STORRS – It’s Year Two, and Ryan Boatright has shifted gears.
“What a leader he has been,” assistant coach Glen Miller was saying recently. “Especially in the early-morning weight-training sessions. Everybody has been working hard, but Ryan is right at the top of the list.”
Boatright begins his sophomore year, and hopes and expects it will be much different than his first, when he missed all those games due to NCAA probes. One of the games Boatright had to sit was at Notre Dame, when his entire family had driven from Chicago in snowy weather. This year, the Boatright clan will be rewarded in triplicate – games at Notre Dame, DePaul and Marquette.
“Yeah, they’ll be packed,” Boatright says.
There was a point last season, after the one-sided loss at Louisville, when Boatright declared his willingness to step up and become a team leader. Now, he is really asserting himself. In the pickup games, he is the most vocal, as if he were running practice. With Shabazz Napier injured, it’s a good time for that.
“I was born to be a leader,” Boatright says. “I was raised to be a leader. I was a team leader in high school. I would be doing it anyway, but with the inexperienced team we have, I’m speaking out, when I see something that doesn’t look right, I’ll say something to the person. And I try to lead by example.”
UConn guards worked out some on Tuesday. Jim Calhoun was in the building, watching.
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