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Lamb goes out like a lion for UConn
HOUSTON (AP) - Jeremy Lamb wasn’t at the top of Jim Calhoun’s recruiting wish list. The Connecticut coach had his eye on another Lamb: Doron Lamb, along with his future Kentucky teammate, Brandon Knight.
The lanky guard with the long arms turned out to be a nice consolation prize.
A viable 1A option to Kemba Walker over the final month of the season, Lamb provided another big lift with his star teammate struggling to find his shot, scoring nine of his 12 points during a second-half surge that lifted UConn to a 53-41 victory over Butler on Monday night for its third national title.
A meek lamb early in the season, he turned into a lion the final month, developing into the sidekick Walker needed to finish off his memorable season and give Calhoun another reason to forgive Lamb’s father for a shot he made 27 years ago.
“Early in the season, he didn’t have much confidence, and he just didn’t know his role on the team,” Walker said. “As things got tough for me, I told Jeremy, ‘You’re going to have to score.’ Once he realized he was going to get open shots, I was going to find him, he started to find the right spots and he started to make shots.”
A native of Norcross, Ga., Lamb wasn’t on anyone’s recruiting radar until he started putting up a few points for a new AAU team. Even then, it wasn’t like he was at the top of everyone’s wish list.
A good listener, Lamb took in his coach’s advice through the tough times and started to figure things out late in the season, building confidence with each game.
It came at a good time.
After dominating early in the season, Walker was getting worn down after having nearly every imaginable defense thrown at him.
The Huskies needed someone to pick up the slack, and Lamb was just the guy.
A 10.8-point scorer during the regular season, he boosted his average to 16.0 in the postseason. Lamb also developed into a clutch shooter, hitting the biggest shots down the stretch against Arizona in the West Regional final and carrying some of the load for Walker during the Final Four.
By John R. Bolton
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