Category Archives: Daniel Hamilton

UConn 81, Iowa State 76: Wrapping Things Up At The Garden

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie, NCAA, Niels Giffey, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Terrence Samuel, UConn men's basketball

NEW YORK – Well, here the Huskies are. On Jan. 2, when the Huskies were in Dallas and Kevin Ollie took them out to Arlington to tour the site of the Final Four, what did you think? On March 5, when he grabbed the mic at Gampel Pavilion and said he planned to come back in April and raise a banner, what did you think?

Kevin Ollie is no Don Quixote, it turns out. He knew what he was doing, talking about. His belief in his players, even as he was chiding them after tough losses, is paying off in a big way  now, isn’t it?

One win away. The Huskies will play Virginia or Michigan State for the chance to go back to Arlington, for real, on Sunday. Wow. What a ride it is becoming;  the Huskies appear to have caught lightning in a bottle. Can’t put anything past them now. Here’s the game story for the Saturday Courant.

Here’s Kevin Ollie at the podium:

“First I just want to thank all the fans that came out and supported us.  We can really hear them cheering for us, but then we could also feed off them.  We can also draw off their energy.  They just did a wonderful job.  My student?athletes played together, they played hard, and at the end of the game we played 40 full to get this win.  And only thing we’re looking forward to is a Sunday matchup, whoever that might be, and we have to stay together and play another 40 full [minutes] and get the win.”

Coach [Calhoun] just said ‘Congratulations’, and I love Coach and I love him being around.  He’s always a sounding board for me.  If I ever have a question he’s always there to answer it.  He’s like a second father to me.  He really gave me an opportunity to take over this program, and he’s built this program on pride and tradition.  And I just want to continue to keep the torch alive.

                And he’s passed me the baton, and I’m just trying to run with it the best way I know how, and the best way I do know how is to keep our team together, keep us Continue reading

Louisville 76, UConn 64: Wrapping Things Up From Gampel

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, AP Top 25, Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, Rick Pitino, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

STORRS – A few thoughts and quotes off UConn’s loss to Louisville.

How bad was the officiating? Rare is a game, in any sport any level any time, that people don’t think the officiating was atrocious. From where I sat, it looked like a terrible “no-call” and I could see Kevin Ollie going ballistic there.

As he said, you can’t lose your composure. But it happens, it’s part of coaching.

And the bottom line, UConn was not winning this game. Louisville, which is getting its act together, overmatched them. Manhandled them. Officiating is what it is.

The game story for the Sunday Courant.


Ryan Boatright: “I respected it. I’m glad [Ollie] had our backs. He was saying what we all couldn’t say. Some of those calls were ridiculous. That call he got kicked out on was definitely a foul. He stood up for us.”


Brian O’Connell worked the Georgetown-Seton Hall game at D.C. on Saturday and quickly flew to Storrs to work the night game. Tom O’Neill, scheduled to work the game, could not get out of Chicago and O’Connell was called upon. We just pass that along.

“Two unsportsmanlike Class A technical fouls,” referee Mike Stuart told a pool reporter. “The first one was reacting to running down the sideline. The second one was coming on the floor to protest the call.”

Stuart, coincidentally, was on the officiating crew in Milwaukee on Jan. 1, 2013, the night the officials had the teams going the wrong way in OT and took points off the scoreboard.



Montrezl Harrell. Wow. Rick Pitino said he’s worked hard and vastly improved his footwork.


Kevin Ollie’s take

“Our aggressiveness wasn’t there I n the beginning of the game and they figured that out. We settled a lot, with threes. And I thought Ryan Boatright did an excellent job when we got down, starting to go to the rim and not settle. It shows them we’re going to fight, too.

We’ve got to play with emotion. When we got down we started playing a little bit, but we’ve Continue reading

UConn vs. Louisville: Setting The Scene At Gampel

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, Lasan Kromah, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

STORRS – They opened the doors about 7:05 p.m. and let the dogs in. The students rushed in to fill the baseline seats after hours waiting outside in the cold, drizzly weather.

It’s Game Day, prime time, and we set the scene, about 90 minutes before the Huskies and national champion Cardinals get under way.

The ESPN Game Day desk is set up at half court, and Dick Vitale, who was enthusiastically greeted as he walked in – would you expect anything else? – is in his seat.

Ryan Boatright remained on campus and was in the UConn starting lineup. He said he wishes to keep private any plans regarding returning home for services for his cousin, Arin Williams, who was victim of a shooting in Aurora, Ill.

With Boatright here, the Huskies willstart the same five that won in Memphis – Boatright, Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels, Lasan Kromah and Amidah Brimah.

Your officials tonight: Tom O’Neill, Ted Valentine, Mike Stuart.

Louisville will be playing without one of their main guards, Chris Jones, who has an oblique strain. At least he is not expected to play. Rick Pitino noted after the win over Houston that he had a lot of confidence in Tim Henderson, who played 17 minutes in that game.

With fans lined up hours before the game in the cold, drizzly weather, coach Ollie and the players came out, distributing pizza and soft drinks at about 3 p.m.

