basketball coach of all time.
A masterpiece that will still smell good 100 years from now.
 
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1985 northeastern beats uconn 90-73 otherwise we might have had Mitch somebody as head coach.
I was at the game. It was shocking how Northeastern was the better team and better coached. They were more athletic and ran up and down the court with probably overlooked talent that Calhoun developed. That game is probably what brought Calhoun to UConn.

that said I vote for 99 championship.
 
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Which games (s) stand out where masterful substituting at the right time, lock down defense on the opponent's best player(s) and otherwise in-game coaching were really at the top of the mountain?

I almost want to exclude the 1999 championship game only because I cannot in my mind, compare it to anything short of outstanding and hard to beat.

Maybe there were other games I cannot recall that may have been comparable.
If you don't want to include the 1999 championship, then I would say several close games vs Pittsburgh, during Kahlid's tenure at UConn and just after that when Pittsburgh recruited Carl Krauszer. The one point win at Pitts gym 75-74 stands out in my mind. UConn players pelted with bottles and God knows what else. Kahlid on someone's shoulders IIRC yelling back at the Pitt students. Had to have been Ralph Willard's most memorable losses.
 

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