UConn News and Notes: Novemeber 18, 2010

Kemba Walker - Courtesy of the Hartford Courant

Basketball:

UConn defeated Vermont on Wednesday night, 89-73, behind a career high 42 points for junior guard Kemba Walker. Walker, who was 15-24 from the field, added 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists. The 42 points tied Cliff Robinson’s record for a UConn game played in Hartford.

Coming into the season everyone knew Kemba Walker would be THE GUY for the Huskies, and it was uncertain who his “wingmen” might be. Through two exhibition games and the first two real games, Alex Oriakhi, Jeremy Lamb, and Roscoe Smith have all shown they could possibly fill the role of the number two go-to scorer. Oriakhi has been impressive with his improvement from last year. Through two games he is averaging 11 ppg, 12.5 rpg, and 3.5 blocks per game. Lamb, who was very impressive in the second exhibition game when he scored 17 points, has shown he is not afraid to fire up a shot…or 10. He’s a natural scorer, who will provide the Huskies with a great outside presence if he can consistently hit jump shots. Smith finally had a so-called “coming-out performance” on Wednesday night against Vermont. He finished with 15 points (including 3-3 from three-point range), 3 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots. He was the highest ranked recruit for the Huskies, and will look to live up to his unbelievable potential the rest of the season.

The Huskies will now head to Hawaii, for the annual Maui Invitational which kicks off on Monday. UConn’s first round game is against Wichita State on Monday Nov. 22. at 3pm on ESPN2. UConn could possibly match up with #2 Michigan State in the semifinal and even John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats in the Final.

 

Football:

UConn heads up to Syracuse this Saturday when they take on the Orange at 7pm on ESPNU. Syracuse (7-3, 4-2 in the Big East) is 0-2 in Big East home games this season, while UConn (5-4, 2-2 in the Big East) is 0-4 away from home this season. One team will break their streak this weekend.

Jordan Todman is currently 2nd in the nation in rushing with over 140 ypg, but was left off the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the nation’s top running back, list of 10 semi-finalists, which is ridiculous (It’s the second time in the last three seasons that the voters for this award have left a well-deserving UConn running back off the list, as they did the same to Donald Brown during the 2008 season.) Todman showed his gracious side and strong personality by saying: “It doesn’t bother me. That’s something based on everybody else’s opinion.”

UConn needs just one more win this season to become bowl eligable for the fourth straight season. The Huskies have three games left to get win number six.

UConn senior linebacker Lawrence Wilson was named the BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in last Thursday’s victory over Pittsburgh. Wilson had 11 tackles, including a sack, to lead a Connecticut defense that forced four turnovers and had three sacks in a 30-28 win against first-place Pittsburgh. Wilson is currently leading the BIG EAST in tackles with 95. He was also the leading tackler last season.

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UConn Basketball: 3-Point Shot with Marcus Lynam

Marcus Lynam and Ryan Grace discuss three topics surrounding UConn Basketball.

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UConn Football: BCS Hopes Still Alive

Coming off a 26-0 drubbing by Louisville on October 23rd, the UConn Huskies looked all but dead for the season. Their record stood at 3-4 (0-2 in the Big East),and with West Virginia and Pittsburgh coming up next on the schedule, hopes for just a bowl appearance were dwindling for the UConn faithful. But once again, like he has multiple times over his 11 seasons in Storrs, head coach Randy Edsall rallied the troops and when no one was giving the team a chance, led his Huskies to two straight wins over two Big East powerhouses.

With the win this past Thursday over Pittsburgh, which saw Jordan Todman rush for a career high 222 yards, UConn put itself into a possible position to reach a BCS bowl for the first time in school history. The Huskies also received some help this weekend when Syracuse beat Rutgers (who had beaten UConn already) and South Florida beat Louisville. These two games, along with the UConn win over Pitt, have basically made the Big East a 5-team race.

Pittsburgh has a one-game lead, and UConn, Syracuse, South Florida and West Virginia are all within striking distance. One thing that MUST happen for any team besides Pittsburgh to win the conference, is the Panthers must lose one more game. Pitt has 3 games remaining, 2 of which are on the road, and the third against rival West Virginia. For UConn to win the conference and go to a BCS bowl, the Huskies need to win its three remaining games (@Syracuse, vs. Cincinnati, @South Florida) and have Pitt lose just once. UConn currently holds the tie-breaker over West Virginia and Pitt, and if they win out, would hold the tie-breaker over Syracuse and South Florida.

So as crazy as this season has been, and as awful as the Huskies have looked (a la @Michigan, @Temple, @Louisville), UConn still has a chance to reach its goal of gaining that automatic bid into a BCS game.

The Huskies continue their quest for the BCS birth, this Saturday (November 20th) when they travel to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse to take on the Orange. Syracuse has trouble winning at home (0-2 in Big East games), and UConn has trouble winning on the road (0-4 on the year) so it will be interesting to see what team can play the best football down the stretch.

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3-Point Shot with Marcus Lynam: UConn Basketball

Marcus Lynam and Ryan Grace discuss three topics on UConn Basketball

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UConn Students’ Predictions for the 2010-2011 UConn Men’s Basketball Team

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UConn News and Notes: Monday, November 8th

Football:

*UConn has had another player suspended and now arrested. Junior defensive end Marcus Campbell, 22, of Bloomfield, was arrested this morning outside of the Family Studies Building and charged with fifth degree larceny, police reports said. Campbell, who has been out all year due to a torn ACL, was suspended last week by Coach Randy Edsall. According to the Daily Campus,”Campbell had a warrant out for his arrest stemming from the theft of a backpack containing a laptop and other goods valued at $825.”

