UConn Coach Pasqualoni Talks About Offseason Strength And Conditioning, Recruiting

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What’s goin on?

Final exams finished at UConn on Friday and the majority of the Huskies have gone home until June 1 when they will come back for summer school  but also the always-important strength and conditioning workouts.

“It’s one of the great times of the year where you can focus on strength and speed,” UConn Coach Paul Pasqualoni said Tuesday morning. “I’ve always viewed that time as important for two reasons: 1) you can never be strong enough in this game and the second reason, and it is as important, is the durability factor because the stronger you are, the more flexible you are, the more you work through the full range of motion in exercise in the weight room, the more durable you become and the less likely you’re going to have one of these injuries that’s a shoulder or an elbow, a knee and those types of things.  I’m hopeful as they’re home through May – and I saw kids who are still on campus yesterday lifting weights on their own voluntary time – I’m hopeful  that they get something done even on their own the next three weeks.

With the understanding that you like to have recruits at your camps for deeper evaluations, still, is it concerning that with top targets committing, that you don’t have a player committed to the Class of 2014 yet? (Note: Pasqualoni, like any coach, NCAA coach is prohibited by that body to talk specifics of recruiting until the player(s) have signed a letter of intent which for football isn’t until the first Wednesday in February).  

“No,” Pasqualoni said. “Obviously the high-level guy you’re absolutely sure of, you always welcome. You know that. But this year we don’t have a large group of seniors this year. I think our senior count is 11. So our philosophy has always been, the ideal condition, is to have them in your camp over the summer. We’re working very, very hard on the actual recruitment process of having them come into our camp and the response to that has been very good as it has been. Last year 13 of the 25 we signed were in our camp so that’s where our focus is right now. The staff is out this week. This is the last week of the actual being out on the road and then we come back in. We try to do our due diligence every day in keeping it current, getting the offers out…so I think we’re where we want to be in the overall evaluation process. I think we know who the top guys are in our key areas. I think we have a real good handle on not only the top guys, I would go so far to say those players who are in the Division I prospect category. The staff has done a great job, the big picture, overall evaluation process. Between now and the end of June we’ll try hard to get these guys on campus and work with them and be sure of what we’re doing and try to get some commitments.

What are you hearing from the recruits? Have they talked about concerns surrounding UConn’s future, the conference, etc?

“In conversations it comes up,” Pasqualoni said. “There’s no question it comes up – but our schedule and who we play is really what’s discussed. The approach here and obviously the goal here is to be the best we can be and win the games on our schedule, focus on the Huskies being the best we can be regardless of what conference we’re in. If we can do that we’ll be in great shape and that will answer a lot of these questions that are asked. I think when you look at our schedule we have seven home games. If we’re able to put together a successful season with the teams we play I think that, without saying a word, answers a lot of questions.”

DC

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