Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Connecticut Select team needs your vote

Remember we told you about The Basketball Tournament, an ESPN-created event to be held this summer with a $2 million, winner-take-all pot? Well, a bunch of Connecticut natives, including former Yale forward Brandon Sherrod and New Haven playground legend Bobby Moore, are trying to qualify - and they need your vote.

Teams need to have at least 200 fan votes and seven eligible players on its roster to qualify for the 64-team tourney, and the local team -- named Connecticut Select -- needs more votes. Voting ends at noon on Wednesday and can be done at thetournament.com.

The Connecticut Select roster is listed below:

Bobby Moore 5-10 New Haven

Danny Lawhorn 5-10 Hartford

Julian Allen 6-5 Waterbury

Brandon Sherrod 6-7 Bridgeport

Roosevelt Lee 6-7 New Britain

Deitrick King 6-7 New Britain

Marcus James 6-7 Waterbury

Dale Saunders 6-8 Waterbury


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

UConn receives LOI from Christian Vital

UConn has received a national letter-of-intent from Christian Vital. Here's the press release the school sent out this afternoon:

The UConn men's basketball program has received a signed Letter of Intent from Christian Vital, a combination guard from Queens Village, N.Y., who will join the freshman class of 2016-17.

Vital, 6-2 and 170 pounds, averaged 16.2 points per game last season at St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.), helping the Chancellors to a 31-7 record and the National Prep Championship finals.
Vital is known as a high-energy athlete, who can play either guard position, with an outstanding long range jumper, and is a solid defender. But UConn coach Kevin Ollie feels that he brings to the program much more than his basketball skills.

"Besides being a great basketball player with a great basketball mind, Christian is just an outstanding leader," Ollie said. "He has won wherever he's been. He's a great person who lifts your spirit when you're around him.

"Christian's ability to play both guard positions and his leadership qualities are what intrigued us. His combination of talent and character are what we're looking for in our student-athletes. We think he'll be a wonderful addition to the program."

Vital was a New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class AAA All-New England First-Team selection. He scored 13 points, including three three-pointers, and handed out seven assists in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game, in which he played with fellow UConn incoming recruit Mamadou Diarra.

"He may have improved more than any kid I've ever had here for two years," St.Thomas More coach Jere Quinn told the Norwich Bulletin. "He's such a hard worker. First to show up in the gym, last to leave --- that kind of kid."

Vital is also well-acquainted with more of his future UConn teammates. In 2014-15 at St. Thomas More, he was a teammate of UConn rising sophomore forward Steve Enoch, he played he played AAU ball with current UConn redshirt sophomore Terry Larrier, and knows UConn rising sophomore Jalen Adams from the AAU and NEPSAC circuits
Vital joins UConn's highly-touted recruiting class which has been consistently rated among the top 10 in the country, including forward Diarra (Queens, N.Y.), guard Alterique Gilbert (Lithonia, Ga.), and forwards Vance Jackson (Altedena, Calif.), and Juwan Durham (Tampa, Fla.).

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Zach Brown, UConn part ways

Zach Brown, we hardly knew ye.

In what can hardly be called a surprise, Brown, the 7-foot center out of Miami, has de-committed from UConn. He and Kevin Ollie spoke on a conference call on Thursday afternoon and agreed it was what was best for both parties. There are no hard feelings, according to a source, it just wound up not being a good fit.

Brown, of course, committed to UConn in January and left his Miami home about a week later to enroll at Putnam Science Academy. He played a few games for PSA, but was involved in a postgame fracas in February and eventually released from the school.

He returned to Miami, made an ill-fated effort to return to Putnam, and eventually re-enrolled in his original high school, Miami Beach High. He's currently playing for the Nike South Beach EYBL team. One of his teammates is Chaundee Brown, a 6-5, Class of 2017 shooting guard who has been offered by UConn.

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