Thursday, August 28, 2014

Breaking down UConn's 2014-15 schedule

The release of UConn's 2014-15 schedule means -- never mind football -- college basketball is just around the corner. Sort of.

The Huskies can actually start practicing on Oct. 3, per NCAA rules, though they likely will start after that. Teams can get in 30 practices in the 42 days prior to their first game (in UConn's case, on Friday, Nov. 14 against Bryant).

Anyway, here's a breakdown of UConn's 2014-15 schedule, with a look at some of the Huskies' opponents:

Tuesday, Nov. 4, vs. Southern Connecticut State University (exhibition): Huskies play Owls in an exhibition for second straight season. Won 93-65 last season at Gampel.

Sunday, Nov. 9 vs. Assumption College (exhibition): Greyhounds, Huskies have never met in an official game.

Friday, Nov. 14 vs. Bryant: Just second time programs have met. UConn demolished Bulldogs 88-58 in 2008 in Hartford.

Thursday, Nov. 20 at Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 12:30 p.m.: Huskies open up against College of Charleston. Will UConn be going against current assistant Karl Hobbs, who is reportedly a candidate for the (amazingly) still vacant head coaching job?

Friday, Nov. 21 at Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico: UConn will face either Texas A&M or Dayton. Flyers beat Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford last year en route to Elite Eight, where they finally fell to Florida.

Sunday, Nov. 23 at Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, Puerto Rico: Huskies could face Boston College for second time in as many seasons after not playing former Big East rivals for nearly 10 years. Steve Alford's New Mexico, which beat UConn in Paradise Jam finals in 2012, and George Mason (need we remind you) are other possible foes.

Sunday, Nov. 30 vs. Texas: Longhorns return all five starters and should be a preseason Top 15 pick – until Rick Barnes finds a way to mess it all up.

Friday, Dec. 5 vs. Yale: Huskies tamed Bulldogs 80-62 last year in the teams’ first meeting in 10 years.
UConn holds a 44-22 all-time advantage. Yale won't have Stratford's Brandon Sherrod, who'll be singing somewhere across the globe with the Whiffenpoofs.

Sunday, Dec. 14 vs. Coppin State: UConn is 5-0 all-time against Eagles, who will also play at Michigan this season.

Thursday, Dec. 18 vs. Duke at IZOD Center, East Rutherford, N.J., 8 p.m.: Despite losing Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood to the NBA draft, Blue Devils will be a preseason Top 5, maybe even No. 1. Duke boasts the top-rated recruiting class in the land, led by 6-foot-10 center Jahlil Okafor. This should be a fun one, as great rivalry is renewed. Two of Huskies’ biggest wins in program history (the 1999 national championship game and the 2004 Final Four) came against Duke. The Blue Devils, of course, handed UConn a crushing, overtime loss in the 1990 Elite Eight, ending the Huskies’ “Dream Season” on a Christian Laettner buzzer-beater. Duke holds the overall series edge, 5-4, including the most recent meeting, a 68-59 win on Nov. 27, 2009 in the NIT Season Tip-Off championships at Madison Square Garden.

Monday, Dec. 22 vs. Columbia: UConn is 7-2 all-time against the Lions, most recently with a 70-57 win on Nov. 11, 2011 at Gampel.

Sunday, Dec. 28 vs. Central Connecticut: Huskies face former longtime UConn assistant Howie Dickenman’s crew for first time in nine years. UConn has never lost in 12 meeting with these Blue Devils.

Wednesday, Dec. 31 vs. Temple: For first time in three years, UConn isn’t on the road for New Year’s Eve. Huskies open up AAC play against Owls, who finished ninth in the 10-team league a year ago at 4-14.

Saturday, Jan. 3 at Florida, O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida, 2 p.m.: Gators went 36-3 last season – 36-1 against teams not named UConn. The Huskies edged Florida on Dec. 2 at Gampel, 65-64, on Shabazz Napier’s 15-foot jumper at the buzzer. Gator coach Billy Donovan called the play “luck,” and Florida had the chance to avenge the loss in the Final Four. But the Huskies’ clamped down defensively, frustrating SEC player of the year Scottie Wilbekin all night, and needed no “luck” to score a 63-53 win. This game finishes the teams’ home-and-home series.

Tuesday, Jan. 6 at South Florida, Sun Dome, Tampa, 7 p.m.: Huskies stay in the Sunshine State for an AAC bout with USF and its new head coach Orlando Antigua, the former John Calipari assistant at Kentucky. Antigua should help Bulls on recruiting trail, but that won't do them much good this season.

