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News Links, 11/29/15

Huskies No Match For Temple’s Offense, Courant
UConn’s Boyle Starts At QB As Shirreffs Sits With Injury, Courant
The Wrap: Quarter-By-Quarter Look At Temple’s Win Over UConn, Courant
Jeff Jacobs: UConn’s Improvement Boosts Diaco’s Stock, Courant
Temple defense dominates in rout of UConn, Register
Temple beats UConn, wins division; report says Rhule to meet with Missouri, Philly Inquirer

Men’s Hoops
Back To The Lab For UConn, And 5 Lessons We Learned In Battle 4 Atlantis, Courant
Borges: UConn has more questions than answers after Bahamas trip, Register

Women’s Hoops
Stewart, Huskies Dominate Nebraska, Courant
UConn’s Breanna Stewart More Confident Than Ever, Courant
Photos: UConn Women Vs. Nebraska, Courant
Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson finds groove as UConn downs Nebraska, Register
No. 1 UConn earns 40th consecutive win, 88-46 over Nebraska, ESPN
Huskers drop their first loss of the season to No. 1 UConn, The Daily Nebraskan
Joyner’s Career Nights Sparks Mocs Win over UT Martin, Chattanooga Athletics

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News Links, 11/28/15

Temple-UConn: Huskies Have Chance To Spoil the Owls’ Season, Courant
UConn At No. 25 Temple, Courant
Before Heading To NFL, Temple’s Matakevich Has An Appointment With UConn, Courant
UConn, Temple prepared for a slugfest, Register
So much on the line for Temple . . . and UConn, Philly Inquirer
Temple-UConn football preview box, Philly Inquirer

Men’s Hoops
UConn Storms Back But Can’t Defeat Gonzaga, Courant
Photos: UConn Men Vs. Gonzaga, Courant
Kevin Ollie: UConn loss to Gonzaga a ‘lesson learned’, Register
UConn freshmen Jalen Adams, Steve Enouch play well vs. Gonzaga, Register
No. 18 UConn takes lumps in 73-70 loss to No. 10 Gonzaga, USA Today

Women’s Hoops
Geno Looks Back On First 30 Years; UConn Women Host Nebraska, Courant
Capsule: Nebraska At No. 1 UConn Women, Courant
Nebraska freshman Jessica Shepard will present challenge for UConn, Register
Jefferson, No. 1 UConn Entertain Nebraska, SNY
NU won’t see Huskies take any breathers, NU Telegraph

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News Links, 11/27/15

UConn Football Insider: As A Coach, Diaco Evolving Into A Winner, Courant
Bob Diaco ignites fire under UConn football program, Today’s U
Turnaround Gives UConn Bowl Security Other Teams Envy, NY Times
Temple will be tested by UConn running game, Philly Inquirer
UConn-Temple Preview, Fox Sports

Men’s Hoops
Shades Of An Old Big East Thriller: Syracuse 79, UConn 76, Courant
Game Capsule: No. 10 Gonzaga vs. No. 18 UConn, Courant
UConn falls to Syracuse, but they may meet again soon, Register
Gonzaga-UConn Preview, Fox Sports
Game Preview: No. 10 Gonzaga faces No. 18 UConn in Battle 4 Atlantis, MidMajorMadness
Syracuse takes down No. 18 UConn in Big East rivalry revival game, USA Today
Syracuse basketball beats UConn, 79-76, in Thanksgiving thriller at Battle 4 Atlantis,

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Game Preview – UConn Women vs Nebraska

UConn (2-0, 0-0) vs Nebraska (4-0, 0-0 Big 10)
Saturday, November 28, 1:00 pm
XL Center, Hartford CT

Probable Starters

UConn Huskies

#4 Moriah Jefferson 5-7 G, Sr 17.5 pts 5.5 asst 3.5 reb
#11 Kia Nurse 6-0 G, So 12.5 pts 3.5 asst 2.5 reb
#15 Gabby Williams 6-0 G, So 13.0 pts 2.0 asst 11.5 reb
#3 Morgan Tuck 6-2 F, R-Jr 15.0 pts 1.5 asst 7.5 reb
#30 Breanna Stewart 6-4 F, Sr 24.5 pts 4.5 asst 8.5 reb

Other Key Players

#33 Katie Lou Samuelson 6-3 G/F, Fr 3.5 pts 1.0 asst 3.0 reb
#24 Napheesa Collier 6-1 G/F, Fr 7.5 pts 0.5 asst 7.5 reb
#12 Saniya Chong 5-8 G, Jr 1.5 pts 1.0 asst 1.0 reb
#22 Courtney Ekmark 6-0 G, So 1.0 pts 1.0 asst 1.0 reb


