Ex-Hillhouse Star Keith Cothran Shot Wednesday Night; Condition Uncertain
Keith Cothran, the New Haven native who starred at Hillhouse High, then URI, was shot in the head Wednesday night in Hamden. As of Thursday evening, no one could confirm Cothran's condition, as he was not listed at any area hospitals.
One thing is certain: the inner-city violence in the New Haven area is completely out of control. Will it ever end?
Former UConn Athletes Spearhead Fight Against Epilepsy
Former UConn baseball player David Fradkin and his wife, former UConn swimmer Monica (Rose) Fradkin, are spearheading the fight to raise money and awareness for epilepsy with the S4 Epilepsy Walk, Dinner and Silent Auction in Southbury on June 9.
Here's the release on the event:
The S4 Epilepsy Walk,
Dinner and Silent Auction,
rapidly becoming known as an event having “Southbury Feel With National Appeal,”
will commence at Ballantine Park with a 2.74 mile charity walk and continue
with a day of fun, food and family activities.
Over 550 guests are already registered and are now members of the S4
S4 stands for “Sarah and
Southbury Strikeout Seizures,” in which the Fradkin Family of Southbury, CT
hope to increase awareness and raise funds for epilepsy
research in honor of their 11 year old daughter, Sarah, who was diagnosed with epilepsy
when she was 6 years old.
on-line is encouraged at the S4 website at www.s4epilepsywalk.com. Gift packet pick-up for pre-registered guests
will begin at 1:04 p.m. at Ballantine Park. Welcoming events will start at 2:24 p.m. with
the S4 video courtesy of Sniffen Productions highlighting Sarah’s inspirational
Leo’s Restaurant of Southbury has stepped up to the plate as the lead food
sponsor and is coordinating efforts with Valley Provisions (Boar’s Head Brand
Distributor), Seńor Pancho’s, Julio’s Wood Fired Pizza and Grill, and Empire
Szechuan to serve up a great taste of Southbury. County Line Auto of CT is sponsoring a basketball shootout
and MetroGrass of NY is sponsoring a putting contest. Jimmy D with Jimmy D Productions will provide
music and entertainment. With the
generous support of Joseph Merritt and Co./Merritt Graphics and their custom
signage, Ballantine Park will look fabulous on June 9th.
There will be a
large number of unique items available for silent auction bidding that have
been donated from around the country and by regional businesses. The “National Appeal” of the event has been further
enhanced by the support of many major league players who have joined the S4
team. Winning bidders will have the opportunity
to experience once in a lifetime access at many ballparks and exclusive golf
clubs. Bidding on these experiences will
begin June 4th and continue through June 26th at www.charitybuzz.com.
Proceeds raised at
the June 9th S4 event and the online auction
will benefit CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy. Epilepsy
and seizures affect nearly 3 million Americans of all ages. About 200,000 new cases of epilepsy occur
every year. 1 in 26 people will be
diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetime.
Funding for epilepsy research is only a fraction of that given to
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other well know diseases, yet more people suffer
from epilepsy than Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and
There's always a lot of positive spin coming out of Storrs during the off-season, often to be taken with a grain of salt. This guy looks better than ever, that guy is out to prove everybody wrong, this guy is the best recruit the program has had in years.
One thing I'm buying right now, however, is the unanimous belief that DeAndre Daniels is currently out-working everyone on the team -- by a lot. Talk to anyone around the program and one of the first things they mention is the time and work Daniels is putting in right now.
I witnessed some of it first-hand earlier this week as Daniels and Ryan Boatright went through a grueling shooting drill at Gampel, and wrote this story for the Register. Daniels talks about how he's ready to put last year's disappointing freshman season behind him (OK, a common cliche), how his sister's major health scare in February weighed on him at times during the season, and how he (briefly) considered transferring from the program.
UConn will meet Wake Forest in the opening round of the 2012 U.S. Virgin
Islands Paradise Jam at University of Virgin Islands, according to the brackets
released by tournament officials.
The Huskies, seeded No. 2 in the tourney,
will play the seventh-seeded Demon Deacons on Friday, Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m.
