photo credit: Steve Clancy via photopin cc More »

photo credit: MattBritt00 via photopin cc More »

 

News Links, 3/27

Women’s Hoops
NCAA Women’s Tournament: Albany Regional Breakdown, Courant
UConn’s Stewart, Mosqueda-Lewis Finalists For Wade Trophy, Courant
UConn’s Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse back at full speed after hitting freshman wall, Register
For UConn Women, Twitter Is Off Limits Until Off-Season, NY Times
BUCKS COUNTY HALL OF FAME: Central Bucks East’s Pattyson Culmo to be inducted, The Intelligenger
Women’s basketball faces tough opponent, Connecticut, in Sweet 16 round, Daily Texan Online
No. 1 UConn Heads to Albany for NCAA Regional Semifinal Tilt with Texas, UConnHuskies
Catching up with Maya Moore, UConn mystique, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Other Teams of Interest
Pack Edged [by Temple] in Overtime at Temple, 80-79, in WNIT Third Round, ACC.com
Rare Stanford-Notre Dame matchup highlights regional, San Francisco Gate

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News Links, 3/26

Football
UConn football team springing forward, Register
UConn Football: Defense Looks To Get To Next Level, Courant

Men’s Hoops
Remember When UCLA Outlasts UConn In High-Scoring Elite Eight Game In 1995, ThePostGame

Women’s Hoops
UConn Women Insider: Maya Moore Is A Real Jet-Setter, Courant
Banged-up Texas next for UConn in NCAAs, Register
UConn’s Geno Auriemma on Texas: “We don’t know anything about them”, Channel 8
UConn’s Breanna Stewart shines in NCAA Tournament, TimesUnion
Thousands Expected to Watch NCAA Women’s East Regionals at Times Union Center, Times Warner Cable News

Hockey
Kirtland Named UConn Hockey Captain; Pauly, Pratt Alternates, Courant

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News Links, 3/25

Women’s Basketball
Tuck Proves That UConn Will Be OK When Stewart Is Out, Courant
NCAA Women: Sweet 16 Stories Start With UConn, AP article from Courant
Freshman Williams Comes Off Bench, Shines, NBC Connecticut
UConn overwhelms Rutgers en route to yet another Sweet 16, NY Daily News
UConn women’s blowout victories not as easy during NCAA tournament, Register
Huskies in familiar spot, Albany Times Union
For Underdogs in Women’s Tournament, an Invitation to Heartbreak, NY Times

Other Teams of Interest
Rutgers women’s basketball made progress … but still a long way behind UConn, MyCentralJersey.com
Gophers women’s basketball: Two more players leaving team, Pioneer Press
SEC looking to end women’s Final Four drought, Chattanooga Times Free Press
[Morgan] Eye matches WNIT record with nine 3s, Tigers advance to third round, Columbia Daily Tribune

Football
Cochran Calls A Good Game, But On Other Side Of Microphone, Courant
UConn Football: Back To Spring Practice, Courant

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News links, 3/24

Women’s Hoops
Mosqueda-Lewis Shoots UConn Into Sweet 16, Courant
5 UConn Women’s Lessons Learned: KML Approaches Three-Pointer Record, Courant
Geno Auriemma Finds Time For Kid Who Grew Up On UConn, Courant
Werth Center A Shining Symbol Of UConn’s Success, Courant
Williams Provided Spark When Needed, Courant
Photos: NCAA Second Round: UConn Women Vs. Rutgers, Courant
UConn women return to the Sweet 16 for 22nd straight season, Register
Rutgers’ Betnijah Laney a former teammate of several Huskies, Register
UConn women’s basketball rolls, earns spot in Albany regional, Albany Times Union
UConn overpowers Rutgers, ends Knights’ season, Daily Targum

Other Teams of Interest
Maryland Women End Princeton’s Undefeated Season, Courant
When Seminoles are good they’re as good as (almost) anyone, News Press
Women’s Division II tournament preview capsule: New Haven vs. California Baptist, Register

