Archive for February, 2011

Football’s 2011-12 schedule announced

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

Next season’s football schedule was announced today, and for the most part there aren’t any real “mark the calendar” dates on there. But, there are seven home games, including four against Big East opponents. That much will be a nice treat for fans, if nothing else.

2011-12 Football Schedule

It’s like Louisville all over again

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

For the second time this season, UConn had the lead at home with time running out, only to give up the game-tying layup and then lose in overtime.

Against Louisville a loss like that can be explained, because Louisville is a great basketball team and they have proven so repeatedly this year. This loss, however, I can’t find any explanation for. It’s not even that Marquette isn’t a good team, they are, it’s just that the statistics don’t add up.

Kemba Walker, despite his devastating turnover at the end of regulation, had 27 points. Alex Oriakhi had 12 points and 15 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb had eight points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Niels Giffey completely took Jimmy Butler out of the game, and then added nine critical points of his own in the second half. As a team, UConn outrebounded Marquette 57-43, including a 28-19 advantage on the offensive glass.

Usually a statline like that will result in a W, but why not today? Well, turnovers are the obvious explanation, the Huskies had 17 of them, including the horrible one at the end of regulation. But even beyond that, what plagued UConn seemed to be an inability to assert themselves when they needed to. In the first half, they started off with an 11-3 lead, and then went into halftime down 11. In the second half, they immediately fought back and wound up with an eight point lead of their own, only to see that disappear as time wound down.

In the last two minutes, the Huskies were one basket away from winning. They couldn’t get it, and it cost them. Then what happened in overtime was pretty much a complete failure, Marquette seemed to be hitting everything, and UConn couldn’t do what they needed to do to assert themselves.

The Huskies have three games left to get their act together before the postseason. I don’t think there is any doubt at this point that the Huskies will be invited to the big dance, but you still want to look good when you show up. That’s what they can do in these last three games, look good, so that come March, we can be sure that they will show up.

Spring football approaches

Dan Huang, Campus Correspondent

The hiring of Paul Pasqualoni as our new football coach was a letdown to many in Husky Nation.  Fans expected Jeff Hathaway to hire a bigger name, especially since we had just had the greatest season of our short history.  Word on the street was that ex-Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer was interested.  Hiring Fulmer, who won a national championship in 1998, would have been a great boon for the program, which had basically been dumped like an old girlfriend by Randy Edsall.  However, as spring ball approaches, I am not as pessimistic about the 2011 season as some others are.

On paper, the glaring hole for our 2011 squad is in the backfield, where we will be breaking in three new starters at QB, RB, and FB.  However, the success of a football team starts upfront, and we have three starters returning on the offensive line, and the whole defensive line is intact.  The competition at quarterback is wide open, but don’t be surprised if redshirt freshman Scott McCummings comes out the winner.  Teammates have been impressed with the Natick, Mass native, a mobile quarterback whose stature is eerily similar to Pasqualoni’s most successful disciple at Syracuse, Donovan McNabb.  While Edsall was the most successful coach in our program’s history, Pasqualoni’s track record in developing players is arguably better than Edsall’s.  McNabb, Dwight Freeney, Keith Bullock, Donovin Darius, and Tebucky Jones all came through Pasqualoni’s program at Syracuse.  If Pasqualoni can develop players at UConn into household names like those, we will continue to be competitors in the Big East for seasons to come.

Calhoun suspended for first three Big East games next season

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

Jim Calhoun has been suspended for the first three Big East games of next season by the NCAA committee on infractions for failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance and for failing to properly monitor phone calls, text messages and the recruiting inducements issued by a booster.

Although UConn was issued numerous other sanctions, a postseason ban was not among them.

Here are the punishments UConn has been handed down, according to the NCAA’s infraction report.

• Three years of probation from Feb. 22, 2011, through Feb. 21, 2014.

• Calhoun will be suspended from all coaching duties for the first three Big East games of the 2011-12 season. He cannot be present in the arena where the games are played and cannot have contact with the coaching staff or student-athletes during the games.

• Two-year show-cause order for the former operations director Beau Archibald (February 22, 2011, through February 21, 2013).

• Permanent disassociation of booster Josh Nochimson.

• Reduction of men’s basketball athletics scholarships from 13 to 12 for the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

• Ban on men’s basketball recruiting calls during the 2011-12 academic year until 30 days after the first day that phone calls are allowed.