(EDT). On the same side of the bracket, No. 3 seed Iona will take on No. 6 seed
Quinnipiac at 9 p.m. Those winners will meet in the tourney semifinals on
Sunday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m., while the losers will play on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m.
On the opposite side of the bracket, No. 4 George Mason
challenges No. 5 Mercer in the tourney opener (1:30 p.m.), while top-seeded New
Mexico plays No. 8 seed Illinois-Chicago (4 p.m.) in the other Friday
All eight teams will play their third games on Monday, Nov. 19, including the championship game at 9 p.m.
Game times are subject to change
for television considerations, which will be announced at a later date. The
tourney will take place at the Sports and Fitness Center on the island of St.
UConn won the 2008 Paradise Jam championship, defeating LaSalle,
Miami, and Wisconsin on its way to the title. That season, the Huskies went on
to post a 31-5 overall record and reach the 2009 Final Four.
UConn and Wake
Forest have met only twice, each winning a game on its home court. The Huskies
bowed to Wake Forest, 103-77, in Winston-Salem on Dec. 29, 1969, and defeated
the Deacons, 84-75, on Dec. 2, 1991, at the Hartford Civic (now XL) Center.
Catching Up with Jim Calhoun, DeAndre Daniels, Ryan Boatright ...
Spent some time up at UConn today for a variety of reasons. Witnessed the continued demolition of Memorial Stadium, as a construction vehicle -- looking like some sort of dinosaur straight out of Jurassic Park -- tore up what remained of the bleacher seats at the old stadium.
The press box was scheduled to go down later today. Why is this all happening? So that the area can be used to build a new basketball practice facility. So don't get too emotional about the end of Memorial Stadium. Its long-overdue demise will only help UConn's basketball program in the future.
*** I also saw Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels going through some vigorous workouts in a catch-and-shoot drill. The players took turns taking jumpers off "screens" (two large trash barrels were setting the "picks") from all over the court in one-minute segments. It's a grueling drill, one that keys on moving without the ball (not to mention getting up shots while tired) and both looked good stroking down the bulk of their shots.
Daniels is drawing rave reviews for his work ethic this spring.
"He's working extremely hard," said director of basketball operations Karl Hobbs. He's really focused on what he has to do."
I talked to Daniels for a bit about his tough freshman year, in which he not only went through the typical struggles but also dealt with his sister Keirstyn's frightening health issues -- a non-cancerous tumor on her brain.
"That weighed on me," he admitted. "In the middle of the season, I missed a couple of practices to see her and stayed at the hospital for, like, eight hours just to see if she's OK after surgery. She's fine now. She's good."
Daniels struggles and eventual lack of playing time caused him to consider a transfer -- briefly.
"I won't lie, at some point, me just being a young kid and being selfish and not understanding, it crossed my mind a couple of times," he said. "But I would never really do it. I'm here. I'm still a Husky."
And, of course, with the mass exodus of transfers, NBA draft entries, etc., playing time is available for Daniels next season.
"He sees his opportunity," said Jim Calhoun. "One door closes, another door opens. He's got a great opportunity. I've always thought he was going to be a good player. The shot he has is still the same shot, he's had to learn to shoot it at full speed. He's jumped both feet in and worked as hard as anybody, if not harder."
We'll have much more on Daniels in the next day or two ...
***Oh yes, caught up with Calhoun, too. He's doing well, says his back his fine. He was in good spirits -- his wife, Pat, and her sister and two daughters-in-law were out at the 'American Idol' finals last night -- and knows next year will be a different one. And not only because of the likely postseason ban. UConn will have a different look, without the dominant shot-blocking presence in the middle its had for so many years now (though the Huskies feel incoming frosh Phil Nolan will eventually be a strong inside presence).
Calhoun says Boatright will be the point guard solely next year, with Shabazz Napier moving off the ball. Omar Calhoun will play the 2, and R.J. Evans can play all over the place. Boatright's excited about the proposition, knowing that playing point will be his only ticket to the NBA.
UConn's German trio of Niels Giffey, Enosch Wolf and incoming frosh Leon Tolksdorf will all try out for respective German national teams this summer. Boatright will attend Chris Paul's camp, and Napier will try out for the Puerto Rican national team.
