Sunday, October 22, 2017

UConn recruits, targets will play in New Haven Nov. 17-19

UConn commit Lukas Kisunas and targets Sherif Kenney, Akok Akok and others will be on display at the 2017 National Prep Showcase Nov. 17-19 at Albertus Magnus College.

Kisunas, a physical Class of 2018 forward who pledged to the Huskies a few weeks ago, and Kenney, a 2019, 6-4 point guard "with a little Khalid El-Amin in him," per his Brewster Academy coach, will play on Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. against Link Year Prep of Missouri and Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. against Maryland's Mount Zion Prep.

Akok, a 6-9 Class of 2018 forward who plays at Putnam Science Academy, will play on Nov. 17 at 6:45 p.m. against Link Year Prep and on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. against Sunrise Christian Academy of Kansas.

Here's the full tournament schedule:



2017 National Prep Showcase
November 17th - 19th, 2017
Albertus Magnus College - New Haven, CT

Friday, November 17th
9:30a.m. St. Thomas More School (CT) vs. Fork Union Military Academy (VA)
11:00a.m. Notre Dame Prep (NH) vs. IMG Academy (FL)
12:30p.m. Woodstock Academy (CT) vs. Hargrave Military Academy (VA)
2:00p.m. Bridgton Academy (ME) vs. Scotland Campus Sports (PA)
3:45p.m. South Kent School (CT) vs. The Academy Spain (ESP)
5:15p.m. Northfield Mount Hermon School (MA) vs. Sunrise Christian Academy (KS)
6:45p.m. Putnam Science Academy (CT) vs. Link Year Prep (MO)
Saturday, November 18th
9:30a.m. Fork Union Military Academy (VA) vs. Bridgton Academy (ME)
11:00a.m. Hargrave Military Academy (VA) vs. St. Thomas More School (CT)
12:30p.m. IMG Academy (FL) vs. Scotland Campus Sports (PA)
2:15p.m. Massanutten Military Academy (VA) vs. Northfield Mount Hermon (MA)
4:00p.m. Link Year Prep (MO) vs. Brewster Academy (NH)
5:45p.m. CBD Montverde Academy (FL) vs. New Hampton School (NH)
7:30p.m. Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) vs. Putnam Science Academy (CT)
Sunday, November 19th
10:00a.m. Brewster Academy (NH) vs. Mount Zion Prep (MD)
11:30a.m. New Hampton School (NH) vs. Massanutten Military Academy (VA)
1:00p.m. Tilton School (NH) vs. Spire Institute (OH)
2:45p.m. Woodstock Academy (CT) vs. CBD Montverde Academy (FL)
4:15p.m. MacDuffie School (MA) vs. Blair Academy (NJ)
5:45p.m. Vermont Academy (VT) vs. The Academy Spain (ESP)


Also, here's the schedule for the Hoop Hall Classic Jan. 11-14 at Springfield College. Many top programs will be there, including Brewster, along with numerous high-profile UConn targets:



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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Tickets for Jimmy V Classic on sale now

Tickets for the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 5 at Madison Square Garden, which will feature Syracuse-UConn in the nightcap at 9 (more like 9:30) p.m., are on sale.

Here's the info via a press release:

Tickets for the Jimmy V Men’s Classic Presented by Corona, to be played on Tuesday, December 5, are now on sale. 

The event, in its 23rd year, will once again be played from Madison Square Garden, featuring a potential top-20 matchup, according to ESPN’s Way-Too- Early Rankings, with No. 9 Villanova facing No. 19 Gonzaga (7 p.m. ET), followed by Syracuse against UConn (9 p.m.), both on ESPN. The Orange and Huskies return to MSG to face each other after last year’s matchup, where the Huskies edged out the Orange 52-50.

Ticket prices range from $55 to $455 and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone at (866) 858-0008 and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.

The early-season event will be part of the 11th annual V Week for Cancer Research – the weeklong initiative across multiple ESPN platforms and programs featuring special content to help raise funds for cancer research. ESPN’s 2016

Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research raised $3.8 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research –more than $600,000 from the previous year’s total. In ten years, V Week has raised over $17.6 million for cancer research.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A look at UConn's eight newcomers

Kwintin Williams
The Husky Run is a week away (Wednesday, Sept. 27, to be exact). UConn begins practice three days after that.

