Guard suffered serious health issues

Previous Words: Monday | Feb. 14-18

Connecticut junior guard Rashad Anderson and coach Jim Calhoun told Monday night that Anderson should be back on the court for the season finale against Syracuse on March 5. If he's not ready then, he should return for the Big East tournament. "Once I get my stitches out, then I should be fine," Anderson said. "I'd say I'm two weeks away. When I feel comfortable I'll be out there. I can run a bit now. I was on the treadmill at the hospital." Anderson was released from Hartford Hospital on Monday and went straight to the Huskies' shootaround prior to Monday's game against Notre Dame. "The best-case scenario is for the Syracuse game," Calhoun said. "Otherwise it will be for the Big East tournament." Anderson said he's lucky to be alive. The wound on his right groin started as an infected hair that looked like a pimple. Anderson said he picked at it and didn't treat it properly, allowing the infection to spread. Anderson, who spent nearly two weeks in the hospital after being admitted on Feb. 8, suffered kidney and breathing problems. "When they cut my leg open, all the tissue in my groin was dead, black, and they had to cut it out," Anderson said. "I'm grateful to be alive. If I'd waited another day, I could be dead. I probably shouldn't have played against Syracuse [Feb. 7], because I irritated it and it grew to the size of a grapefruit. "I've got to see the kidney doctors to make sure everything is fine before I can play," Anderson said. Velma Anderson, Rashad's mother, said at one point her son asked for a tracheotomy. "But he made the turn and I just told him to keep breathing," she said. "That Friday [Feb. 11] was the worst day of my life," Anderson said. "My kidneys shut down, my lungs filled up with fluid and I was in and out of consciousness. All I was thinking about was my daughter and my family. I didn't care if I could ever play basketball again." Anderson looked good but noticeably more slender Monday night.

Big East POY Should Be ...
The Big East player of the year should be ... Boston College sophomore Jared Dudley, according to Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun. That's right, Dudley. Not his teammate, junior forward Craig Smith, or Syracuse forward Hakim Warrick. Coaches can't vote for their own players, but BC coach Al Skinner has already anointed Craig Smith as the candidate he's pushing. That's the politically correct thing to do, since Smith is one class ahead of Dudley. But Calhoun makes a strong case for Dudley. In 12 Big East conference games, Dudley is fourth in scoring (18.9 ppg in league games), third in rebounding (8.4 rpg), sixth in field-goal percentage (48.4), eighth in steals (1.67), 12th in free-throw percentage (75.6) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.81). "It's Dudley," Calhoun said after the Huskies' 88-74 win over Notre Dame on Monday night in Hartford. "Dudley is fourth in our league in scoring and third in rebounding. He's the Most Valuable Player on that team. If they win the Big East, then he should be the player of the year. If we win it, then I'll say who it should be."

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