Storrs, Conn.—The mammoth man hunt is no more.
That’s right. It took quite a while, but Jim Calhoun and the CT State Police finally called off the massive search warrant issued out for Stanley “Sticks” Robinson’s game.
Robinson busted out of a brutal four-week funk—one which saw him average a meager 2.0 points during a recent five-game stretch—on Saturday, erupting for 18 points (on 7-for-11 FG) and seven boards during a 94-61 clubbing of Providence Saturday.
The super-athletic Robinson made up for some lost time, re-injecting confidence in himself, his team, and the wild fan base. The No.1 ranked Huskies can’t afford to have Sticks out in the woods during a much-anticipated, marquee matchup at Louisville Monday.
While the Huskies have garnered the No.1 national ranking, the Cardinals have yet to lose a Big East game. Thus, redemption night for the 6-foot-9 freakish cat they call "Sticks" may have been perfect timing.
“Welcome back, Stanley. It’s nice to see you. I haven’t seen you for about a month, but it’s great to see you,” said the eccentric, longtime Hall of Fame coach.
“Stanley’s reemergence today, and confidence in what he did, was critical for us. Really critical for us.”
His performance tonight in the Kentucky bluegrass landscape will be even more critical. UConn is one of the few teams in the Big East that can counter Louisville’s physicality and athleticism.
The earth, wind, and fire triumvirate of Hasheem Thabeet (triple-double against Providence), Jeff Adrien, and Sticks will be put to the test.
“He definitely picked it up and showed the Stanley that we know,” said Adrien, who’s materialized as the Huskies’ leading scorer.
“If we have Stanley rolling against Louisville and he has to go up against Terence Williams, that’s going to be big.”
Have Robinson’s teammates expressed how badly they need their three-man to play with a sense of urgency?
“Oh yes,” said Robinson, who facilitated a 9-2 burst and had a breath-stealing two-handed dunk Saturday.
“They keep telling me the more times I play good the more blowouts we’ll have on the other team. (Coach) told me, ‘welcome back.’ I was just like, ‘thank you.’ Everything worked out.”
ZSmart's Weekly Honors
Player of the Week: Jerel McNeal, Marquette
Freshman of the Week: Augustus Gilchrist, South Florida