Saturday, Jan. 10 vs. Cincinnati, 11 a.m.: Sean Kilpatrick (the guy who was peeved he lost out to Napier for AAC player of the year honors) and Justin Jackson are both gone, but Bearcats should play their usual tough defense and be solid once again.

Tuesday, Jan. 13 at Tulsa, Reynolds Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Huskies’ first-ever trip to Tulsa would’ve been more fun if Danny Manning were still head coach. But he bolted for Wake Forest, and instead former Missouri, Miami head man Frank Haith is at the helm. This could be a tough game for Huskies.

Saturday, Jan. 17 at Stanford, Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto, Calif.: Cardinal handed UConn its first loss of the season last year, 53-51 on Dec. 18 in Hartford, and wound up advancing to the Sweet 16.

Thursday, Jan. 22 vs. Central Florida, 7 p.m.: Knights have lost virtually everyone from last year’s team that went 4-14 in AAC, including all-league pick Isaiah Sykes. Could be a long season in Orlando. Incidentally, this will be only time the teams play this season.

Sunday, Jan. 25 vs. South Florida, noon: Anthony Collins, a preseason all-AAC pick who missed almost all of last year due to injury, should be back at the point for Bulls. Corey Allen, Jr. and Chris Perry are also decent returnees.

Thursday, Jan. 29 at Cincinnati, Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, 8 p.m.: Are the Bearcats UConn’s biggest rival in the AAC?

Sunday, Feb. 1 at Houston, Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston, 3 p.m.: Huskies return to site of their awful New Year’s Eve loss last season. Kelvin Sampson has taken over as head coach, but Ta’Shawn Thomas  (Oklahoma) and Danuel House (Texas A&M) have both transferred, leaving cupboard bare. Had those two stayed, Cougars may have been an NCAA tourney team. Now, they'll rely primarily on a bunch of JUCO's.

Wednesday, Feb. 4 vs. East Carolina, 7 p.m.: First meeting as league rivals between Huskies and Pirates. UConn actually holds a 3-1 all-time series lead, but haven’t played each other since 1978.

Saturday, Feb. 7 at Tulane, Devlin Fieldhouse, New Orleans, 6 p.m.: Green Wave will play most home games at 3,500-seat on-campus arena, but it’s possible this one could be switched to downtown arena where New Orleans Pelicans play.

Thursday, Feb. 12  vs. Tulsa, 7 p.m.: Don’t sleep on Tulsa, which went on a late-season surge and won the Conference USA tournament last season. Golden Hurricane is led by James Woodard, a do-everything guard who could warrant preseason all-AAC honors.

Saturday, Feb. 14 at SMU, Moody Coliseum, Dallas, 9 p.m.: An ESPN College GameDay presentation, should be a rowdy night. Mustangs could’ve been preseason top 15 if No. 1 national recruit Emmanuel Mudiay hadn’t bolted to play professionally in China, but they still might be the AAC favorites. After all, SMU did beat UConn both times they met last season.

Thursday, Feb. 19 at Memphis, FedExForum, Memphis, 9 p.m.: Huskies went a perfect 3-0 last year against Tigers, including twice at FedExForum – the latter game a 72-53 dismantling in an AAC tournament bout.

Sunday, Feb. 22 vs. Tulane, 4 p.m.: Green Wave return 90 percent of its offense from team that went .500 overall (17-17) and in C-USA (8-8).

Wednesday, Feb. 25 at East Carolina, Williams Arena, Greenville, North Carolina, 7 p.m.:  Four of five top scorers are back from team that went 17-17 overall.  However, top scorer Akeem Richmond is gone.

Sunday, March 1 vs. SMU, 2 p.m.: A CBS-televised affair, could be marquee game of AAC schedule. Despite no Mudiay, Mustangs have all-AAC standouts Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy back, along with talented Keith Frazier and Xavier transfer Justin Martin.

Thursday, March 5 vs. Memphis, 9 p.m.: Tigers lost Joe Jackson and other top guards to graduation, but may have league’s best frontcourt, led by all-AAC pick Shaq Goodwin and AAC rookie of the year Austin Nichols.

Saturday, March 7 at Temple, Liacouras Center, Philadelphia: Owls lost top scorer Dalton Pepper to graduation, top rebounder Anthony Lee to transfer (Ohio State). Could be another tough one for coach Fran Dunphy, who'll rely on whole slew of newcomers.

