Terrence, appreciate the time. How are you? I'm doing well. I just landed back in South Carolina where I live. I'm happy to be back, and you are my last radio hit, so I'm going to take a long nap that will probably last around 48 hours, but all of that being said, Houston was fantastic. I was able to see everybody, and as you know, it's one of the few times of the year where all basketball people are in one spot, so it's always fun. It's always fun to reconnect, and of course, great to be around good basketball.
That always helps. So what's the meal tonight? After a long season of work covering for the field of 68, Terrence Oglesby, what do you eat tonight before you go to bed? Well, I drove straight from the airport to my son's baseball game, and I was coaching third base, and apparently, if he plays baseball, he gets to pick, so we're at Mellow Mushroom eating pizza tonight, so that's the price you pay when you have a seven-year-old and a five-year-old. How is pizza out there, just wondering?
It's not like it is in the Northeast, but it serves a purpose. Let's put it that way. So what's the thought last night? You're sitting there, UConn, I know it got close for a little bit, then Hawkins hits that big three, and then the game just got out of hand. When you see Danny Hurley and company celebrating on the court, what's going through your mind? What's your thought from the game? Initially, it was just, man, this was the most dominant performance I've seen in the last five or six years, at least in my mind, and it's not just the point differential.
I think when it comes to the overall body of work and how they just physically beat up every opponent they play. Now, granted, they play Iona in round one, they play St. Mary's in round two, they play Arkansas, who was big but injured, and Eric Musselman in round three, but they just physically imposed their will to whatever they wanted to do throughout the course of the six games that they were playing. This is a UConn team that has a level of toughness that I think is to be commended and given credit to Dan Hurley, who instills his personality within his program and within his players. This team battled the entire time, they had shot making where they needed it, and, gosh, I mean, they could just come at you in waves. When you struggle to hit shots, you can bring in Joey Calcaterra, who can come in and knock down some shots. Andre Jackson's figured out how to play despite not being able to shoot, and Adama Sanogo could get wherever he wanted last night when trying to post up.
He had such deep seals when catching the ball in the post, and all he had to do was turn around and just lay the ball in, just physically imposing, physically dominant, and peaking at the right time. That was this UConn team, and you want to talk about Blue Blood? They are a Blue Blood, and more national championships than any other program in the last 20-something odd years.
This team is elite. The program is elite, and they've won championships over that span with three different coaches. That says a lot about the support of UConn. It says a lot about the program that is UConn. I thought they were Blue Blood before this, but I don't even get how anyone would dispute it now.
No, you know what? The only reason there would be any kind of dispute was when they were in the American, which was one of the worst decisions an AD has ever made to go to the American. I understand that people are chasing football money, but UConn is a basketball school. It always will be a basketball school.
Whenever you got back to your base, you also got back to your recruiting base a little bit. You're able to dive back into those rivalries that once was in the old Big East. Now, the new Big East, you're still picking up a lot of those same things, and kids grow up, at least they did whenever I was coming up, they grew up saying, I want to play in the Big East. I grew up saying, I want to play in the ACC, but a lot of the northeastern part of the country, they want to play in the Big East, and that's where UConn's recruiting base is, and that's a good thing now that they're back in that league. And it's crazy when you look back at 2013 where we had no clue what direction the Big East was going in, how quickly they've been able to get back as the preeminent conference. We know at Villanova has done, and then you see UConn adding to that party as well, and you know this in college sports, coaches dominate. The storylines for next year to Terrence Oglesby is going to be off the charts with the coaches in this conference. It's going to be unbelievable. You look at St. John's, what they did bringing in Rick Pitino, who we all say, well, how long is Ricky P going to be there? But at the same time, I don't think he's stopping anytime soon, and he has success wherever he goes.
It doesn't matter. Slick Rick's going to get it done, and then the crazy thing to me is, is Ed Cooley taking Georgetown? How much excitement for a program that it was once great to bring in last season, not this season, but last season's Naismith Coach of the Year, somebody who can rebuild quickly, somebody who's terrific in the X's and O's, and somebody who now has immediate access to the DMV area.
That's going to be one to watch. You already have Sean Miller, Greg McDermott, and then you had a young coach in Kim English at Providence, who I had the opportunity to call a game between Dayton and George Mason at Dayton, which is an electric venue, and Kimmy English and his guys went in there and got a win just off sheer toughness, offensive play calling, and his guys making plays after he put them in the right spot. He's a rising star in this industry. Providence hit a home run. However, within that league, there's going to be some speed bumps.