With that in mind, and with so many newcomers joining the Huskies this season (true freshmen, grad transfers, JUCO transfers), we thought we'd link some stories we've written on the newbies over the past few months so that you can get to know them a little better.

It's an intriguing, eclectic bunch: a wide-body with plenty of Southern charm; an athletic St. John's transfer; a high school teammate of Markelle Fultz; a grad transfer from Cornell; a wiry big man who bases his game on Anthony Davis's; the son of a former NFL linebacker;

Eric Cobb

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Breaking down UConn's 2017-18 schedule

Breaking down UConn's 2017-18 schedule. It's a good one:


Monday, Oct. 30               vs. Merrimack  (XL Center, 7 p.m.)                           
An exhibition game

Sunday, Nov. 5                  vs. Queens College (Gampel Pavilion, 5:30 p.m.)                                
Exhibition will be first game under new roof at Gampel                                          

Friday, Nov. 10                  vs. Colgate (GP, 7 p.m., SNY)                                      
UConn has won seven straight vs. Patriot League foes, dating back to 1974

Tuesday, Nov. 14             vs. Stony Brook (XL, 7 p.m., SNY)                              
Part of the PK80 Invitational … sort of.

Sunday, Nov. 19               vs. Boston Univ. (XL, 6 p.m., SNY)                             
New Haven’s Walter Whyte should be impact freshman for Terriers

Thursday, Nov. 23            vs. Oregon (Moda Center, 9 p.m., ESPNU)           
Ducks lost three NBA draft picks from Final Four team that beat UConn in Maui last November

Friday, Nov. 24                  vs. Michigan State/DePaul (Veterans Col., TBD) 
Huskies will face either Tom Izzo’s Spartans or Dave Leitao’s Blue Demons in PK80 Invitational bout

Sunday, Nov. 26               TBD                                                                                       
UConn will play third and final game of PK 80 Invitational vs. either defending champ North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas or Portland

Wednesday, Nov. 29      vs. Columbia (GP, 7 p.m., SNY)                                   
UConn is 8-2 all-time against Lions

Saturday, Dec. 2               vs. Monmouth (XL, 4 p.m., SNY)                                               
 King Rice’s Hawks have been a MAAC powerhouse last few years

Tuesday, Dec. 5                          vs. Syracuse (MSG, 9 p.m., ESPN)                             
Old Big East rivals will play for third time in three years, this time at Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden

Saturday, Dec. 9               vs. Coppin State (GP, TBD, ESPN2/ESPNU)           
Last time Huskies played Eagles, Amida Brimah scored career-high 40 points

Thursday, Dec. 21            at Arizona (McKale Center, TBD, TBD)                     
Beginning of home-and-home series with Wildcats, who will be preseason No. 1 on a lot of lists

Saturday, Dec. 23             at Auburn (Auburn Arena, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2)      
Bruce Pearl’s Tigers popped UConn in OT last December in Hartford

Saturday, Dec. 30             vs. Wichita State (XL, noon, CBS)                               
This will be first-ever AAC game and first visit to Connecticut by new AAC mates, who’ll be a preseason national top-10

Wednesday, Jan. 3          at Tulsa (Reynolds Center, 7  p.m, ESPNews)       
Will Huskies visit the Bob Dylan Archives center on campus during their visit?

Saturday, Jan. 6                                vs. East Carolina (XL, noon, ESPNews)                   
 Pirates have one of AAC’s better all-around players in Kentrell Barkley

Wednesday, Jan. 10        vs. UCF (GP, 7 p.m., CBSSN)                                       
 Knights are led by the long (7-foot-6 Tacko Fall) and short (high-scoring guard B.J. Taylor) of it

Saturday, Jan. 13              at Tulane (Devlin Fieldhouse, 1 p.m., ESPNews) 
Led by talented Cameron Reynolds, Mike Dunleavy, Sr.’s Green Wave should be improved

Tuesday, Jan. 16               at Memphis (FedExForum, 9 p.m., CBSSN)           
The Lawson brothers (AAC top rebounder Dedric, rookie of the year K.J.) are now in Kansas