Nolan and Omar Calhoun should be on campus to start summer classes around June 24.
*** Oh, and Tony Robertson's still on campus. He just finished a Spanish course today and begins another Spanish class on Tuesday, as well as an English class. Robertson said he's about 12 credits short of graduating with a political science degree.
Not that this is likely to affect UConn, but a Big East school will be hosting next year's East Regionals.
Washington, D.C. will join Arlington, Texas, Indianapolis and Los Angeles as sites for the regional semifinals and finals from March 28-31. Cities hosting first and second-round games will be Dayton, Ohio; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Austin, Texas; Kansas City; Lexington, Ky.; Philadelphia; Salt Lake City; and San Jose. The Final Four will be held April 6 and 8 in Atlanta.
Of course, barring some miracle reversal in thinking by the NCAA, UConn won't be invited to any of the sites.
Hofstra University is becoming UConn West (OK, only a couple hundred miles west, but still west). Patrick Sellers is an assistant coach of the men's basketball team, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel is a player on the team and now Jeff Hathaway is the school's new athletic director.
Here's the press release from Hofstra on Hathaway's hire:
Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz today announced that the
University had hired Jeffrey A. Hathaway, formerly the Director of Athletics for
the University of Connecticut and the outgoing chairman of the NCAA Division I
Men’s Basketball Committee, as Hofstra University’s new Vice President and
Director of Athletics.
“In collegiate athletics, the name Jeff Hathaway means
success on any number of levels: in the classroom, on the playing field, in the
boardroom, with donors and the media. Most importantly, Jeff’s focus on
excellence, ethics, leadership and academics will allow the Hofstra Pride
athletics program to move to the next level of excellence,” said Hofstra
University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “His tenure at the University of
Connecticut was one of unprecedented growth, and under his leadership, we look
forward to ushering in a new era of Hofstra Pride athletic
“I am excited to join the Hofstra University
community and to have the opportunity to provide leadership and serve the
student-athletes, coaches and staff in this outstanding athletics program,”
commented Hathaway. “I particularly would like to thank President Stuart
Rabinowitz for allowing me to become part of the Hofstra University
family. Throughout my career
I have been be part of programs that have competed against Hofstra and I have
seen firsthand the success the Pride has had over the years. My primary focus
will be on the academic achievement of our student-athletes and providing them
the opportunity to participate and achieve in their academic and athletic
endeavors as we prepare them for their lives after graduation from Hofstra.”
Hathaway is signing a 5-year agreement with Hofstra
University. He will begin in June 2012, at a date to be determined later this
week. Eastman & Beaudine assisted in the search, and President Rabinowitz,
consistent with the need for confidentiality and speed, consulted with members
of the Hofstra University Board of Trustees as
“We had an opportunity to bring Jeff to Hofstra so we
moved quickly to come to an agreement,” said President Rabinowitz. “We want to
thank Danny McCabe and the athletics staff for ensuring a smooth
Hathaway and President Rabinowitz also confirmed an
agreement with Acting Athletic Director Danny McCabe to remain the program’s
Executive Associate Director of Athletics
John Calipari in Connecticut; Jim Calhoun Has Announced His Return Before
Warning: If you hate John Calipari and have any preconceived notions about what a dirty scoundrel he is, don't read this story. Or, better yet, maybe you should.
Calipari was in Stratford Wednesday night, not to recruit a player but to be the guest speaker at the St. Joseph's boys basketball banquet. Stems from his long-time friendship with St. Joe's coach Vito Montelli.
I'm not saying this is the greatest act of kindness ever performed by a college basketball coach (though it's not the first time Cal has done something like this). But let's face it, the head coach of the national champions didn't have to come from Kentucky to Stratford, Conn., on a Wednesday night to address a high school boys basketball team -- one which holds no potential recruits for him. Just a guy being loyal to his friend.
Not saying Calipari is a saint, but maybe he's not as evil as some make him out to be.