Ten NBA teams reserved seats for scouts, including the Nets, Celtics, Blazers, Mavericks, Clippers, Jazz, Wizards, Pacers, Spurs and Timberwolves.Lot to look at with Russ Smith, Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels.

Had a chance to talk to Daniel Hamilton up in Springfield this morning, where he said he was “rock solid, 100 percent” coming to UConn. Here’s more on that. Hamilton, teammate Vance Jackson and coach Derrick Taylor are all expected to head over to Gampel once their game ends in Springfield.

Want to pass along … Dickie V, working the game for ESPN, will be honoring Mike Brey, Nick Saban and Tom Crean at his 2014 Gala to benefit The V Foundation in Sarasota, Fla., May 16. You can get info on that here.

I’m solo tonight, with Jeff Jacobs in Denver for the AFC Championship. Follow along on twitter @AmoreCourant for details of an exciting night as it unfolds here in Storrs.


Daniel Hamilton Says He’s Still ‘Rock-Solid, 100 percent’ About Going to UConn

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, UConn men's basketball


 SPRINGFIELD – I was up at Springfield College Saturday morning, where Daniel Hamilton was practicing with his Saint John Bosco team for the Hall of Fame Classic.

Bosco plays at 6 p.m., and the plan was for Hamilton, teammate Vance Jackson, a highly touted Class of 2016 player, and coach Derrick Taylor, who used to coach DeAndre Daniels in high school, to head over to Storrs to see the Huskies play Louisville (a 9 p.m. start).

“I’m real excited,” Hamliton said. “It’s the first time for me to watch UConn at home, so I expect it to be real packed and loud like they said it would be.”

Hamilton, 6-foot-6 and considered a top-30 recruit in his Class of 2014, committed to UConn last May and signed a financial aid agreement, as opposed to a binding National Letter of Intent in November. He traveled from Los Angeles to Brooklyn to see UConn play Maryland in the season opener.

“I learned a lot,” Hamilton said. “Coach [Kevin] Ollie is a great coach – he coaches so hard and he wants to win so bad. That’s the kind of competitor I like.”

Hamilton’s brother, Isaac, signed a NLOI with Texas-El Paso, and when he decided later he wanted to attend UCLA, he was not allowed out of his commitment. The NCAA denied his appeal and he has to sit a year. This was behind Daniel’s decision to handle it the way he has, but it also fueled speculation that he, too, might eventually decide to stay close to home.

“There is no change, still rock solid, 100 percent [about going to UConn,” he said. “No Continue reading

UConn vs. Memphis: Setting The Scene at FedEx Forum

by Categorized: Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Lasan Kromah, Rudy Gay, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball


MEMPHIS – Looking live at FedEx Forum, where UConn will be playing Memphis in a few minutes.

Setting the scene for you …

Lot of buzz about this game in town, and this is still a college town. The Tigers sell out this building more consistently than the NBA Grizzlies do, the locals tell me. Jeff Jacobs was on the local radio station a little while ago.

The Memphis pep band is pounding out the theme from “The Jeffersons,” movin’ on up to the East Side, yada, yada, yada …

UConn’s starters: Shabazz  Napier, Ryan Boatright, DeAndre Daniels, Lasan Kromah and Amida Brimah, another new combination. But it’s no surprise, the way Brimah played vs. UCF.

UConn commit Daniel Hamilton, who signed a financial-aid agreement as opposed to a binding letter of intent, is going to be in Springfield this weekend for the Hall of Fame Classic. But his John Bosco team from Bellflower, Calif., will be playing Saturday night at 6 p.m., two hours before the UConn-Louisvillle game. Safe bet UConn coaches will get up there to see him somehow.

Kuran Iverson, from Northwest Catholic, has not played the last couple of games for Memphis. Coach Josh Pastner said it’s been “hard to get everyone minutes.”

Both teams like to run, but look for Memphis to pound the ball inside and force UConn to try to stop Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols.

Your officials tonight: Tom Eades, Lee Jones, James Breeding.

 The Sacramento Kings, who play the Grizzlies here Friday night, are in town, so Rudy Gay could stop by. His return to Memphis, his original team and a place where he was deeply involved in the community, is also long anticipated here.

Our main advance from  the Thursday Courant, and our capsule look at the matchup are here.

UConn vs. Indiana: Setting Things Up At The Garden

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Jerome Dyson, Kentan Facey, Noah Vonleh, Omar Calhoun, Phil Nolan, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball

NEW YORK – Here we go, UConn vs. Indiana coming up in a few minutes.

The Huskies and Hoosiers have played eight times, and UConn has won five. One of the Indy wins was in 1939; since 1995, UConn has won 5 of 7, including an emotional game in Bloomington in 2008. UConn was playing short-handed in that game, with Doug Wiggins and Jerome Dyson suspended before the game.

Here in the 2K Classic, this was the matchup UConn had in mind all along. With a game scheduled at Washington for Dec. 22, they did not want to play the West Coast Huskies twice. With two wins now over ACC teams, Maryland and Boston College, a win over a Big Ten opponent would really begin to build an impressive resume.