There's going to be some growing pains. How quickly Providence is going to be really good, we're going to be able to see. It's to be determined, but man, you have to love the direction that program is going as well. The other thing for next year with the Big East, we know the Big East tournament was won by Marquette. You look at this Final Four, you see Jim Laronega back in a Final Four. He's always going to be remembered for what he did at George Mason. Now he's continued to write just this crazy chapter at Miami. I look at someone like Shaka Smart, who went to the Final Four, as we all know with VCU, hasn't had a ton of tournament success since.
If he could take that next step this upcoming year, because this year, tremendous season, but they came up short in the NCAA tournament. Yeah, it all comes down to seeding, right? Like, who are you going to play when it matters? I believe I don't have the tournament bracket in front of me. I believe it was Michigan State. Yeah, it was. Yeah, they ran into a team that was tough as nails and a little bit bigger than them.
And really, truth be told, beat them up a little bit. I think Tyler Kolik's hand injury really bothered him more than what he led on. But Shaka is a great coach. I mean, AP National Coach of the Year. I don't know if you know this, but he actually recruited me to Clemson.
So I've known Shaka for the past 20. So he's one of those guys. He's an elite relationship builder. This season, they were an elite offensive VCU. They were an elite defense. So it's like one of these things where if you have a coach that can adapt to the role that he's in and the job that he's at, you obviously have to be excited about where you are. And here's the thing about Marquette. They have support. They have a fan base that loves basketball. He's in the perfect setting to where he can get the guys that fit him and he can develop them with time and a little bit of patience, quite frankly. That all being said, Marquette's going to return most of their players. That's a preseason top 10 team in college basketball if you look at it right now.
Now, it's obviously way too early. Some guys are going to hit the portal. They're going to take some guys in.
There's going to be change, but there's change everywhere. I think Shaka has a head start because he takes care of his guys. His guys love to play for him.
And a lot of the tournaments about seeding, a lot of the tournaments about matchup, but if you keep putting yourself in position to be in position, eventually you're going to have some success. And he's had success before and I think he's going to continue to have more success at Marquette. Terrence Oglesby here with us. Also, last night Danny Hurley gets his moment. We know about his great basketball family, what Bob did at St. Anthony's and what Bobby has done as a player with those two national titles and a final four MVP. It was impossible last night to not feel good for Danny Hurley, knowing what everyone has accomplished in his family to then get his moment in the spotlight.
Oh, there's no question. I mean, if you look at kind of his development of how everything's transpired, I mean, he goes to Seton Hall. He's a good college player, not a great one. His brother Bobby was a great college player.
His dad is arguably the greatest high school coach in this country's history and you can throw some other names in there, but he's certainly in the conversation. And then where's Dan been? Well, Dan's just been chipping away and just continues to work. He's a grinder. He's passionate. He's enthusiastic. And here's the thing about him that people don't really realize when he's on the sideline. He is unbelievably positive when it comes to his guys.
Make practice really difficult and then build your guys up when they're in the games. He does that. Does he lose his cool sometimes? Sure.
But I'll be honest with you. I thought his performance in the semifinal game against Miami was one of the more impressive coaching performances of the season, regardless of teams that were playing because you knew Miami was going to make a little bit of a run. And then he was able to stymie it with his bench and he stuck with his bench at the end of the first half where a lot of coaches would have been more comfortable with some of their starters.
And I understand they're deep and they're talented off their bench and all that, but still an instant reaction is to get your starting five back in there. He held off in the second half. Miami was going to make the run of eight to 10 to 12 points.
What did he do? He slowed the ball down. He managed the clock a little bit.
He took the air out. He, he did the basketball equivalent of running the football and taking some clock out, taking some air out of the game, because if they're running 24 to 26 second possessions on offense, that means Miami can't score six points in a hurry, eight points in a hurry. He mitigated their runs by him managing the game. I thought he was terrific. I think he's going to continue to be terrific because guys love to play for him. They love his passion. They love his intensity and guys are going to stick around.
And as long as Connecticut starts to get this NIL thing rolling up in stores, I don't know what's stopping that program. If I had to put the over under right now, cause he's only 50 of one and a half more championships, would you take the over or under? We did the 0.5 last night on field of 68. I took the over. That's a really tough one just because not many people have gotten multiple championships, but I'm telling you the recruiting base coupled with his personality, coupled with his ability to manage the game. I think it's not outside the realm of possibility.