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UConn's 2014-15 schedule

So here's UConn's 2014-15 schedule:






20-23 Puerto Rico Tip-Off San Juan, Puerto Rico

Thu 20 vs. College of Charleston ESPNU Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, P.R. 12:30 pm

Fri 21 vs. Dayton/Texas A&M ESPN Networks Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, P.R. TBD

Sun 23 vs. TBD ESPN Networks Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, P.R. TBD

Sun 30 TEXAS ESPN2 TBD noon




Thu 18 vs. Duke ESPN IZOD Center, E. Rutherford, N.J. 8 pm





Sat 3 at Florida CBS O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla. 2 pm

Tue 6 at USF* ESPN2 Sun Dome, Tampa, Fla. 7 pm


Tue 13 at Tulsa* CBS SN Reynolds Center, Tulsa, Ok. TBD

Sat 17 at Stanford TBD Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto, Calif. TBD

Thu 22 UCF* CBS SN TBD 7 pm

Sun 25 USF* CBS SN TBD noon

Thu 29 at Cincinnati* ESPN2 Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio 7 pm


Sun 1 at Houston* CBS SN Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston, Texas 3 pm


Sat 7 at Tulane* CBS SN Devlin Fieldhouse, New Orleans, La. 6 pm


Sat 14 at SMU* ESPN Moody Coliseum, Dallas, Texas 9 pm

Thu 19 at Memphis* ESPN/ESPN2 FedExForum, Memphis, Tenn. 9 pm

Sun 22 TULANE* CBS SN TBD 4 pm

Wed 25 at East Carolina* ESPNU Williams Arena, Greenville, N.C. 7 pm


Sun 1 SMU* CBS TBD 2 pm


Sat 7 at Temple* ESPN/ESPN2 Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pa. TBD

Thu-Sun 12-15 American Athletic Championship ESPN Network XL Center, Hartford, Conn. TBD

AAC releases its 2014-15 league schedule

Here's the full American Athletic Conference 2014-15 schedule. We'll break down UConn's entire schedule in a bit:

Wednesday, Dec. 31
Tulsa at UCF Noon ESPNU
Houston at Memphis 2 p.m. ESPNU
Temple at UConn TBD ESPN2
Tulane at East Carolina TBD ESPNEWS

Saturday, Jan. 3
East Carolina at USF 7 p.m. ESPN3
SMU at Cincinnati TBD ESPN2
Tulane at Memphis TBD ESPNU

Sunday, Jan. 4
UCF at Temple Noon ESPNEWS
Houston at Tulsa 2 p.m. ESPNEWS

Tuesday, Jan. 6
East Carolina at Cincinnati 7 p.m. ESPNU
UCF at Houston 7 p.m. ESPNEWS
UConn at USF 7 p.m. ESPN2

Wednesday, Jan. 7
Temple at Tulane 7 p.m. ESPNEWS

Thursday, Jan. 8
Memphis at SMU 9 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, Jan. 10
Cincinnati at UConn 11 a.m. ESPN2
Tulsa at Temple 3 p.m. ESPNEWS

Sunday, Jan. 11
SMU at UCF 2 p.m. CBSSN
Memphis at Houston 4 p.m. CBSSN
USF at Tulane TBD ESPN3

Tuesday, Jan. 13
UConn at Tulsa TBD CBSSN

Wednesday, Jan. 14
Tulane at UCF 7 p.m. ESPN3
Houston at East Carolina 7 p.m. ESPNU

Thursday, Jan. 15
Cincinnati at Memphis 7 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, Jan. 17
Tulsa at USF 11 a.m. ESPNU
Temple at Cincinnati 7:30 p.m. ESPNU
East Carolina at SMU TBD CBSSN
Tulane at Houston TBD ESPNEWS

Wednesday, Jan. 21
Houston at Cincinnati 7 p.m. ESPNEWS
Memphis at Tulsa 7 p.m. ESPNU
SMU at Tulane 9 p.m. CBSSN

Thursday, Jan. 22
USF at Temple 6:30 p.m. ESPNEWS
UCF at UConn 7 p.m. CBSSN

Saturday, Jan. 24
Tulsa at East Carolina Noon ESPNEWS
Houston at SMU TBD CBSSN
Memphis at Tulane 8 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday, Jan. 25
USF at UConn Noon CBSSN
Cincinnati at UCF 2 p.m. CBSSN

Tuesday, Jan. 27
Tulsa at Tulane 7 p.m. ESPNEWS

Wednesday, Jan. 28
Temple at UCF 7 p.m. CBSSN
SMU at USF 7 p.m. ESPNU
East Carolina at Memphis 9 p.m. CBSSN