Saturday, Jan. 20              vs. Villanova (XL, noon, CBS)                                       
Start of three-game series vs. former Big East foes

Thursday, Jan. 25             vs. SMU (GP, 7 p.m., CBSSN)                                      
UConn gets reprieve, won’t travel to Dallas for its annual thrashing by the Mustangs this season

Sunday, Jan. 28                 at Temple (Liacouras Center, 8 p.m., ESPN2)       
Jalen Adams’ last-second layup beat Owls in Philly last February 

Wednesday, Jan. 31        at UCF (CFE Arena, 9 p.m., CBSSN)                           
Watch out for coach Johnny Dawkins’ son, Aubrey, who might be league’s best newcomer

Saturday, Feb. 3               vs. Cincinnati (GP, noon, ESPN/ESPN2)                  
This will be a homecoming for East Hartford native/Sacred Heart transfer Caine Broome

Wednesday, Feb. 7         vs. USF (GP, 7 p.m., ESPNU)                                       
Just about everybody’s gone from last year’s 7-23 train wreck

Saturday, Feb. 10             at Wichita State (Koch Arena, TBD, ESPN)             
UConn’s only previous meeting vs. Shockers was in 2010 Maui Invitational. Kemba happened.

Thursday, Feb. 15            vs. Tulsa (XL, 7 p.m., ESPNU)                                       
Golden Hurricane has nearly everyone back from last year’s 15-17 team

Sunday, Feb. 18                                at ECU   (Minges Coliseum, 3 p.m., ESPNews)      
Site of one of UConn’s more disheartening league losses last March

Thursday, Feb. 22            at Cincinnati (BB&T Arena, 7 p.m., ESPN)               
High-powered Bearcats will give Wichita State a run for its money at top of league standings

Sunday, Feb. 25                                vs. Memphis (GP, 2/4 p.m., ESPN/ESPNU)           
Tubby Smith’s Tigers were decimated by transfer, graduation last spring

Wednesday, Feb. 28       vs. Temple (GP, 7 p.m., CBSSN)                                
Led by Obi Echeniyonia, Shizz Alston, Quinton Rose, Owls should be much-improved this season

Sunday, March 4              at Houston (TBD, 4 p.m., CBSSN)                               
Game will be played either at Texas Southern or Toyota Center, home of Houston Rockets


Thursday-Sunday, March 8-11    AAC Championships (ESPN)                        
At the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida – where UConn won its only other AAC title two years ago

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kevin Ollie, other local D-1 coaches in roundtable on Sept. 28

An interesting event at the Golf Club of Avon on Sept. 28. Kevin Ollie and six other D-1 men's hoops coaches from Connecticut will have a roundtable discussion. Always thought Connecticut should have an event like this (Rhode Island used to do one weekly during the season, though admittedly there were much fewer coaches to deal with).

Anyway, here's the press release: 

Former college basketball coach and current ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg announces the inaugural V University’s CT Basketball Tip-Off, Presented by Hoffman Auto Group. 

The event will feature head coaches from Connecticut’s seven Division-I men’s basketball programs in a roundtable discussion prior to taking questions from the audience. The breakfast event will take place Thursday, September 28, from 8-10 a.m. at the Golf Club of Avon. Net proceeds from tickets and a silent auction will benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“I am excited to bring Connecticut’s Division-I college basketball coaches together for a morning of
hoops conversation while raising money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. This event is something Jimmy would have loved,” said Greenberg, who won 383 games during his 22 seasons as
a head coach. “The format will give the coaches an opportunity to discuss their programs as well as
the state of the game.”

Event-goers will have the opportunity to hear a first-hand preview of the in-state college basketball season, while raising money for cancer research. Conversation between some of college basketball’s top coaches, including Kevin Ollie, University of Connecticut’s National Championship coach in 2014, will cover topics such as past experiences, the state of college basketball, and outlooks for individual state teams. Audience question and answer will follow the coaches’ discussion. Tickets for the event can be purchased per person or by table until Friday, September 22.