• Reduction in the number of men’s basketball coaches allowed to make phone calls from three to two, not including the head basketball coach, for six months after the university’s response to the notice of allegations (self-imposed by the university.)

• Reduction of the number of men’s basketball off-campus recruiting days by 40, from 130 to 90, for the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 recruiting periods.

• Limit of five official paid visits for men’s basketball for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years.

• The head coach, assistant coach and all members of the compliance staff must attend the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar.

• Public reprimand and censure.

Reaction has been quick, yet brief, from school officials. Here are the statements that were released today by President Phillip Austin, AD Jeff Hathaway and coach Calhoun. Here is Austin:

“This is deeply disappointing to the UConn community.  Let me be very clear, we will comply fully with the NCAA’s sanctions and work with great resolve to restore the luster to our men’s basketball program.” ~ Phillip Austin.

Here is Hathaway:

“We have worked closely with the NCAA from the time we learned of the allegations.

When we submitted our response to the NCAA Committee on Infractions acknowledging violations in the men’s basketball program, we immediately self-imposed a series of penalties and corrective measures that are included as part of the NCAA Committee on Infractions report.   We are disappointed that the Committee determined that additional penalties needed to be imposed.

We value the principles of the NCAA and fully recommit ourselves to running a program of impeccable integrity.” ~ Jeff Hathaway.

And here is Jim Calhoun:

“I am very disappointed with the NCAA’s decision in this case. My lawyer and I are evaluating my options and will make a decision which way to proceed.

In the meantime, I will not make any further statements about the case as our program prepares for what I hope will be an exciting and successful postseason.” ~ Jim Calhoun.

The NCAA’s findings can be found at the following links.

Official NCAA Release

University of Connecticut Infractions Report

Oct. 8, 2010 Release on NCAA Notice of Allegations

May 28, 2010 Release on NCAA Notice of Allegations

Connecticast 2/22/11: Take Two!

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

Our first Connecticast was received well by you all, so we decided it was worth giving it another shot. Today’s Connecticast is moderated by Senior Staff Writer Colin McDonough, and it features myself and Associate Sports Editor Matt McDonough, along with Staff Writer Andrew Callahan, who brought his WHUS Radio talents to the podcast to help balance the little talent me, Matt and Colin have at this sort of thing. Check it out at the link below!

Connecticast: 2/22/11

Also, for those of you who regularly watch UCTV, you might have seen Matt and Colin on “Marco Mania” recently. The two of them attempted to represent The Daily Campus in the game show setting, competing against the shows three-time defending champion Ryan Toussaint. Regardless of the result, it was entertaining television for all (or at least for me, I thought it was hilarious.) I highly recommend you all check it out, if nothing else to kill a few minutes of downtime. The good stuff starts at 3:50 in the video, click the link below to watch.

Matt and Colin compete on UCTV’s “Marco Mania”

Matt McDonough

Colin McDonough

Men’s track wins Big East championship

Matt McDonough, Associate Sports Editor

For the third time in four years, the UConn men’s indoor track team took home the Big East championship. Aaron King was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer.

King and Mike Rutt won the two individual titles for the Huskies and the rest of the team did their part, placing in the top-three 13 times. Coach Greg Roy said at the event in Akron, OH that it was a total team effort and the meet was a war.

Roy, along with assistant coaches Rich Miller and Ted Gibbons, were named the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year.

The women’s track team placed second in the Big East championships. After losing to Minnesota 3-2 yesterday in Clearwater, Fla., the baseball team earned its first win of 2011, defeating Michigan 16-9 on Sunday.

Baseball drops season opener to Purdue 10-2

By Mac Cerullo, Sports Editor

The No. 9 UConn baseball team stumbled out of the gate in last night’s season opener, losing to Purdue 10-2 at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in Florida.

The Boilermakers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, eventually stretching their lead to 4-0 by the seventh inning. UConn got on the board in the bottom of the 7th, however, when Nick Ahmed reached base on a fielders choice, scoring Billy Ferriter for the Huskies first run of the game.

UConn threatened to do more damage in that inning, but wound up coming away with nothing else as Kevin Vance popped out to second, leaving the bases loaded.

The game would quickly swing back into Purdue’s favor in the top of the 8th, as the Boilermakers scored two in the inning, and then four more in the top of the 9th. UConn would collect one more run in the bottom of the 9th on a sacrifice fly by George Springer, but could not close the gap any further.

Elliot Glynn got the loss for UConn, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits during 4.2 innings pitched. Purdue’s Matt Morgan picked up the win, striking out 5 Huskies in 5.2 shutout innings.

