Monday, May 27, 2013

UConn Could Play Washington Twice Next Year; Practice Facility Coming Along Fast

Just got back from the UConn baseball team's viewing of the NCAA Selection Show, where the Big East-champion Huskies learned they'll be playing Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in their opener. It's a great story, really, not only because UConn swept to a Big East Tournament title as the No. 8 seed, but because the team is truly representative of Connecticut: Many of its key players hail from the Nutmeg State. And a lot of those players hail from the New Haven area.

It's also ironic, of course, that the Huskies win the final true Big East tourney of any sport. The same program that is "stuck", so to speak, in the new American Athletic Conference while the "Catholic 7" keep the Big East name and the league's other darlings (Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Louisville) all run off to different power conferences.

The baseball team's run sort of reminds me of the 1998 Providence baseball team, which learned earlier in the season that it would be cut after the season was over thanks to good ol' Title IX. All the Friars did was storm to a Big East title and NCAA tournament run. UConn's situation is different, of course, but has a similar feel.

It's also ironic that, while things look so good for UConn athletics right now (baseball team is Big East champs, women's hoops are national champs, men's hoops looking very strong for next year), the exact opposite can be said for Rutgers, whose athletics program is now a national embarrassment. Yet Rutgers gets to run off to the Big 10 a year from now, while UConn is stuck in the AAC. Doesn't seem right.

*** As for the men's hoops team, it appears the Huskies will indeed travel out to Seattle this season to face the University of Washington. That looked like it might be shelved for another year or so, since it's possible the two teams could meet in the 2K Sports Classic in November at Madison Square Garden. But it now appears the teams may simply "get it out of the way" this season, so to speak, and risk the chance of playing each other twice in the same season.

*** UConn president Susan Herbst talked about the AAC's "very good meeting" in Florida last week.

"Everybody's like-minded, everybody wants it to work very well, so it's very collegial," she said.

She doesn't think it'll be awkward to have Louisville and Rutgers in the league just for this one season.

"They're all professionals, the coaches and AD's," she said. "And Louisville's been a class act, heading out of the Big East. They've really been great to work with."

*** As for the new practice facility, Herbst said it could be at least partially operable by March or so, noting that some people on the construction site have said that this year's senior players (Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey, Tyler Olander) "might be able to play a little bit at the very end. It might not be tricked out with all the equipment and everything, but the courts may be (ready to go)."

*** Herbst also noted that she had nothing really to do with the decision to allow Enosch Wolf back on the basketball team next year, only without a scholarship. The decision was a collaborative effort between Kevin Ollie, Warde Manuel and members of the student affairs committee.

"Obviously, Kevin knows the kids the best, he's closest to them, he understand the team," she said. "Warde was definitely involved, and people outside of athletics who work with the students. We'll see how it pans out."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Any chance you can post some pictures of the facility. Thanks.

May 27, 2013 at 9:32 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...

Best I can do right now:

May 28, 2013 at 4:50 PM 

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