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Okafor and Gordon motivated to lead the Huskies

Just talking with coach Jim Calhoun gets UConn's Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon in the right mood to beat Syracuse.

Updated: February 11, 2003, 11:42 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon were walking off the Civic Center court after the Monday shootaround when assistant coach Tom Moore pulled the two sophomores back and handed them a cell phone.

It was Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun. He wanted a few words with his two best players. The conversations were brief, the message direct and the words inspiring.

"He told me he needed me to hold this team together,'' Okafor said following the Huskies' 75-61 victory over Syracuse ...

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