Overall, it was not the way UConn hoped to open the year, but the Huskies will have a chance to get back on track this afternoon as they face Minnesota at 4 p.m.

At the conclusion of that game, you can find a quick recap here, along with a full recap of the entire Big East/Big Ten Challenge in Tuesday’s paper.

ESPN: UConn baseball dealing with expectations

By Colin McDonough, Senior Staff Writer

ESPN features the UConn baseball team that is preparing for its 2011 season. The No. 9 Huskies take the field tonight in Dunedin, Fla against Purdue in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge.

Watch the feature here!

Play of the Year?

By William Penfield, Staff Writer

In the Huskies 78-70 victory of No. 9 Georgetown last night Player of the Year candidate Kemba Walker may have executed the play of the year in college basketball. Kemba picked up his dribble at the top of the key and was trapped. Instead of throwing up a prayer of a shot, Walker threw the ball off the backboard to himself and laid it in for the basket. Even with all of Walker’s heroics this season this is probably his best play of the season.

Walker also got himself back into the Big East and National Player of the Year conversations with a tremendous game, 31 points 7 rebounds 10 assists 2 steals and 1 block. Jamal Coombs-McDaniel stayed hot adding 23 points and 6 rebounds.

Next up for the Huskies is No. 16 Louisville, Friday 9pm at the KFC Yum Center.

Frey to transfer

By Quenton Narcisse, Campus Correspondent

UConn running back Robbie Frey has decided not to return to the football program for the 2011 season, and will instead transfer to a Division II school.

Frey will receive his undergraduate degree in history and political science from UConn this May, but many expected him to return for a fifth year after he was redshirted during the 2007 season.

An All-Academic Big East performer, Frey plans on enrolling at Kutztown University where he can pursue his graduate degree in teaching. Since its Division II, he’s eligible to play immediately for the school.

“This is a personal and life decision for me,” Frey said in a statement. “I was going to be able to begin my graduate studies at UConn this fall and play another season for the school. I want to thank everyone associated with the University, who gave me the opportunity to come back for the 2011 season.” ~ Robbie Frey

With the departure of Frey, seniors D.J. Shoemate and Jonathan Jean-Louis, as well as redshirt sophomore Martin Hyppolite and freshman Lyle McCombs are the only running backs on the roster. None of these backs have seen much playing time in their careers and McCombs, who was arrested for marijuana possession last month, is still suspended indefinitely.

It’ll be interesting to see who steps up next season for the Huskies. Frey was a reliable back-up to Jordan Todman as he rushed for 389 yards while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Aside from rushing, he was a standout kick returner for UConn and returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma in January’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

On the other hand, much respect to Frey for thinking about his future beyond the football field. It would take him almost two years longer to receive his certification in high school social studies if he stayed at UConn, so he made the correct decision to leave. I commend Frey for having a goal and actively pursuing it and as much as we don’t want to see him go, it’s the right choice for him and his future.


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The site may look a little rough for a couple weeks while we get everything in order, particularly the banner image. We appreciate your patience while we work out the kinks. In the meantime, we'll do our best to make the blog worth reading. Thank you. ~Mac

UConn Men’s Basketball

West Region - No. 3 Seed, 30-9 (9-9)

Last Game: 65-63 W vs. (5) Arizona (March 26)

Next Game: vs. (4) Kentucky (April 2, 8:49 p.m., Reliant Stadium, Houston.)

1 - Enosch Wolf
2 - Donnell Beverly
3 - Jeremy Lamb
4 - Jamal Coombs-McDaniel
5 - Niels Giffey
10 - Tyler Olander
13 - Shabazz Napier
15 - Kemba Walker
21 - Kyle Bailey
22 - Roscoe Smith
23 - Benjamin Stewart
25 - Michael Bradley
34 - Alex Oriakhi
35 - Charles Okwandu

UConn Women’s Basketball

Philadelphia Region No. 1 Seed, 36-1 (16-0)

Last Game: 75-40 W vs. (2) Duke (March 29)

Next Game: vs. (2) Notre Dame (April 3, 9 p.m., Canseco Field House, Indianapolis, Ind.)

3 - Tiffany Hayes
5 - Caroline Doty
12 - Lauren Engeln
14 - Bria Hartley
23 - Maya Moore
25 - Michala Johnson
30 - Lorin Dixon
31 - Stefanie Dolson
32 - Heather Buck
34 - Kelly Faris

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