STORRS – Checking in from Gampel:
The dramatic, Willis Reed-like entrance came about 30 minutes before the game. Shabazz Napier, who had not been seen on the court with his teammates earlier, jogged out, dressed for action, and took his place in the layup line.
After a few minutes, it was decided Napier would start. DeAndre Daniels, Ryan Boatright, R.J. Evans and Phil Nolan figured to be the other starters, but that was tentative.
Omar Calhoun, his sprained right wrist getting worse in recent days, was a different story. He was in civilian clothes, along with Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander.
Olander, who is out with a broken left foot, said he had been playing with a stress fracture for several weeks, and it finally gave out against South Florida. He will have surgery “as soon as possible,” he said, and then need six to eight weeks of rehab. He hopes to be ready for his normal summer activity.
Seniors, including R.J. Evans, Trey James, Keifer Lammi and Dave Vandal, were honored before the game. Senior manager Ben Rennert, a five-year member of the program, was also honored.
Fans are asked to stay in their seats after the game. The team will come out for a postgame ceremony, so if you are among those who want to stand and cheer for the team following the final buzzer, that will be your chance.
Jim Burr, Rob Riley, Jeff Clark are your officials.
Game time in about 10 minutes. Follow me at @AmoreCourant for all the action.