Q: Dom, what is the news on the recruiting front? Who are KO and UConn targeting? And what are realistic chances of the Huskies landing these prospects?
A: Hi Jeff. The main development this week was Daniel Hamilton’s visit. Hamilton, 6-foot-6, the brother of Jordan Hamilton and a very highly rated shooting guard from the Los Angeles area, visited last weekend, as was scheduled a while ago. Daniel came with his parents. This visit went well, by all accounts, including Hamilton’s quote to Adam Zagoria (read here).
UConn is still limited in the number of official visits it can host, so the Continue reading
Q: Will the new league have a automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for next year or will they have to wait? Also wht do you think the chances of holding the tournament in Hartford in the future will be?
A: Yes, Mark, the American Athletic Conference, AAC or Americon, will have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It has a new name, but as far as the NCAA is concerned, it is the old Big East and inherits that slot, with all the automatic bids in all sports. The “new Big East,” the league with the non-football playing schools, et al, is the new entity. It will have automatic bids, too, but has to go through a process of applying for them.
So for UConn, nothing changes as far as automatic tournament bids.
The XL Center, I have been told, is working on a proposal to host the AAC men’s Tournament. I Continue reading
Q: Of the three recruits [UConn has] coming in next season, who do you think could have the biggest immediate impact?
A: Jeff, logic would dicatate it would have to be Kentan Facey. He made great strides during his high school season at Long Island Lutheran and appears to be the more advanced of the two big men the Huskies have coming in. Amida Brimah could make an impact defensively, but his offensive game will need work. Facey’s offensive game will need work, too, and he will need to get stronger, but he is so fast and athletic and he learns quickly. Given UConn’s obvious needs in the front court, the opportunity for Facey to win a major role on the team is there.
I’m assuming Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright will come back, since I have heard nothing to indicate otherwise. That being the case, Terrence Samuel will be playing behind them at guard, so his opportunity will be to learn from them and prepare for a large future role.
I am planning to get to Brooklyn Saturday to see Samuel and Facey play in the Jordan Brand Regional Game, so I might have an update take on both of them early next week.
Q: Why did they schedule the basketball game the same night as the UConn-Louisville football game? I would have gone to both if not on the same night.
A: Well, John, it’s not ideal, but Nov. 8 was the day the Barclays Center scheduled for this game, so UConn has no choice there. They couldn’t pass up a national TV game in New York. The benefits from playing this game outweigh any drawbacks.
The football game with Louisville is probably locked in, though a start time and TV hasn’t been announced yet. Maybe there is wiggle room to move it up or back a day. It would be worth looking into that. November is a long way off.
Q: Dom, with 20 wins overall and 10 in the Big East Conference, “if” Uconn was playing in the NCAA Tournament this year what seed would they be?
A: Well, JT, glad you asked, because it gives me a chance to link to the story I did for the Sunday Courant. The brackets guys had UConn anywhere from a six to an 11. Now that the bracket is out, it looks like UConn would have been a No. 9 or 10 seed. Villanova was a nine, Cincinnati a 10, and UConn would probably have fallen about there they are. Though teams with higher RPI than UConn’s 45 were left out, I couldn’t imagine UConn, with all its quality wins, would have been left out, or seeded much lower.
Click here for my Sunday story on this.
Q: Dom, I may be asking too much, but can you address the issue on how difficult it will be for recruiting because of the conference alignment. I hope I I’m wrong but my instinct tells me we may not be able to compete (with) the major conferences for the elite players.
A: Well, Frankie, it’s not too much to ask, but there are only so many ways to say it. … Yes, recruiting is going to be more difficult if UConn remains in this yet-to-be-named league with this new slate of opponents. No way around it.
For many years, UConn has played in a league that was one of the best, and often the best, in the country. Important Big East games, and its league tournament, got the lion’s share of national exposure and recruits all over the country saw that. Jim Calhoun, as he told Michael Kay on YES Network’s Center Stage a while back, got recruits to come and play in the middle of nowhere because the league was a destination.
Now, the league is the middle of nowhere – so the school has to be the destination.
On Friday, UConn had Tyus Battle from New Jersey, who could become one of the Continue reading
Q: Dom, are you aware of a source for DVD’s or tapes of UConn tournament games such as the 2011 Big East tournament and the 2011 NCAA Final Four?
B: The UConn store has a collection of DVDs available here. Don’t know if they have specific ones you’re looking for, but you can start here.
Q: Can UConn play in the N.I.T.
A: No, Chas, UConn’s postseason ban is all inclusive. The NIT, and the other postseason tournaments, the CBI and CIT, are all affilaited, sanctioned, in one way another with the NCAA. The Huskies’ season is over.
Q: I saw you mentioned the Thanksgiving tourney next year at MSG that includes IU. In light of the collapse of the conference, I’m hopeful that you will report Uconn has a lot of tough non-conference games scheduled in the upcoming years. So, who can we expect to see the Huskies be playing outside of the conference? Is it time to drop the instate cupcake games?
A: Hi Sam. UConn and Quinnipiac crossed paths in the Virgin Islands this year, UConn winning in double OT, and Fairfield played a close game at XL in Dec. 2011. The Huskies last played Yale in 2003, Central in 2005, Sacred Heart in 2006 and Hartford in 2008, so the in-state games have been gone for a while. Personally, I’d rather see UConn play teams from Connecticut than soft opponents from outside the state, such as Maryland-Eastern Shore, Coppin State, Fordham, etc. … That’s just me.
… Your larger question is the strength of the nonconference schedule. Once UConn Continue reading
Q: … I have a couple of questions. You know when ESPN does a team’s resume during a game and they list “bad losses”? Do UConn men have any “bad losses” this season? Also, I am wondering if the team is also barred from the NIT. I am assuming they are, but I don’t ever remember it being talked about, only the Big East and NCAA tournaments are constantly mentioned (and rightfully so).
A: This is a pretty good question, Samantha, thanks for asking it. … What has made UConn’s season successful is that the Huskies really don’t have any “bad losses,” IMO. They’ve beaten all the teams they should have beaten. They’ve had some close calls, like Quinnipiac in OT – a good team, but UConn can’t Continue reading