#33 Rachel Theriot 6-0 G, Sr 8.8 pts 4.3 asst 4.0 reb
#5 Natalie Romeo 5-7 G, So 17.8 pts 4.3 asst 1.3 reb
#4 Kyndal Clark 5-7 G, Sr 4.0 pts 3.0 asst 4.3 reb
#43 Rachel Blackburn 6-3 F, Fr 5.8 pts 2.0 asst 8.3 reb
#32 Jessica Shepard 6-4 F, Fr 23.3 pts 2.0 asst 9.8 reb

Other Key Players

#24 Maddie Simon 6-2 G, Fr 7.5 pts 1.8 asst 2.3 reb
#34 Jasmine Sincore 5-10 G, So 6.5 pts 1.8 asst 3.0 reb
#22 Allie Havers 6-5 C, Jr 5.3 pts 1.5 asst 7.0 reb
#31 Anya Kalenta 6-3 F, Sr 7.0 pts 1.3 asst 5.0 reb

During the 2009-2010 season, Nebraska shook the women’s basketball establishment by breezing through the regular season with a 30-0 record, rising to the #3 ranking, a first in Husker history. The team was led by Kelsey Griffin, a special player as Connecticut Sun fans know. The Cinderella season was spoiled by Texas A&M in the Big 12 tourney then again by Kentucky in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. However, Nebraska had made a statement and it continues to make itself known in the college women’s basketball landscape.

Led by 14th year coach Connie Yori, Nebraska has averaged 24 wins over the last four seasons, making a return trip to the Sweet 16 only two years after losing its superstar. While UConn fans may shrug at “only” making the Sweet 16, it is considered an impressive accomplishment to most schools. In November 2014, Yori signed the #9 ranked recruiting class, then the following year added the #8 ranked class. In the most recent polls, the Huskers have received enough votes that it would be ranked 30th, if the poll extended that far. Nebraska is not going to fade into insignificance any time soon.

Last season, Nebraska finished with a somewhat disappointing 21-11 season. However the Huskers had lost star guard Rachel Theriot (pronounced Terry-oh) to a season ending ankle injury early in February. After starting with a 17-4 record with Theriot, the Huskers limped to a 4-7 record without her. She had surgery on her ankle in February and appears to be back to form. Do not be fooled by the 8.8 point per game average – she is the real deal. Theriot was a Nancy Lieberman Award finalist as a sophomore and a preseason Wade, Wooden, and Naismith player before her ill-fated junior season. She was honored as an All Big 10 preseason selection this year. Theriot is a very good shooter from the perimeter but a great shooter overall with a 62% average. Moriah Jefferson is going to have to be sharp against Theriot, although Geno will no doubt rotate defenders on her to keep her from finding a groove.

Theriot’s backcourt partner, Natalie Romeo, is coming off a 21 point game, going 5-9 from the arc. She also led her team with 4 steals, a category in which she leads her team in the early season. Romeo is the second leading scorer for Nebraska after Jessica Shepard. She and Theriot must be kept off the free throw line as they are a combined 12-13 (92%) in FT shots.

At #3, Jessica Shepard is the highest ranked player to sign with Nebraska and may be the best women’s basketball player to come from that state. She’s averaging a Breanna Stewart-like 23.3 points per game along with 9.8 rebounds. Only a freshman, Shepard is already making her mark, unusual for a post player. Big girls generally have a somewhat steeper learning curve than guards and need a year or two at the next level to dominate. She’s a versatile, physical player that can finish strong around the basket or step back and take a jumper. As Shepard increases her physical strength and gains some college experience, she will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

Yori has assembled an impressive assortment of versatile players that all share the ball well (Nebraska is averaging 23 assist per game) and as a team, out rebound opponents 51-33. However, this guard-oriented group is pretty young in key positions. Shepard is a freshman as is her starting frontcourt-mate Rachel Blackburn. Romeo is a sophomore. The advantage to youth is that it’s fearless but the downside is that young players lack experience (thank you, Captain Obvious!) but also typically lack physical stamina. This is very bad news against UConn, one of the most, if not the most, well-conditioned teams in the game.

It should also be noted that Nebraska’s sparkling 4-0 record and 47 point margin of victory has come at the expense of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, North Florida, North Carolina Central, and Southern University, and that all games were played in Nebraska. This is not a knock on Nebraska – with a young group of starters in what is essentially a rebuilding year (only two starters are back from last season), Yori may have wanted a few games in familiar surroundings to integrate the new players.

Nebraska will have its hands full with the Huskies, though. As terrific a talent as Shepard may be, she will be facing Breanna Stewart, a daunting task even for teams with more experienced players. Shepard will get some points, she really is that good, but then she has to run down the court and defend Stewart. How long can a freshman do that against a senior that happens to be one of the best college players ever?