Thursday, Jan. 29
UConn at Cincinnati 8 p.m. ESPN2

Saturday, Jan. 31
USF at Tulsa 1 p.m. ESPNEWS
Tulane at Temple 2 p.m. CBSSN
UCF at SMU 8 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday, Feb. 1
Cincinnati at East Carolina 1 p.m. CBSSN
UConn at Houston 3 p.m. CBSSN

Wednesday, Feb. 4
Temple at USF 6:30 p.m. ESPNEWS
East Carolina at UConn 7 p.m. ESPNU

Thursday, Feb. 5
Tulsa at Houston 7 p.m. ESPNEWS
Cincinnati at SMU 9 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, Feb. 7
Temple at Memphis 1 p.m. ESPNEWS
UConn at Tulane 6 p.m. CBSSN
USF at Cincinnati 8 p.m. CBSSN
SMU at Tulsa 8 p.m. ESPNU
UCF at East Carolina TBD ESPN3

Tuesday, Feb. 10
Memphis at East Carolina 7 p.m. ESPNU
Cincinnati at Temple TBD CBSSN

Wednesday, Feb. 11

Thursday, Feb. 12
Tulsa at UConn 7 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
SMU at Houston 9 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, Feb. 14
Memphis at USF Noon ESPNU
Tulane at Cincinnati 2 p.m. ESPNU
East Carolina at Temple 2 p.m. CBSSN
UConn at SMU 9 p.m. ESPN

Sunday, Feb. 15
Houston at UCF TBD ESPN3

Tuesday, Feb. 17
Houston at USF 7 p.m. ESPNEWS

Wednesday, Feb. 18
East Carolina at Tulsa 7 p.m. ESPNU

Thursday, Feb. 19
Temple at SMU 7 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
UCF at Tulane 7 p.m. ESPNEWS
UConn at Memphis 9 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, Feb. 21
USF at East Carolina 11 a.m. ESPNU
Cincinnati at Houston 9:30 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday, Feb. 22
Memphis at UCF 2 p.m. CBSSN
Tulane at UConn 4 p.m. CBSSN
Temple at Tulsa 6 p.m. CBSSN

Wednesday, Feb. 25
UConn at East Carolina 7 p.m. ESPNU
Tulane at Tulsa 8 p.m. ESPNEWS
UCF at Cincinnati TBD CBSSN

Thursday, Feb. 26
Houston at Temple 7 p.m. CBSSN
SMU at Memphis 9 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, Feb. 28
East Carolina at UCF Noon ESPNEWS
Cincinnati at Tulane 2 p.m. ESPNEWS
Tulsa at Memphis 8 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday, March 1
SMU at UConn 2 p.m. CBS
USF at Houston TBD ESPN3

Wednesday, March 4
UCF at USF 7 p.m. ESPNU
Houston at Tulane 8 p.m. ESPNEWS
Cincinnati at Tulsa 9 p.m. CBSSN

Thursday, March 5
Temple at East Carolina 7 p.m. ESPNU
Memphis at UConn 9 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Saturday, March 7
UConn at Temple TBD ESPN/ESPN2

Sunday, March 8
Memphis at Cincinnati Noon CBS
East Carolina at Houston 2 p.m. ESPNEWS
Tulsa at SMU 3 p.m. ESPNU

American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship
XL Center • Hartford, Conn.

Thursday, March 12 • First Round
No. 9 seed vs. No. 8 seed 3:30 p.m. ESPNU
No. 10 seed vs. No. 7 seed 6 p.m. ESPNEWS
No. 11 seed vs. No. 6 seed 8 p.m. ESPNEWS

Friday, March 13 • Quarterfinals
9/8 winner vs. No. 1 seed Noon ESPN2
No. 5 seed vs. No. 4 seed 2 p.m. ESPN2
10/7 winner vs. No. 2 seed 7 p.m. ESPNU
11/6 winner vs.No. 3 seed 9 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, March 14 • Semifinals
Quarterfinal winners 3 p.m. ESPN2
Quarterfinal winners 5 p.m. ESPN2

Sunday, March 15 • Final
Semifinal winners 3:15 p.m. ESPN

2014-15 American Athletic Conference Nationally Televised Nonconference Games
(all times Eastern; additional national telecasts will be added at a later date)

Monday, Nov. 17
SMU at Gonzaga 11 p.m. ESPN2 ESPN Tip-Off Marathon

Tuesday, Nov. 18
Memphis vs. Wichita State 2 p.m. ESPN ESPN Tip-Off Marathon (at Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Thursday, Nov. 20
UConn vs. Charleston 12:30 p.m. ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, P.R.)