Football
UConn Football Team: Back To The Daily Grind, Courant
Sean McQuillan has transformed into a leader for UConn football team, Register

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Huskies Back from Spring Break as Practice Resumed This Morning; Quarterback Update

Boyle

QB Tim Boyle showed command under center this morning as head coach Bob Diaco directs the defense in the background
Photo credit: Ian Bethune – SOX & DAWGS

@MattSchonvisky

“Get back on the line!” bellows offensive line coach Mike Cummings. “Some of you are still on vacation. We don’t walk around here. Run to the next drill. Do it again!”

Spring break has ended, vacation is over and the reality of the every day grind is back in full force for the UConn football program. If it wasn’t evident when the players arrived back on campus this weekend, it has certainly sunk in after just five minutes on the field with the Huskies coaching staff. Welcome to the first practice after the week-long getaway, at the Burton Family Football Complex. 

Despite the extra effort with the offensive line on that one particular set of drills, today was an absolute success.

“Monday mornings are always a little bit of a challenge for everyone, it’s in our DNA,” head coach Bob Diaco said following the fifth practice of the spring. “Coming off of spring break, having a week off, which was much needed and earned, today is always a concern and they did a fantastic job. I knew right away, sitting in the team meeting, that there’s just a different look and energy. I was pleased with practice five.”

In an unusual move, the Huskies opened up after stretching by immediately going into 11-on-11, hurry-up work. Transfer quarterback Bryant Shirreffs was the first on the field this morning, working with wide receivers Dhameer Bradley and Noel Thomas. Ron Johnson, as is expected, was in at the starting running back spot.

Second on the field was Tim Boyle, who had RB’s Josh Marriner and Arkeel Newsome lined up behind him.

“Just in case the lights weren’t on full blast, I wanted to get their batteries charged and give them a little shot of energy,” Diaco said on the different start. “It’s hard to put your toe in the water when the first thing you do at practice after you warm up is an 11-on-11 situation. It’s a drill we do, it’s a speed drill more than it is a contact drill. It’s mostly about the speed that they move and the speed and challenge of communication. It’s run at an unrealistic pace. The ball is predetermined, at spots that move, so it’s easy to move it at a very fast rate.”

There were positives and negatives. Shirreffs looked good hitting Noel Thomas for a 15-20 yard pickup to his left, while Boyle consistently hit the underneath stuff as well. He had one pass late, that missed by a wide margin, perhaps some miscommunication between him and receiver John-Luke Bogue. He threw a quick out, while Bogue took off, downfield.

One thing that was clear is we are seeing a different Boyle under center this spring. During the hurry-up situation, he was in complete command at the line, properly aligning the offense before the snap. He was barking commands, something that was lacking a year ago.

Separation has begun at the position and Diaco hopes to have something he can communicate to the media by the end of the week.

“We are pleased with the position and the battle,” he said. “That group is going to be able to grow and it will get bigger in the summer. There has been some separation, but I’m reluctant at this point to say anything specific about it, there’s just more situations that need to happen. Right now it’s been even situation downs, we got into a little bit of critical down work and red zone work, as well. Guys will flourish as the string of situations unfold, that all require a different style of quarterbacking. It will happen soon I think, hopefully by the end of this week, that we’ll have a separation.”

Another thing that is clear is Diaco is excited about the ability of Shirreffs to make plays outside of the tackle box, something he went into great detail about today.

“He’s definitely a threat with the ball in his hand, for sure,” Diaco said. “He’s big, fast and athletic, which would be an issue for a defense. It does look like he can throw it downfield from there, so that definitely looks like it’s going to be a feather in his cap, not that the other guys are not as good at it because I think Tim throws pretty well on the run too.”

Junior-college transfer quarterback Garrett Anderson will also be joining the group in the summer, so just because one guy takes the job exiting spring, does not mean that will be who is under center come September 3rd, against Villanova.