*In some on the field news… Randy Edsall announced that Senior Quarterback Zach Frazer will start this Thursday, when the Huskies take on Big East rival Pittsburgh. Frazer, who started the first four games for UConn before being benched in favor of Cody Endres, will now make his 6th start of the season. Coming off a decent performance in the win vs. West Virginia, where he didn’t have a turnover, Frazer hopes to keep the team rolling. “I’m not going to put pressure on myself or the team,” Frazer said. “I’m going to have fun.”

*UConn sits at 4-4 (1-2 in the Big East) right now. Besides Pittsburgh, every team in the Big East has at least 2 losses. As crazy as it sounds, the Huskies actually have a chance at winning the conference still. All the Huskies have to do is when their remaining four games, and have Pitt lose at least one more time. Hopefully the Huskies can pull-off the four game winning streak, which is how they finished last season.

 

Basketball:

Ryan Boatright

*UConn received an oral commitment from Ryan Boatright, a highly-touted point guard from Aurora, Ill. He is the 48th best player in the class of 2011, and the 11th best point guard, according to rivals.com. Boatright chose the Huskies over UNLV and Oklahoma, after de-committing from West Virginia last month. According to the Chicago Tribune, he averaged 26.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.3 steals last season as a junior. Boatright is stepping into a situation that might allow for him to play a major role at point guard for UConn next season as a freshman. Most likely, Shabazz Napier will be the only returning point guard for the Huskies, as Donnell Beverly is graduating, and Kemba Walker will most likely leave early for the NBA.

*UConn opens up the season on Friday night when they take on Stony Brook at Gampel Pavilion.

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Four Downs With Marcus Lynam: Big Win for Huskies Over WV

The Huskies got back to their winning ways this past weekend with a solid victory over Big East Rival West Virginia. Marcus Lynam and Ryan Grace discuss the win and other topics on UConn Football.

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Busy Day For UConn Sports

What seemed like a normal Wednesday in October, has actually been a pretty busy day for UConn Sports news.

Basketball

The day started down in New York City at the Big East Conference Basketball Media Day. All of the 16 Big East coaches and select players traveled to the Big Apple and Madison Square Garden for the annual event. However, UConn found themselves in a not so familiar position as they were picked to finish 10th in the preseason rankings. “Well, I got a chance to be coach of the year,” head coach Jim Calhoun joked about the Huskies’ position. “We’re the most unknown team in the league,” he said, “I truly believe that.”

Last year UConn was picked to finish third in the conference, but ended the season near the bottom of the league. Calhoun and his Huskies hope to change that this year. “It’s not if you get knocked down, it’s if you get up and how you do,” Calhoun said.

Pittsburgh was picked to win the Big East.

There was one bright spot for UConn Basketball today, as Junior Point Guard Kemba Walker was selected the preseason All-Big East 1st Team. He was voted to the second-team last year as a sophomore.

 
Football

The football team delivered some bad news today, as it was announced that starting quarterback, junior Cody Endres, has been suspended for the rest of the year. Reports are that the suspension is due to violations of university substance abuse policies. Endres was suspended early this season, missing the first three games. Since taking over for Zach Frazer in the second half of the Buffalo game, Endres has played pretty well. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions while going 1-1 as a starter.

Redshirt Freshman Michael Box is currently listed 2nd on the depth chart, and will most likely make his first career start Saturday when the Huskies travel to Louisville. Senior Zach Frazer, who was the starter before Endres, might be in the running to make his way back on the field as well. Head Coach Randy Edsall will have a lot to think about before kick-off on Saturday.

The Huskies, who are currently 3-3 (0-1 in the Big East), have been nothing but inconsistent all year, and have yet to live up to the high expectations set forth at the beginning of the season. With six games left in the season, UConn needs wins, and needs them fast if they hope to make a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season.

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One Year Later: UConn Still Dealing With the Loss of Jasper Howard

Today is the one year anniversary of the death of Jasper Howard. A rising star in the Big East, with NFL aspirations, Howard’s life was cut short on October 18, 2009 when he was stabbed to death outside UConn’s Student Union. The tragedy became nationwide news, as the story of Howard and his background became widely publicized. His teammates, along with the entire UConn community, came together as a collective to make sure he would be remembered and never forgotten. A memorial has been put up in the Burton Family Football Complex on campus, with Howard’s famous words spoken hours before his death in the center: “You have to play each play like it’s the last play you’ll ever play.”

The one they called “Jazz” will continue to be remembered by the UConn community, as #6 t-shirts are still a popular choice of clothing at UConn sporting events.

The Howard family, including the daughter he never got to meet, Ja’Miya, are still dealing with the loss, but have been in a better place since the police charged John Lomax III, 22, of Bloomfield, with murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. A trial date has not been set; Lomax is next scheduled to appear in Rockville Superior Court Oct. 29.

So on this one year anniversary, here’s a tribute video to Howard. RIP #6

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UConn Football “Four Downs” Segment – Rutgers Game

Four topics on UConn Football…

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