V University (www.jimmyv.org/vuniversity) is a virtual campus that offers collegiate athletic conferences, departments, teams and student-athletes an opportunity to raise funds for cutting-edge
cancer research. V University was formed to help spread the late Coach Jim Valvano’s message of
perseverance—“Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®—shared during his inspirational speech at the inaugural ESPY Awards in 1993.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Sid Wilson will be heading to UConn, hoping for a waiver to play this season

For Sidney Wilson, UConn was always near the top of his list. Perhaps at the very top.

But when he initially made his collegiate decision back in May, Wilson selected St. John’s. The chance for the Bronx native to play for his hometown school was just too much to resist.

Not even a week into summer courses, however, Wilson already wanted out. He announced he was leaving St. John’s earlier this week, and he will be transferring to UConn.

“My relationship with the coaching staff,” he said, when asked why he chose the Huskies a second time around. “Before I committed to St. John’s, I had a good feeling on my visit in early May. Coach (Kevin) Ollie wanted me just as much as before, once he found out I was transferring. That’s probably the biggest thing for me. He feels like even if I sit out this year, I can still get better.”

Since Wilson was enrolled at St. John’s and took summer courses, he is likely to be considered a transfer by the NCAA and forced to sit out a year, per NCAA rules. However, UConn is working on a waiver to get Wilson eligible for this season, at least in part because he didn’t take any fall courses at St. John’s.

Either way, Wilson and his father, Sidney, Sr., are happy to be with UConn.

“The legacy of the program speaks for itself,” Sidney, Sr. said by phone on Friday. “Coach Ollie’s a stand-up guy. A lot of coaches would have taken it personal. But he was very welcoming. He wanted him again. He always wanted him. That never wavered.”

And neither, apparently, did Wilson’s fondness for UConn.

“They were neck-and-neck,” Wilson, Sr., said of the Huskies and St. John’s. “It came down to coming home and being home. Until the whole aspect of home came into it, (UConn was) probably No. 1.”

Wilson’s mother, Pauline, passed away in March, 2015. Sidney, Sr. sent his son up to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire to get away from home – and all the memories that were there – for a while.

The family thought Sidney was ready to return home when he committed to St. John’s.

“St. John’s had great people, a great coaching staff, the facilities were wonderful,” Wilson said. “I just didn’t feel at home at St. John’s. I felt rushed into the decision. I thought being at home would be a great thing, but it turned out it wasn’t.”

Added his father: “The memory of his mother was just a little too much.”

Wilson is a 6-foot-7, ultra-athletic small forward who was the No. 71 overall recruit in the nation, per rivals.com. He could help a young, inexperienced UConn frontcourt this season, if he’s granted a waiver. But if not, he’s still ready to help.



“If I can’t (get a waiver), I’m still excited to get down to Storrs, have a great season and root on my teammates.”

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sid Wilson leaves St. John's; UConn should be back in picture

Sid Wilson has decided to transfer from St. John’s after taking summer courses at the school, and UConn would be one of his logical next destinations.

Wilson, a 6-foot-7 forward from the Bronx, was down to St. John’s, UConn and Texas when he made his decision to join the Red Storm in May. But, according to a source, Wilson was never truly happy at St. John’s from the start of summer classes.

Wilson lost his mother, Pauline, in March, 2015, and that seems to be one of the main reasons he decided to stay close to home.

“But, unfortunately, I recently realized it was not what is best for me at this time to manage adversity in my life,” he said in a statement.

Wilson played three years at St. Raymond’s High in the Bronx before transferring to Brewster Academy, where he planned on spending two years. However, this past spring he elected to re-classify and, ultimately, sign with St. John’s.

Wilson’s primary option at this point would seem to be to sign with another school and sit out a year as a transfer, since he already took summer courses at St. John’s. It’s not unprecedented for players to take summer classes at a college and then return to prep school. In fact, Jakarr Sampson and Ron Patterson did so at Brewster, though there were extenuating circumstances – Sampson didn’t get through the NCAA Eligibility Center, and Indiana had oversigned for Patterson’s recruiting class.

As a full-qualifier who has already taken college courses, it seems unlikely Wilson would be able to return to Brewster or any other prep school.

Stay tuned …

Meanwhile, Jalen Carey has arrived on campus for his official visit to UConn. The Class of 2018 point guard is a highly-coveted recruit for the Huskies.

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