I would almost venture to take the over and that's a nuts statement just because of the limited coaches that have done it more than once. And also if he does get two more titles that puts him as the same amount as Calhoun, who we all know created that men's basketball program at UConn. It's nuts.
It's nuts. And Calhoun, who wasn't able to make the trip to the Final Four, was feeling a little bit under the weather, nothing bad, just wasn't feeling great. A legend in his own right. But his impact, Dan's ability to go and speak with him, to gather thoughts and all that stuff. I think it says a lot about Calhoun's, his passion for the university that he coached at and his ability to continue to give forward. I think it's really, really cool. UConn's a special place.
Storrs is in the middle of nowhere and the pizza is mediocre. So you have to love Connecticut because they're about hoop and hoop only. John Fanta had one of those top 25 previews, our buddy John Fanta, way too early. But I thought he made a great point about Florida Atlantic, who he put in at 12.
He said, this is a test of the transfer portal. As it stands, the Owls will return eight of their nine rotation pieces that led the program to a historic run to the Final Four. That's going to be fascinating to see how many of those guys from FAU come back. Because if you can return eight of their nine rotation pieces, you have that ability to run it back to where you were this past year. Oh, there's no question. And you have the ability to bring in one more bigger body. I mean, think about that if that's the possibility.
But Dusty May alluded to it in the second weekend. He said, hey, our guys are getting recruited right now. That's part of what we're doing right now in college basketball.
Everything's going to be in flux. And look, when I say recruited, they're not getting recruited directly. They're going through back channels. Some of these other coaches are like, hey, what's this guy going to do?
What's that guy going to do? We have NIL available here, there or wherever. But here's the thing, too, that I think is interesting. Now that there's interest in basketball in Boca Raton, there's money in that part of the country. So I'm curious to see if there's going to be considerable upgrades to their basketball facility. I'd be curious to see if there's an NIL that's put in place, especially after this final four run. Dusty May can coach him up. Can he keep them? That's going to be the huge question, as you alluded to. So you're saying Dusty May has to give a phone call to my 92-year-old grandmother who lives in Boca Raton.
Hit her up for some money? That's exactly right. Could you imagine if FAU would have won the championship, the wheelchair parade that would have gone down the beach to Boca Raton? Are you kidding me?
Elite level wheelchair parade. No, I think it's really cool. What a job Dusty May has done. He's going to get a contract extension. It's going to be pretty happy. I'm happy for him. Really, really quality human being. Terrence Oglesby, last thing I'll ask you before I let you go take a nap that is well deserved. How did you react to this entire Angel Reese, Kaitlyn Clark situation?
9.9, I think it was, million people tuning in to watch that game. And I think the reaction is a lot of an overreaction, but how'd you kind of process it? I'm with you. I'm with you. It's an overreaction. Here's the thing.
I had this conversation with somebody who was emberside on the plane today. It's like the women's game over the past 10 years has improved exponentially. Leaps and bounce. It's not as concentrated anymore where it's UConn, Tennessee, South Carolina, and that's it. Pepper and one or two other teams. There's some more parity in the women's game. And not only that, women's college basketball is a little bit more regional as far as recruiting is concerned. Most of those girls on Iowa's team were from Iowa. Most of those girls on South Carolina's team were up and down the East coast.
I think it's cool to see. And here's the thing too. These are high, high, high level athletes.
There's going to be trash talk. That's part of what makes these athletes as good as what they are at the level of what they are, is their mental toughness, is their ability to go to the next play. To me, it was such a non-issue. I didn't understand why it was such a big deal.
Reese is a heck of a player. She was the number two recruit in her class coming out of high school. It didn't work out in Maryland. She goes down to LSU.
It goes well. Good for her. That's a tough girl. Kaitlin Clark, here's the thing. She's talked trash the entire time.
That's part for the course. That is a standard when it comes to elite level athletes. She is no lamb that needs to be protected by anybody. This is a tough young woman. She is a talented young woman. If she gives it, she can take it. And vice versa.
April Reese, the same way. You talk trash, it goes both sides. You win, you get to talk a little bit more trash. That's the benefit of winning. To me, it was seen as such a non-issue.
Really, the argument came down to people who, quite frankly, didn't play the game and don't understand the nuance of what that is. That's two competitive people playing extremely hard when the stakes are at their highest in women's college basketball and it made for great theater and people need to appreciate it for what it was. He's Terrence Oglesby. Terrence, really have enjoyed your coverage all throughout the year on Field to 68, especially the last two weeks. Thanks so much for doing this. You be well. All right. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you.
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