DAILY DISH: Chris Herren “Basketball Junkie” a great read; UConn not a great team

By: Kels Dayton

  • Chris Herren was a Massachusetts basketball legend, but a fierce battle with drug addiction nearly took his life. (Photo courtesy: Boston Herald)

    “Basketball Junkie”, the Chris Herren biography co-written by Bill Reynolds, is a gripping, can’t-put-it-down read that is at once inspiring and horrifying. The book has been much-publicized, what with the ESPN documentary “Unguarded” and appearances by Herren on various talk shows, but it delivers on all of the hype. I read the entire book in two days, plowing through 250-plus pages with unabashed anticipation. Herren recalls his pressure-packed days at Durfee High School, the surreal recruiting process, his Boston College blowup, and time spent with the bloods and crips at Jerry Tarkanian’s renegade Fresno State program. No joke. Herren’s saga is fascinating; and the book holds no bars, peering into the mind of a man falling deeper and deeper into drug addiction even as all of his childhood dreams (a Massachusetts kid playing for the Celtics?!!) are being realized. What a great read this was…one of the best sports books in a while.

  • Harvard’s resume has taken a hit with Florida State’s recent nosedive into mediocrity. The Crimson’s only other win of consequence is a home victory over St. Joe’s, which was followed up by an inexplicable loss at Fordham. Harvard will likely need to win the Ivy League in order to reach the NCAA Tournament, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem considering the Crimson are head and shoulders above the rest of the league, and of course, there is no conference tournament.
  • Freshman Andre Drummond has come on for UConn since losing his protective mask. (AP Photo)

    UConn righted the ship with a 64-57 home win over West Virginia on Monday night, but the Huskies have not played like a defending national champion thus far this season. Connecticut was swept by Seton Hall and Rutgers over the weekend, something that hasn’t happened since 1969. Preseason All-American Jeremy Lamb put up just 8 points in the Rutgers loss, after which head coach Jim Calhoun described the lack of leadership on his team by saying, “It’s not a lack of it. There is none.” Lamb responded by scoring 25 in the win over West Virginia, but his occasional disappearance, combined with the inconsistent Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi have left the Huskies with a ton of questions going forward. Freshman Andre Drummond has been a rare bright spot, putting up 20 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks in a dominant performance on Monday night.

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