“Everybody is competing all the time,” Diaco said. “There’s nothing that is always and forever. You can have a guy that’s started for three years and his senior year, if he lets go of the rope and another guy performs better, then that guy will play. We’ll name a starter at that point, after spring and if he gets beat out in camp, then he gets beat out in camp. There’s competition at every position every day.”

Overall, Diaco has been happy with the spring and likes the work ethic of the group, which he echoed multiple times following practice.

“It was clear that rather than being off [for a week], they just went away,” he reinforced. “They took time away, rather than time off and that was a good thing. They came back, ready to work.”

Today was also the first chance to hear from some players, which I’ll dive into as the week goes on.

SPRING BREAK NOTES:

Offensive tackle Andreas Knappe went back home to Denmark this past week; “My brother just had a little girl a couple months ago, so I wanted go home and see them.”

Safety Andrew Adams also had a family event; “I went to my sister’s wedding in Atlanta. Weather was great, so I was able to train down there as well.”

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News Links, 3/23

Men’s Hoops
The jarring indictment NCAA Tournament hands the Big East, NY Post

Women’s Hoops
Effort, Unselfishness Are The Keys To UConn’s Success, Courant
Capsule: Rutgers At No. 1 UConn, Courant
Rutgers Works To Return To UConn’s Level, Courant
UConn women well aware of what Rutgers brings to the table, Register
UConn women’s basketball notes: Turnout way down for NCAA tournament games at Gampel, Register
Women’s basketball NCAA preview capsule: Rutgers at No. 1 UConn, Register
Sue Bird and Elena Delle Donne write about their pivotal college and March Madness moments, Swish Appeal
Rutgers’s Coach Is Used to Winning, but Not When She Faces UConn, NY Times
NCAA Tournament 2015: Can the mighty UConn women’s basketball team be beat?, NJ.com
Rutgers-UConn Preview, FoxSports
Tall task in Storrs for Rutgers women, NorthJersey.com

Other Teams of Interest
WNIT: Penn women’s hoops falls [to Temple] in WNIT Second Round, Daily Pennsylvanian
Tulsa women’s season ends with loss to Eastern Michigan in WNIT, Tulsa World
[East Carolina] loses lead vs. State, Daily Reflector
Leer, Villanova advance in WNIT, Delaware Times
New Haven hopes long road to success continues past Elite Eight, Register

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News Links, 3/22

Men’s Hoops
Wisconsin basketball recruiting: Diamond Stone rumor roundup, Bucky’s 5th Quarter

Women’s Hoops
UConn Routs St. Francis Brooklyn, 89-33, Courant
Three-Point Record Important To Mosqueda-Lewis, Courant
Rutgers Goes Deep To Beat Seton Hall, Courant
UConn women crush St. Francis in NCAA tournament first round, Register
RECAP: No. 1 UConn Dominates No. 16 St. Francis to Advance to the Second Round, Daily Campus
Most Of UConn’s Games This Season Were Over At Halftime, 538
Incarnate Word routs MICDS for third straight title, Columbia Daily Tribune
Chaminade girls basketball comes up short against Mater Dei in Regional final, LA Daily News (Katie Lou Samuelsoon)
H.S. BASKETBALL: Eight locals named Mid Penn First-Team All-Stars, Public Opinion Sports (Kyla Irwin listed)
For a St. Francis Player, UConn, Long an Inspiration, Turns Rival, NY Times
Geno Auriemma downplays comparisons to John Wooden as UConn seeks 10th title, NY Newsday
Albany gets introduced to big-time women’s basketball, Albany Times Union
NCAA women: Rutgers tops Seton Hall, 79-66; UConn next, NorthJersey.com

Other AAC Teams and Teams of Interest
ECU women hosting N.C. State [in WNIT], The Daily Reflector
TU Set To Host Eastern Michigan In WNIT Round 2, Newson6
Quinnipiac falls to Oklahoma in NCAA tournament first round, Register
Seton Hall’s Daisha Simmons won fight against Alabama, Register
Sweet 16 to happen without Villanova [men] again, ESPN
Sciria: Jim Boeheim will never change, Auburn Citizen