Friday, Nov. 21
Temple vs. Duke 9 p.m. TruTV Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
UConn vs. Texas A&M/Dayton TBD ESPN2/ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, P.R.)

Saturday, Nov. 22
Temple vs. Stanford/UNLV TBD TruTV Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Sunday, Nov. 23
USF at North Carolina State 4 p.m. ESPNU Global Sports Shootout
UConn vs. TBD TBD ESPN2/ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, P.R.)

Monday, Nov. 24
Tulsa vs. Auburn 11 p.m. ESPNU MGM Grand Main Event (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Tuesday, Nov. 25
Arkansas at SMU 7:30 p.m. ESPNEWS

Wednesday, Nov. 26
Tulsa vs. Oklahoma State/Oregon State TBD ESPN2/ESPN3 MGM Grand Main Event (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Friday, Nov. 28
Memphis vs. Baylor Midnight FS1 Las Vegas Invitational (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Memphis vs. Illinois/Indiana State TBD FS1 Las Vegas Invitational (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Sunday, Nov. 30
Texas at UConn Noon ESPN2

Tuesday, Dec. 2
Stephen F. Austin at Memphis 7 p.m. ESPNEWS Las Vegas Invitational

Friday, Dec. 5
Wyoming at SMU 7 p.m. ESPNEWS

Saturday, Dec. 6
Temple vs. La Salle Noon ESPNEWS at The Palestra, Philadelphia, Pa.
Bradley at Memphis 9:30 p.m. ESPNU

Sunday, Dec. 7
East Carolina at North Carolina 2 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, Dec. 13
Oklahoma State at Memphis 6 p.m. ESPN2

Wednesday, Dec. 17
San Diego State at Cincinnati 9 p.m. ESPN2

Thursday, Dec. 18
UConn vs. Duke 8 p.m. ESPN at Izod Center, East Rutherford, N.J.

Saturday, Dec. 20
Virginia Commonwealth at Cincinnati Noon ESPNU
SMU at Michigan Noon ESPN2

Monday, Dec. 22
Kansas at Temple 7 p.m. ESPN2 at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Houston vs. Boise State 10:30 p.m. FS1 Las Vegas Classic (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Tuesday, Dec. 23
Houston vs. Texas Tech/Loyola (Ill.) TBD FS1 Las Vegas Classic (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Tuesday, Dec. 30
Cincinnati at North Carolina State 4 p.m. ESPNU

Saturday, Jan. 3
UConn at Florida 2 p.m. CBS

Saturday, Jan. 31
Memphis at Gonzaga 10 p.m. ESPN2

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Xavier at Cincinnati 7 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nnamdi Amilo awarded hoops scholarship at UConn

UConn is probably the only program in the nation with two former walk-ons now on scholarship who are also molecular cell biology majors.

Junior Nnamdi Amilo of New Fairfield, who spent last season as a walk-on player, has been awarded a scholarship for the 2014-15 season, men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie announced Monday. He joins Cheshire's Pat Lenehan, a walk-on the past two seasons who was granted a scholarship by Ollie a couple of months ago.

Amilo, a 6-2, 225-pound forward, saw action in two games last season, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds. His work against the UConn big men daily in practice, however, proved invaluable as the Huskies prepared for games on their way to the 2014 national championship.

"Nnamdi is a terrific young man who we're proud to have as part of our family," Ollie said. "He's a hard worker on the court, doing whatever we need him to do to make his teammates better, he's an outstanding student in the classroom, and he's a young man of the highest character. I'm very happy to be able to give him a scholarship."

Like Lenehan, Amilo is a molecular cell biology major with plans of a career in medicine. He is also a resident adviser on the Storrs campus. He graduated from Avon Old Farms in 2012 as the top scholar in his class and a member of the Cum Laude Society. Amilo played three years of varsity basketball at Avon, under coach Tim Roller.

Amilo, Lenehan, Omar Calhoun and Leon Tolksdorf were recently selected to the American Athletic Conference's All-Academic Team for men's basketball. Tolksdorf has transferred to American University.

Amilo's scholarship bring the total number of scholarship players on the 2014-15 Huskies to 12.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

UConn to begin home-and-home series with Ohio State, Arizona

UConn announced today it will begin home-and-home series with Ohio State and Arizona, starting next season. Here's the release:

The UConn men’s basketball program announced today that it has agreed to home-and-home series with Ohio State and Arizona, which will stretch over the next four seasons.

