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
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.
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
It’s not done just yet, but it looks like UConn will soon land point guard Sam Cassell Jr.
On Sunday, Jody Demling, publisher of the website Cardinal Authority tweeted that Louisville was no longer recruiting Cassell Jr., who had narrowed his choices to UConn and Louisville. This weekend, UConn associate head coach Glen Miller was seen in Tallahassee, Fla., watching Cassell Jr. play for Chipola in a Juco jamboree.
It appeared Louisville, which had spent a lot of time on Cassell earlier in the week, did not have a staff there.
Cassell Jr., whose father was an NBA point guard for 15 seasons and is now an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, had not committed as of Sunday night, but UConn could get the good word in the next day or two.
Sam Cassell and UConn coach Kevin Ollie were teammates with the Bucks in 2002-03. Cassell Jr., 6-foot-4, is often compared to his father in terms of skills and basketball intelligence. He committed to Maryland last year, but was declared academically ineligible by the NCAA, which did not accept some of his prep school credits. He went to Chipola, in Florida, but concentrated last season on academics.
He visited several schools, coming to UConn the Sept. 21, the weekend of the football game vs, Michigan and the Jim Calhoun Tribute. He visited Louisville a few days later.
Posting the last of my interviews from the Jimmy V event this week. First, a note on Sam Cassell Jr., the point guard UConn is targeting. He has indicated it’s down to UConn and Louisville, but the process is going to take a bit longer. UConn will have a coach in Tallahassee this weekend to watch Cassell play in a JuCo jamboree there, continuing the effort.
NEW YORK – The time has come for Florida and UConn to face off on the basketball court. UConn’s new conference affiliation prompted them to look for stronger non-conference opponents and Gators coach Billy Donovan is always looking for marquee matchups.
I caught up Donovan in New York at the Jimmy V event, and he talked about scheduling the Huskies – at Gampel Pavilion on Dec. 2, a great fit for both teams,
“Nowadays, a lot of college basketball has moved to a lot of neutral site games, a lot of exempt tournaments,” Donovan said,. “One of the things I’ve always tried to do here, especially the last four or five years – ‘How do we bring really good quality opponents to our home court?’ What teams would be willing to do that?
“What Kevin [Ollie is] doing there right now, what Jim [Calhoun] has built there over the years, Continue reading