|FILE - In this March 28, 2009, file photo, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun and his players celebrate their 82-75 win over Missouri in a men's NCAA college basketball tournament regional final in Glendale, Ariz. Calhoun is taking a leave of absence to deal with undisclosed medical issues. The school did not give additional details. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)|
UConn coach Calhoun taking medical leave
HARTFORD, Conn.—Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun took a medical leave Tuesday for an undisclosed condition, the latest health concern for the 67-year-old Hall of Famer.
The school did not provide additional details. Calhoun had prostate cancer in 2003 and skin cancer twice, most recently in 2008.
Dr. Peter Schulman, the coach's primary-care physician, said in a statement he advised Calhoun to take time off "to address some temporary medical issues, none of which involve any previous medical conditions that he has dealt with."
Associate head coach George Blaney will run the Huskies in Calhoun's absence. UConn is 11-6 and fell out of the Top 25 this week after losing three straight games. The Huskies host St. John's on Wednesday night and top-ranked Texas on Saturday.
"Our primary concern is coach Calhoun's health and his complete recovery," UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway said. "We will do everything possible to support Coach during this time.
Calhoun usually meets with the media the day before the game. He was not available Tuesday -- a day earlier, the school said he had prior commitments and a late practice.
Calhoun has won two national championships at Connecticut. He guided the Huskies to the Final Four last season, but missed the Huskies' first NCAA tournament game in March after being hospitalized for dehydration.
Last June, he was hospitalized after breaking several ribs during a charity bike ride.
Indiana Pacers guard A.J. Price, who starred for UConn last season, found out about Calhoun's leave shortly before Tuesday night's game at Miami.
"Obviously, I'm concerned," he said. "I hope he's OK. I hope it's nothing too serious, that he's able to come back and that he doesn't end his career this way."
"He's so passionate and emotional about the game. When it comes to actual gametime, that's when he's at his most intense. It really doesn't matter if we're winning, it's a big game, not a big game, losing, it doesn't matter, that's just when he's his most intense," Price said. "He's such a competitor and with them playing the way they're playing right now, not winning too much, that could also have something to do with it. Knowing what kind of guy he is, how much he wants to win, probably makes things more difficult for him right now."
The Huskies lost 68-63 at Michigan on Sunday.
"There's no sugarcoating it: He doesn't take losing well," Price said. "He's a competitor and likes to win. He really doesn't take losing well when he feels that he has a good team as well. That's where I think he's at right now. He feels like the team probably right now is underachieving a little bit."
Former UConn star Donyell Marshall posted on his Twitter account: "Get well Coach Calhoun. taking a medical leave of absence."
Calhoun was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and has a career record of 816-348. He is seventh place on the all-time wins list, one win behind Syracuse's Jim Boeheim.
Several other off-the-court issues had prompted questions about Calhoun's future, including an investigation into UConn's recruitment of former player Nate Miles. Calhoun has acknowledged that he or his staff may have made mistakes in recruiting Miles.
It is not clear when that investigation will be complete.
Last month, Calhoun said a new multiyear contract with UConn was "just on the horizon." He is making $1.6 million in the final year of a six-year deal.
AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.