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News Links, 3/21

Men’s Hoops
Former UConn great Rip Hamilton enjoying retirement already, Register
UConn Men’s Insider: Ryan Boatright’s Path To NBA Won’t Be Easy One, Courant
Looking Back At The Dream Season: Burrell Made Best Pass Ever, Courant
St. Thomas More senior tabbed as state’s top boys basketball player, Bulletin (Steven Enoch)

Women’s Hoops
St. Francis Should Have Its Hands Full With Well-Rested UConn, Courant
Capsule: St. Francis Brooklyn Vs. No. 1 UConn, Courant
High School Hoops In Connecticut? Yep, Geno Has An Opinion, Jeff Jacobs, Courant
Photos: UConn Women Practice For NCAA Opener, Courant
Early loss to Stanford was wake-up call for UConn senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Register
Women’s NCAA tournament preview capsule: St. Francis (N.Y.) at No. 1 UConn, Register
UConn women start final leg of journey for 10th national title, Channel 8
Love or Hate Them, Auriemma and UConn Women Dominate Sport, ABC News
UConn could meet a former Big East rival in the second round, Norwich Bulletin
Loyd, Mitchell, Stewart, Zahui B. named finalists for 2015 Naismith Trophy, NCAA.com
Incarnate Word, MICDS win to set up All-St. Louis final, Columbia Tribune (Napheesa Collier)
Mater Dei girls look for revenge against Chaminade, OC Varsity (Katie Lou Samuelson)

Other AAC Teams
LSU-South Florida Preview, Sports Illustrated (women)
Mississippi State women top Tulane [women] 57-47 in NCAAs, Hattiesburg American

Other Teams of Interest
The Other Game In Storrs: A Battle of New Jersey, Courant
Quinnipiac faces Oklahoma in NCAA opener, Register
First Fans: Obamas’ niece to play for Princeton in NCAAs, AP article from Tulsa World

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News Links, 3/20

Football
UConn Football: 22nd Toughest Schedule In Country, Courant

Men’s Hoops
Ollie: A Few Points Here Or There Would Have Made A Difference, Courant
5 UConn Men’s Lessons Learned: Huskies Need An Upgrade, Courant
UConn Men’s Roster: What Lies Ahead For Next Season?, Courant
UConn Men’s 2015-2016 Roster, Courant
Tough as season was, UConn men were 10 seconds from NCAA tournament, Register
Hornets Tournament Brackets – Kemba, Al, Mo and Brian, NBA.com
Just call Charlie Villanueva the anti-Orlando Scandrick; Mavs’ forward on playing video games against his son, Dallas Morning News

Women’s Hoops
Ready For UConn Women’s Basketball? 10 Things To Ponder, Courant
What Are The UConn Women’s Odds Of Winning It All?, Courant
UConn Women’s Basketball Team Picked To Win It All By President Obama, Courant
UConn incoming freshman Katie Lou Samuelson named Gatorade national player of the year, Register
Red Knights go for three-peat, St. Louis American (Napheesa Collier)

Other AAC Teams
Cincinnati [men] Survive Purdue, Last AAC Team Left In NCAA Tournament, Courant
WNIT First Round: Owls’ Williams ties trey mark as Temple knocks off host Marist, The Examiner

Other Schools of Interest
THE FINAL FOUR YOU CAN WATCH THIS WEEKEND, ESPN (Tufts & Carla Berube)
Bulldogs shut out of postseason, Yale News
Jim Boeheim deserves some blame, but NCAA system is the major problem, Sports Illustrated
[Oregon] Beavers [womem] open at home on road to the Final Four, Statesman Journal
Sullivan: Stringer says NCAA committee still out to get her, NorthJersey.com

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Senior Salute

@MattSchonvisky

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