So when Calhoun says now that, with two years left on his contract, there's no reason for him to announce he's returning and that the only announcement would be if he's not returning ... well, that wasn't the case three years ago. Obviously, he wants to keep some doors open.
Tolksdorf is labeled as a shooter. In 21 games last season for ALBA Berlin II, he averaged 5.2 points in 14.2 minutes per game. He shot 40 percent from the floor and 34.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 71.4 percent from the foul line.
He joins 6-5 Omar Calhoun and 6-11 Phil Nolan as 2012 incoming recruits for UConn. He also joins juniors Niels Giffey and Enosch Wolf as UConn players from Deutschland.
John Marinatto has resigned as commissioner of the Big East. Joseph Bailey takes over as interim commish. Here's the release sent out by the conference:
great deal of thought and prayer, I have decided to step down as Commissioner of
the BIG EAST Conference and formally advised our Board of Directors," stated
Marinatto. "I have been associated with this league for my entire adult life
and have had the tremendous honor of serving as its Commissioner since 2009.
Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the Conference for the long term,
and we are likewise well positioned for our very important upcoming television
negotiations. As a result, I felt this was the right time to step aside and to
let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution. I am proud
of what we have been able to accomplish and would like to take this opportunity
to publicly thank both our membership and my staff for their unwavering
encouragement, support and loyalty -- especially during this past year. I am
extremely confident about the future of this league that I love very
I speak for the entire Conference when I express my sincere gratitude to John
for his leadership and dedicated years of service,” said Dr. Judy Genshaft,
President of the University of South Florida and Chair of the BIG EAST
Conference. “John helped build the BIG EAST into what it is today, and played a
critical role in our successful expansion efforts, and for all of that we thank
A. Bailey III will today assume the position of interim Commissioner of the BIG
EAST until a new Commissioner is selected. Bailey has extensive experience in the
global sports industry as a leader, advisor and recruiter. He has served as the
Chief Executive Officer of the Miami Dolphins, Chief Operating Officer of the
World League/NFL, Vice President of Administration of the Dallas Cowboys and
other senior positions. Most recently, he has served as the Managing Director
of RSR Partners, a leading executive recruiting firm.
a proven leader who will do a terrific job guiding the conference through this
time of transition,” said Genshaft. “His experience as a manager and his
knowledge of the sports industry make Joe uniquely qualified to serve as interim
Commissioner. He will move the Conference forward with a steady-hand as we
explore new opportunities.”
EAST has a terrific future,” said Bailey. “I’m excited to participate in shaping
a new structure and strategic plans for the Conference, and I look forward to
engaging on these matters with the leadership of all of the Conference’s
members, old and new alike.”
Conference also announced that it has retained The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
to review its organizational design and structure. As the BIG EAST transitions
to a national conference, its members will take this opportunity to position the
Conference to maximize its media rights, branding and other
search for the new Commissioner of the BIG EAST will be chaired Dr. Gregory H.
Williams, the President of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the BIG
EAST Executive Committee.
Michael Bradley finished exams on Thursday ("they went great," he said). Now, he's packing up his stuff, heading down to his Chattanooga home to see his mom and ailing grandmother and, soon afterwards, heading to Western Kentucky University to start his college hoops career anew.
"I don't regret coming to UConn," said Bradley, who never played a single second in his two seasons as a Husky. He sat out as a redshirt his first year, then broke his ankle in the preseason last year and never recovered enough to get on the court.
"The way the dice rolled, sitting out my first year was the best thing to happen to me, because I had only played four years (of basketball) and one of them was my JV year," Bradley said. "The worst thing that happened was my injury."
Since he's transferring to be closer to home for his grandmother, Bradley may not have to sit out a season and be able to suit right up for the Hilltoppers. He said his grandmother seems to be doing well.
"Sometimes, I have to tell just by her voice, because she's stubborn like me," Bradley said. "She could be doing horrible and telling me she's doing good."
Bradley said that UConn's upcoming postseason ban played into his decision "maybe just a little ... but I wouldn't say it's the reason."
He added he has "no clue" if Jim Calhoun is returning.
As for Western Kentucky, Bradley said he doesn't know new head coach (and former assistant) Ray Harper too well, but said his AAU coach, teammates and people around the city of Chattanooga gave him "good feedback" about Harper.