Ohio State, out of the Big Ten, and Arizona, out of the Pac-12, are perennial Top 25 programs and fixtures in the NCAA Tournament. Each has had memorable games against UConn in the past.

The series against Ohio State will begin in the 2015-16 season in Connecticut, with the Huskies visiting Columbus the following season in 2016-17. Both games will be held during December.

UConn will travel to Tucson to play Arizona in the McKale Center during the 2017-18 season, and the Wildcats will return the game in Connecticut in 2018-19. Again, both games are tentatively set for December.

UConn is 2-3 all-time against Ohio State, but has not played the Buckeyes since its 64-58 victory on March 27, 1999, in the NCAA National Semifinals in St. Petersburg, Fla., as the Huskies went on to win their first National Championship.

UConn’s other victory over Ohio State was also in a national tournament, a 72-67 triumph on March 30, 1988, in Madison Square Garden to capture the NIT Championship. UConn’s three losses to Ohio State came in 1983-84 in Columbus, in 1984-85 at the Hartford Civic Center, and in 1991-92 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Cincinnati.

The Huskies are a perfect 5-0 all-time against Arizona, the most recent game a 65-63 thriller on March 26, 2011, in the NCAA West Regional Championship in Anaheim, Calif., advancing UConn to the Final Four in Houston, where the Huskies won their third national title.

UConn’s other games against the Wildcats have taken place in 1999-2000 in the Great Eight Basketball Classic in Chicago’s United Center, in 2000-01 at Gampel Pavilion, in 2001-02 in Tucson, and in 2005-06 at the Maui Invitational in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Could Steve Enoch be UConn's latest in-state recruiting success story?

I know this is an easy one, but the Register is cleaning house over the next couple of weeks in preparation for a move up the road into a smaller office off I-91 near the New Haven/North Haven border, and I came across this photo of our 1989 All-State baseball team. Can you guess the player in the top row, second from the right?

Yeah, I know, like I said, it's an easy one.

Meanwhile, Steve Enoch's AAU coach, George Matthews confirms to me that Enoch will be making an official visit to UConn on Sept. 12. The 6-foot-9 Norwalk kid would be a nice get for the Huskies. Always good to wrap up the local, in-state talent ... even if they didn't play baseball at Hamden.

Here are a couple of items we've written on Enoch over the past couple of months:

Steve Enoch visiting UConn on Thursday

A good visit for Steve Enoch ...

A brief interview with UConn recruiting target Steve Enoch

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Ray Allen gets an unexpected in-home visit

Nobody got hurt, thank God, and it appears to have been a youthful mistake by a bunch of Florida teens. So we can make light -- a little -- of this story about six Florida teens who walked into Ray Allen's home the other night, apparently thinking Allen had moved and the house was abandoned. Only Allen hadn't moved, and his wife and kids were in the home when they heard the kids entering and talking in the house. Allen wasn't home at the time.

Again, it appears to be a youthful indiscretion, no harm, no foul. Could have been a lot worse, of course.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's all about golf for Ray Allen -- for now

You've seen Ray Allen play basketball. Heck, you could have seen him Friday night at the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game at Mohegan Sun Arena.

You may have seen Allen play golf, too. President Obama did over the weekend at Martha's Vineyard. Allen was back at it again as Calhoun's charity weekend concluded on Monday with a golf outing at The Golf Club of Avon.

Here's Allen at the long drive contest:

And here's our story on Allen from Monday's event, where he talks about his round with the President, as well as his future plans regarding basketball.

*** Meanwhile, here's a look at UConn's non-conference schedule. (Times and sites haven't fully been determined yet):


Sun 9 ASSUMPTION COLLEGE (exhibition)
Thu-Sun, 20-23 Puerto Rico Tip-Off San Juan, P.R.
Thu 20 vs. College of Charleston ESPNU Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, P.R. 2:30 pm
Fri 21 vs. Dayton/Texas A&M ESPNU Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, P.R.
Sun 23 vs. TBD ESPN Networks Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, P.R.
Sun 30 TEXAS ESPN2  noon


Fri 5 YALE
Thu 18 vs. Duke ESPN IZOD Center, E. Rutherford, N.J. 8 pm


Sat 3 at Florida TBA O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.
Sat 17 at Stanford TBA Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto, Calif.


Thu-Sun 12-15 American Athletic Championship ESPN Network XL Center, Hartford, Conn.

*** Finally, we can confirm to you (we have sources) that UConn will be picked to finish second in the American Athletic Conference this season by Lindy's magazine. SMU will be tabbed for first place.

