"I'd never heard of Connecticut until that year," Marshall, a 6' 9" forward with a touch of Julius Erving elevation to his movements, says. "But I saw 'em, and I liked the way they played, and I liked Coach Calhoun. My mother liked the way he talked to everyone."
The kids have given an infusion of talent and enthusiasm to an already solid roster. In addition to Smith and Burrell, 6' 9" senior center Rod Sellers and 6' 7" junior forward Toraino Walker are starters, veterans from the season of flow. Freshman guards Brian Fair and Kevin Ollie and forward Don (not to be confused with Donyell) Marshall provide the depth. The mix has jelled faster than expected, although most preseason prognosticators did have the Huskies ranked in the top 20.
"I thought we'd be tough, but 15--1 has to be unexpected," Burrell says. "I knew our four starters would be good, and Donyell.... Wait until he's a senior. I wouldn't want to be driving to the hole if he were around."
"We can score points," Calhoun said after the Providence game. "This is the best offensive team I've had. What worries me, though, is that sometimes we score too easily. We take things for granted. Our defensive effort isn't what it should be.
"I want us to just relax and play. This team is just learning how to be good. Before this it was fun. Now it's responsibility. I want us to be loose. I don't want anyone to feel responsibility for the whole state of Connecticut or anything.
"Aw," he finally said, "a win is a win. A month from now nobody will remember how we got it...."
Especially at the new mecca.