Nebraska has most likely never seen a player like Gabby Williams because, really, has anyone? The Energizer Bunny is EVERYWHERE on the court, stealing balls, skying for rebounds (hey, can the kid dunk? probably), and being wherever she needs to be. This future All-American is a great X factor because teams need to prepare its guards and its forwards in an attempt to slow her down.

I haven’t even mentioned Morgan Tuck. She’s going to face off against the freshman Blackburn, not a favorable matchup for Nebraska. Geno Auriemma once described Barbara Turner as “slithery”, a term I like to apply to Tuck. She has got to be the quietest 15 point scorer on the team but is a dangerous silent assassin.

To me, the matchup of the game isn’t Shepard vs Stewart, it’s the UConn backcourt vs the Nebraska backcourt. Theriot is a senior and she’s faced top teams in the past so I can’t imagine she’ll be intimidated. The Lieberman finalist will be facing the Lieberman winner while two talented sophomores go head to head. This should be a really entertaining matchup.

I look for this game to be somewhat similar to the KState game in that Nebraska will fight for the entire 40 minutes but eventually succumb. I hope the Huskers stay on the schedule for years to come as I think they’ll be contenders. Sweet 16 this year for the Huskers? Let’s see them play first, but based on talent, on paper, they’d have a chance.

Useless factoids: 1. Napheesa Collier and Jessica Shepard were teammates on the gold medal winning U18 USA Basketball team and 2. Former Rutgers guard Katie Adams is part of the Nebraska coaching staff as Administrative Assistant.

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News Links, 11/26/15

UConn Needs Bloom To Fill Tight End Void Left By Myers’ Injury, Courant
Temple-UConn Preview Capsule, USA Today
Diaco has UConn bowl eligible in second year, Fox Sports
BYU Opponent Power Rankings: UConn continues to surprise, Daily Herald
Temple’s Tyler Matakevich now has wins to go along with tackles, Register

Men’s Hoops
Hamilton Leads Surge As Huskies Beat Michigan, Courant
UConn Men Notebook: Old Big East Fans Hope For Syracuse Matchup, Courant
Photos: UConn Men Vs. Michigan, Courant
UConn tops Michigan, sets up Thanksgiving Day bout with Syracuse, Register
Men’s basketball preview capsule — No. 18 UConn vs. Syracuse, Register
Huskies advance to Battle 4 Atlantis semfinal, Daily Campus
No. 18 UConn looks good in victory over Michigan in Bahamas, CBS Sports
No. 18 UConn survives Michigan rally in 74-60 win in Bahamas, USA Today
Connecticut rolls over Michigan in Battle 4 Atlantis, sends Wolverines to loser’s bracket, MLive

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News Links, 11/25/15

UConn Injured QB Shirreffs Is Day To Day for Temple Game, Says Coach Diaco, Courant
Connecticut players making an impact with Huskies, Register
5 Biggest Wins in UConn Football History, WTIC
Joe D’s Notebook: The Combo Platter, WTIC
Prep football: Phillips one step from 4A title, city history, Chicago Tribune (commit Quayvon Skanes)
Temple’s Matakevich facing UConn with ‘chip on my shoulder’, Philly Inquirer
Referees struggle with respect amid growing hostility, WFSB Channel 3

Men’s Hoops
UConn Ready For First Big Test Against Michigan In Battle 4 Atlantis, Courant
UConn Men’s Insider: Old Pal R.J. Evans Thriving With Texas, Courant
UConn men ready for tougher competition in Battle 4 Atlantis, Register
Former UConn player R.J. Evans embarks on coaching career at Texas, Register
How to watch UConn in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, WTNH Channel 8
Michigan-UConn Preview, SNY
Joe D’s Notebook: The Combo Platter, WTIC
Michigan to face plenty of challenges from UConn to open Battle 4 Atlantis, MLive
U-M hoops looks for improved defense in Bahamas, Detroit Free Press
Referees struggle with respect amid growing hostility, WFSB Channel 3

Women’s Hoops
UConn Women: Gabby Williams Turning Heads, 5 Other Tidbits From Win Vs. K-State, Courant
UConn coach Geno Auriemma reflects on 30 years of winning, Register
UConn’s Gabby Williams catches even her own teammates off-guard, WTNH Channel 8
Wiedmer: College hoops season is too long, (UT-Chattanooga, Jim Foster)
Referees struggle with respect amid growing hostility, WFSB Channel 3

BC Puts UConn On Ice Early, Courant
Eagles Give Huskies A Heavy Dose Of Reality, Courant