It's very debatable, but not entirely unfair. SMU may have lost out on Emmanuel Mudiay, but the Mustangs have Nic Moore, Markus Kennedy and Keith Frazier among their talented returnees, along with Xavier transfer Justin Martin. And, of course, SMU did beat UConn twice last season.

Of course, the Mustangs didn't even get an invite to the NCAA tournament (they wound up advancing to the NIT finals). UConn won the national championship. So there's that.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco on power five autonomy

As you likely know by now, the NCAA Division 1 board of directors voted today to give greater autonomy to the 65 schools in the so-called "power five" conferences -- the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, ACC and SEC.

Obviously, that leaves UConn and the American Athletic Conference out of the party. But AAC commish Mike Aresco has vowed that AAC schools will be able to play by the same rules as the power-five programs (more scholarship money, better health insurance, etc.), and he reiterated that in a statement released this afternoon.

Here's Aresco's statement:

"We are pleased that the NCAA Governance Redesign Model was adopted today by the NCAA Board of Directors. We extend our congratulations to Dr. Nathan Hatch and to the NCAA Steering Committee for its excellent work in designing a model that we believe will enjoy broad acceptance. We also appreciate the exemplary efforts of our NCAA Board representative, Dr. John Hitt of UCF, and our Conference Board chair, Dr. Gerald Turner of SMU, who were deeply engaged in this process.

Our conference membership supports the new governance model and the opportunities it will present to enhance the student-athlete experience and student-athlete welfare. Our presidents and athletic directors are steadfast in their commitment to these ideals and also to providing our student-athletes with the ability to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics."


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Omar Calhoun, Leon Tolksdorf, Pat Lenehan, Nnamdi Amilo make the grade

More than 1,700 student-athletes have been selected to the 2013-14 American Athletic Conference All-Academic team.

To be eligible, a nominee must have competed in an AAC-sponsored sport, attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters or three straight quarters of academic work, with a total of 18 semester or 27 quarter credits, not including remedial courses.

Four UConn men's basketball players were honored: Omar Calhoun (economics), Leon Tolksdrof (economics), Pat Lenehan (molecular and cell biology) and Nnamdi Amilo (molecular and cell biology).

The most interesting part about this: Lenehan isn't the only molecular and cell biology major on the team. Lenehan and Amilo were both walk-ons last year, though Lenehan has been rewarded a scholarship for his upcoming senior season.

And, of course, Tolksdorf has transferred to American University.

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Plenty of former UConn stars expected at Jim Calhoun charity game

Ray Allen, Kemba Walker, Andre Drummond, Ben Gordon and Rudy Gay are among the former UConn greats expected to participate in the seventh Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game on Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Other likely participants: Richard Hamilton, Caron Butler, DeAndre Daniels, Khalid El-Amin, Donyell Marshall, Donny Marshall, Charlie Villanueva, Scott Burrell, Taliek Brown, A.J. Price, Jerome Dyson, Stanley Robinson, John Gwynn, Lyman DePriest and Rod Sellers. Shabazz Napier is a "hopeful" at this point, we're told.

Howie Dickenman will coach one team and Tom Moore will coach the other. Kevin Ollie won't play, but instead will help assist Dickenman's team. Jim Calhoun, of course, will be there, as well (provided he doesn't take any bike rides earlier in the day). Typically, he floats around to both benches during the game.

Players on all four of UConn's national championship teams will be represented. Also in the house will be the four national championship trophies, on display up on the concourse.

The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Ticket are $12 to $25 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster at 800-345-7000, at, or at the Mohegan Sun box office. All proceeds will benefit the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health. Since 1999, the game has raised more than $6.5 million for cardiology research and life-saving care.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

UConn to face College of Charleston in first-round Puerto Rico Tip-Off game

As we reported on Friday, UConn will face College of Charleston in its opening Puerto Rico Tip-Off game on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 12:30 p.m. at Coliseo Roberto Clemente. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The following day, UConn will face either Texas A&M or Dayton.

Here's the press release:

The bracket has been set for the 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off and the defending NCAA Champion UConn Huskies will open the holiday tournament against College of Charleston on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 12:30 p.m. (EST) at Coliseo Roberto Clemente (capacity: 10,000) in San Juan. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

The eighth annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off will be played on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 20, 21 and 23. Additional schools competing in the early-season tournament are Boston College, Dayton, George Mason, New Mexico, Texas A&M and West Virginia. The three-day, 12-game event will be televised by ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The final two Puerto Rico Tip-Off contests on November 23, including the championship game, will be showcased on ESPN2.