"In my opinion, UConn is one of the best programs in the Big East. I know a couple of guys are transferring, and that opens up minutes at UConn. I know if I work hard enough, I'll be able to attain some minutes as a freshman."
Nolan said the questions surrounding how long Jim Calhoun will stay as head coach, as well as next year's almost certain postseason ban, didn't bother him.
"Not at all. I'm just excited to be a part of the UConn family. None of that stuff really bothers me. Coach Calhoun is not the only coach at UConn I have a relationship with. I'd like for him to stay as head coach, if that's what he wants to do, but it wouldn't change my decision."
Nolan said he's been in contact with Calhoun and assistant Kevin Ollie. He said that "nothing's been promised to me. They let me know that minutes will be available, it depends how hard I work, how bad I want it."
As for the postseason ban: "t really dosn't bother me. UConn is just the place for me."
Nolan said he visited St. John's last weekend and Oregon and Clemson last fall. He'll make his first visit to UConn on Sunday.
Nolan played at two different public high schools and two different prep schools. He played this past season at Riverside University High in Milwaukee, his hometown. Nolan explains his nomadic high school life:
"My freshman and sophomore year I went to the same public school in Milwaukee. After my sophomore year, I went to prep school and thought it was going to be great. I was a little immature, and it didn't really work out for me. I came back home and ended up going to another prep school .. and that just didn't work out for me, either. Instead of going back to my original high school, I wanted to be at a high school near my home. Riverside is one of the best public schools in the city, and after prep school, I realized how imprtant grades were and (wanted to be in a good academic situation)."
Nolan says his strengths are rebounding, blocking shots, running the court. He admits he needs to get stronger, but has already bulked up from 187 at the end of the season to 209 pounds through working out four-five times a week with a personal trainer, downing protein shakes etc.
Phillip Nolan, UConn's newest recruit (and first since the program learned it will almost certainly be banned from next year's postseason), is "6-10, long, shoots pretty well from the outside," according to his high school coach, Tyrone Lewis.
"To be that long and tall like that, he can run the floor pretty well," added Lewis, who coached Nolan for just this past season at Milwaukee's Riverside University high school. "He can mix it up, and step back and hit jump shots, also."
Lewis said that Nolan was being recruited by Clemson, Marquette, Oregon, St. John's and DePaul, among others, and had visited Oregon, St. John's and Clemson. Nolan has yet to visit UConn, but Lewis believes that Nolan will be doing so early next week.
Lewis admitted that, after talking to him last week, he was "surprised" the big man chose UConn.
"But I think he's very happy with his decision," said Lewis.
Nolan is well-traveled, having played for a couple of prep schools and public schools in the Milwaukee area. He had to sit out part of this past season until the MIAA cleared him to play a little after Christmas.
Lewis said Nolan averaged 16.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and three blocks per game. He shot 70 percent from the foul line and 62 percent from the floor. He also made three of the four 3-pointers he attempted.
Lewis said Nolan "did a pretty good job with academics" at Riverside.
Philip Nolan, a a Class of 2012, 6-foot-10, 200-pound power forward out of Milwaukee, tweeted earlier today that he has verbally committed to UConn. Nolan is the 30th-ranked power forward in his class, according to scout.com.
UConn is 2-2 all-time against NC State, beating it 81-74 on Dec. 5, 1992 in Raleigh and 77-74 on March 17, 2002 in an NCAA tournament second-round game. The Wolfpack beat the Huskies in their initial meeting on Feb. 16, 1991, 60-59 at Gampel, and ended UConn's season in 2005 in an NCAA tourney second-round game in Worcester, 65-62.
The 18th annual Jimmy V Classic raises money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which has raised more than $120 million to fund cancer research grants since 1995.
Tickets for the Jimmy V games will go on sale in the fall via Ticketmaster and the Madison Square Garden box office.
Started as UConn men's basketball beat writer for the New Haven Register in August, 2007. Before that, was traveling Boston Red Sox beat writer from 2004-06 for the Journal Register Co. (which included the Register).