But let’s not jump to far ahead. Indiana, which has dominated its first five opponents on the boards, Continue reading

UConn 72, BC 70: Wrapping Things Up From The Garden

by Categorized: American Athletic Conference, Daniel Hamilton, Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie, Rakim Lubin, Ryan Boatright, Sam Cassell Jr., Shabazz Napier, Terrence Samuel, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball

NEW YORK – Okay, it happened. UConn played Boston College, bygones are bygones. And like the old times, it came down to the last possession and UConn won.

First blush – like the Maryland game, a good win for UConn to get, against a power conference opponent, but a game that left one with some question marks and the need to work on a few things.

UConn wasn’t going to continue shooting 50 percent like it was, but the drop-off was rather significant, especially to 32 percent in the second half. UConn wasn’t as sharp, or crisp as it had been, but the parade to the foul line had a lot to do with that. On board with what they’re trying to do, but this game the hand-check fouls were a bit much and it did not make for an aesthetically pleasing game.

Here’s the game story on our site, and for the Courant tomorrow.

Olivier Hanlan was a little  snippy about UConn’s defense. “The whole game was physical,” he said.

UConn got a Letter of Intent form Sam Cassell Jr., got a signed financial aid agreement, which is non binding, from Daniel Hamilton. No word on Rakim Lubin. That’s where we are on recruiting, with more on our site. Banging out some late night notes, here you go …

Kevin Ollie’s take:

“It was like an old BC-UConn rivalry [game], down to the end and we gutted out the win. I told the guys ‘without progress, there is no struggle.’ Tonight, we had a struggle from the field but we Continue reading

UConn vs. Detroit: Setting Things Up at Gampel

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, Kevin Ollie, Lasan Kromah, Omar Calhoun, Phil Nolan, Rakim Lubin, Ryan Boatright, Sam Cassell Jr., Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

STORRS – Checking in at Gampel, about half an hour before UConn takes on the Titans of Detroit:

No changes in UConn’s starting lineup – Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun, DeAndre Daniels, Phil Nolan.

Niels Giffey and Lasan Kromah, who have looked good coming off the bench, will stay in that role.

Lots of folks asking about the recruits signing their letters of intent. Sam Cassell Jr. acknowledged on twitter Wednesday that he sent his in. Not holding out on you, I promise. UConn has not announced any letters received as of 6:30 p.m., but I anticipate we’ll be hearing about Cassell, Daniel Hamilton and/or Rakim Lubin any time now. Once UConn announces them, Kevin Ollie can be quoted on them.

Soon as I hear something, I’ll announce here and via twitter (@AmoreCourant)

Was on The Bower Show today, the podcast is here if you want to relive it. :)

The Titans were delayed getting here, by some “housekeeping” things. They arrived about 6 p.m. Juwan Howard Jr. came earlier by himself to get some shooting in.

Although Kevin Ollie describes himself as a “man to man” coach, the new hand-checking rules require him to “have the zone defense in your back pocket.” And he does, though he hasn’t used it yet. Will he break it out tonight?

)fficials tonight, hired by the 2K Classic organizers: Donnie Epley, Tom Courtney, Rod Mrakovich.





UConn vs. Maryland: Setting Things Up at Barclays Center …

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, DeAndre Daniels, Omar Calhoun, Rodney Purvis, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

NEW YORK – We’re minutes away from the start of the season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A few notes to start you off …

UConn’s starters are Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun at guard, DeAndre Daniels at forward and Phil Nolan at center. This was the lineup  that started the second half against Concordia.

For Maryland, Dez Wells, Nick Faust, Jake Layman, Shaquille Cleare and Evan Smotrycz, no surprises there.

This is technically a home game for the Terps, who have a multi-year agreement to play games here at Barclays Center. The place looks about 75-80 percent full.

Daniel Hamilton, one of the Huskies top 2014 recruits, is expected here to watch the game. Have not seen him as yet.

Rodney Purvis, who must travel to home games on his own, has done just that and is in the stands.

Warde Manuel and other UConn athletic execs plan to leave here immediately after the game and get back to East Hartford for the end of the football game. They will ride from here to Teeterboro airport in New Jersey and fly to Brainard. Getting to Jersey from here will be the toughest part of that journey – if they make it, this observer will be impressed.

… Wonderful video on Ryan Boatright, produced by UConn, is out today. See it here.

Kevin Ollie: The Overachiever [Conn Magazine] … Other notes, quotes

by Categorized: Daniel Hamilton, Kevin Ollie, Rakim Lubin, Rodney Purvis, Sam Cassell Jr., UConn men's basketball


My friend Terese Karmel, a professor of journalism at UConn, has written an in-depth profile of Kevin Ollie for Connecticut Magazine. (and my bad on the headline that was previously on this post)

Terese describes Ollie’s long career as a player, and his promising career as coach in the piece,

Kevin Ollie, The Overachiever. See it here.


A couple of other things that might interest you …

Our coverage of Sam Cassell Jr.’s decision to come to UConn, from the main website and the Thursday Courant.


Couple of recruiting notes: Forward Devin Robinson is not coming to visit UConn this month, I’m told. It Continue reading