In the opening Puerto Rico Tip-Off games on November 20, Texas A&M will play Dayton at 10:30 a.m. (EST), followed by the UConn-Charleston game at 12:30 p.m. - both games will air on ESPNU. The evening session on Thursday begins at 5 p.m. (EST) with New Mexico facing Boston College on ESPN2, followed by George Mason meeting West Virginia on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m. Locally, San Juan is on Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of Eastern Time.

The losers of the opening two games will meet on Friday, Nov. 21, at noon (EST), while the winners will play in the first semifinal at 2:30 p.m. The second semifinal will begin at 5 p.m., while the second consolation game starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 22, will be an off-day, with four games scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 23, including the championship game at 6:30 p.m. (EST).

UConn is 2-0 all-time against College of Charleston, defeating the Cougars, 68-52, on Nov. 24, 1990, in Gampel Pavilion and 77-60 on Dec. 27, 1995, in Charleston. Against the remainder of the teams in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the Huskies are 0-2 against Dayton, 2-1 against Texas A&M, 55-35 against Boston College, 1-1 against New Mexico, 0-1 against George Mason and 16-5 against West Virginia.

In addition to NCAA Champion Connecticut (American Athletic), Elite 8 participant Dayton (Atlantic 10) and Mountain West postseason champion New Mexico played in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Other schools competing in the 2014 postseason were Texas A&M (Southeastern, CBI) and West Virginia (Big 12, NIT). Boston College (Atlantic Coast), College of Charleston (Colonial) and George Mason (Atlantic 10) participated in their respective conference College of Charleston (2007), Dayton (2009), George Mason (2009) and West Virginia (2010) will be appearing in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off for the second-time. West Virginia advanced to the 2010 Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship game before losing 74-70 to Minnesota.

Charlotte captured the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off as the 49ers upset nationally-ranked Michigan 63-61 in the finals. In addition to Minnesota, other winners of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off include Miami (Fla., 2007); Xavier (2008); Villanova (2009); Alabama (2011) and Oklahoma State For more information, please visit

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book it: My book on UConn's run to a fourth national title is complete

So UConn's run to a fourth national title, a year after being banned from the NCAA tournament altogether, is worthy of a movie, right? Or at least some sort of book? You know -- program in peril, Hall of Fame coach retires, replaced by a guy with no prior head coaching experience at any level, program gets shunned by conference realignment, recruiting suffers, etc., etc. Pretty good story, right?

Right. Perfect story for a book, unless the author goes and messes it all up. Hopefully, I didn't do that.

Yes, I've written a book about UConn's run to a title. It basically encompasses the past two seasons, starting at Kevin Ollie's introductory press conference (or was it Jim Calhoun's farewell press conference?) and ending in Dallas, along with the aftermath of the national title (NBA draft, Ollie NBA rumors, etc.).

I sent my manuscript in to University Press of New England on Friday. Still no official title yet, but there are a few in play right now (any suggestions?). I wish the book would be out before the 2014-15 season begins, but unfortunately, that's impossible. It should hit bookstores by January or early-February (possible a little earlier in eBook form). 

Here's the thing: as I pitched the book to different publishers, one thing I heard back from many of them is, "UConn books don't sell." In fact, one publishing company told me that, once the Elite Eight teams were known back in late-March, it got a hold of seven different authors to do books on seven different teams -- Florida, Michigan State, Kentucky, Wisconsin, etc. The one school it didn't bother to contact? UConn. Again, "UConn books don't sell."

Hopefully, that changes a little bit this time around. Obviously, it's an intriguing story, one I'm hoping not only UConn fans but college basketball -- and sports --- fans in general can enjoy. Provided, of course, that the author didn't muck it all up.

So anyway, be on the lookout in January for this book. And I guess what I'm trying to say is: Prove the book publishers wrong. Show 'em that UConn books do sell!!!!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

UConn likely to open Puerto Rico tourney vs. Charleston

Nothing's completely set in stone yet, but it looks like UConn will face College of Charleston in its first-round Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament game on Nov. 20 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We're hearing UConn, Charleston, Dayton and Texas A&M will be on one side of the bracket, with Boston College, New Mexico, George Mason and West Virginia on the other. That means the only way UConn would play old Big East rival Boston College for a second straight season would be in the championship game on Nov. 23 (or the consolation game that day).

The UConn-Charleston opener would be at 12:30 p.m. on espn2.

Brackets probably won't be officially announced until the middle of next week.