There will be big shoes to fill in the UConn backcourt next season, with Shabazz Napier leaving and, Ryan Boatright, too, if he chooses to test the NBA Draft waters.
But the Huskies have some solid guards coming in to join sophomore Terrence Samuel, who began to come into his own late in the season. You know about Rodney Purvis, who transferred from NC State and had to sit out. “He’s like a Ferrari in the garage I can’t use,” Kevin Ollie said late in the season.
Well, now the ignition can be turned, Purvis is recovering from shoulder surgery, but should be ready to go when practices start.
Sam Cassell Jr., who comes in next year, added to his list of credentials. He was named a First Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association. Cassell, son of the long-time NBA point guard and coach, averaged 18.7 points per game for Chipola College in Florida this past season, leading his team to a 26-6 record before they lost in the national quarterfinals.He also averaged 3.7 assists, and shot 43.3 percent from the floor across 30 games.,
What makes this a positive for UConn: Neither Cassell nor Purvis are freshmen. Purvis, with a year of big time college ball behind him, and Cassell, who spent twp years in JUCO, are essentially juniors. With their experience, they should be able to step in and perform at a high level.
… Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma rang the closing bell on Wall Street on Thursday – unfortunately it ended a bad day on the markets, but perhaps the coaches were able to give the downcast investors a pep talk.
… I’ve heard from both the Yankees and Red Sox that plans are in the works to honor the UConn championship teams soon, but no dates have been nailed down as yet.
… I will be joining the FoxCT team covering the parade in Hartford on Sunday, so do tune in. Will give you more details as I get them. Also, I joined Scott Gray on the Stan Simpson Show coming up this weekend.
… We’re putting out a special, commemorative section on UConn’s dual champions, which will be in the Sunday Courant. Be on the lookout for that.
… We continue to have tecnhical issues with the blog, so check our main website, as well as he blog, for UConn content.