The national perception of Jeremy Lamb as a silent assassin developed while he helped Connecticut win a national title and was furthered after the season when in the East Room of the White House, President Obama noted that the freshman was "quiet."
But with Kemba Walker leaving school, this is now Lamb's time to shine. As a sophomore and the team's returning leading scorer, he'll be asked to take on more of a leadership role. Can he do that by being quiet? It's that very assessment Lamb respectfully disputes.
"I'm not real quiet," Lamb told UConn Today. "I crack jokes. I'm a real goofy person. You wouldn't know that on the court. You wouldn't know that if you don't really know me."
So let's get to know him a little bit. On Monday during a speaking engagement, Huskies coach Jim Calhoun offered an anecdote about Lamb that revealed his star player's steely resolve yet relative innocence while averaging a team-leading 16.2 points for USA Basketball's Under-19 world championship team, according to the Hartford Courant.
"He was with the Team USA 19-and-under and he called me. He had shot poorly in the last game. I told him to go and shoot like he always does. His coach told him to rest, but we shoot when we're struggling. He said, 'coach, they don't have any gyms here. ... Can you get me a gym?' ... Could I get him a gym? He was in Latvia. You can't make this stuff up."
Another thing you might not know about Lamb? He can take Walker one-on-one. That was an admission from the Big East scoring champ himself while fielding questions at a local community center on Sunday, according to the New Haven Register.
Lamb's beaten him twice, Walker noted. "This stays between us, right?" he asked the 200 or so people in the audience.
Not this time, Kemba. Because Lamb's rise as a championship-level player came quickly and he's often been quiet in public, we're just beginning to really get to know him. Stories about Lamb looking to get up extra shots in a foreign country and getting the best of Walker are a good start.