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News Links, 11/24/15

UConn Football: Noel Thomas, Jamar Summers Earn AAC Honors, Courant
Pandemonium in Storrs: UConn still reveling in Houston upset, ESPN
UConn football is back after incredible upset of Houston; is it the biggest win in program history?, Channel 8
Which QB will Temple face? UConn coach not saying, Philly Inquirer
Forget Notre Dame, UConn is Temple’s biggest game this season, Philly Inquirer

AAC and Other Teams
UConn coach Bob Diaco not counting UCF out against USF Thursday, Orlando Sentinel
Navy gearing up for Friday showdown at Houston, Capital Gazette (football)
Rise of American Athletic Conference is just the start for league, Orlando Sentinel
Syracuse fires coach Scott Shafer after 8th straight loss, Register (football)
Ranking the 13 college head-coaching vacancies, (football)

Men’s Hoops
Red-Hot UConn Arrives In Bahamas; Up To No. 18 In AP Poll, Courant
Weekday predictions: UConn keeps Michigan reeling, ESPN

Women’s Hoops
UConn’s Breanna Stewart Reaches Milestone In Victory, Courant
Chong Returns To Strengthen UConn Guards, Courant
Pictures: UConn Women Vs. Kansas State, Courant
Breanna Stewart hits 2,000-point milestone as Huskies roll Kansas State, Register
Huskers soar past Southern ahead of showdown with No. 1 UConn, Omaha World Herald
Cardinal women suffer rare home basketball loss to Broncos, Palo Alto Online
Notebook: Lady Vols continue struggling from deep in win over Chattanooga, UT Daily Beacon

Other UConn Sports
College Men’s Ice Hockey: Old Rival BC Heads To XL Center To Take On UConn, Courant

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News Links, 11/23/15

UConn Football Report Card: Defense Aces It Against Houston, Courant
A Fan’s View Of UConn Football’s Win Over Houston, Courant
UConn Football: Head Coach Bob Diaco Enjoying The Moment (Video), Courant
Garrett Anderson an unlikely star in UConn’s upset of Houston, Register

Men’s Hoops
UConn Men: What We Learned From The Huskies’ Win Over Furman, Courant
Kemba Walker Q&A: On a new offense, dunking, dancing and Big Al’s jeans, ABC News
Prep Showcase: Calipari, Ollie watch five-star 2017 guard Hamidou Diallo, Scout
Grand Rapids Drive falls just short on the road to Iowa, MLive (Ryan Boatright)
Kobe Bryant Calls Caron Butler ‘One Of My Favorite Teammates’, Lakers Nation
Q&A with former Pacer A.J. Price, Vigilant Nation (Nov. 8)

Women’s Hoops
Jefferson Looking To Put Turnovers Against Ohio State Behind Her, Courant
Capsule: Kansas State at No. 1 UConn Women, Courant
Saniya Chong ready to contribute in home opener for UConn, Register
Women’s basketball gameday: Kansas State at No. 1 UConn, Register
Recruit Dangerfield getting up to speed, SNY
Matchup with UConn helps keep Kansas State motivated, ESPN

Other UConn Sports
NCAA Soccer Tournaments End For UConn Men, Women, Courant

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News Links, 11/22/15

UConn’s Win Over Houston Causes Rent To Go Wild, Courant
Jeff Jacobs: Trick Play Turns Backup Into Star, Courant
The Wrap: UConn 20, No. 13 Houston 17, Courant
Photos: UConn Football Vs. Houston, Courant
UConn knocks off unbeaten, 13th-ranked Houston, Register
Huskies shock No. 13 Houston on Senior Day, Daily Campus
UConn knocks off No. 19 Houston, becomes bowl-eligible, ESPN
Watch: UConn upsets No.19 Houston after Huskies make late interception, Sports Illustrated
Houston’s undefeated season disappears with loss to UConn, Yahoo Sports
UH’s perfect season ends with 20-17 loss at UConn, Houston Chronicle
UConn dashes UH’s dreams of unbeaten season, Houston Chroncle

Men’s Hoops
Jalen Adams Has Big Game As Huskies Handle Furman, Courant
UConn Notebook: TV Picture Appears Cloudy For Michigan Game, Courant
Photos: UConn Men’s Basketball Vs. Furman, Courant
UConn moves to 3-0 with win over Furman, Daily Campus
UConn Cruises Past Furman 83-58 to Move to 3-0, NBC Connecticut

Women’s Hoops
Wildcats set to face No. 1 UConn, Manhattan (KS) Mercury

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News Links, 11/21/15

UConn’s Andrew Adams Will Step Onto Rentschler For Senior Day With A Purpose Vs. Houston, Courant
No. 13 Houston At UConn: Capsule And Two-Deep, Courant
Senior Day: Catching Up With Saturday’s UConn Football Honorees, Courant
UConn hosting unbeaten, 13th-ranked Houston on senior day, Register
Houston must get past UConn before Navy game means anything, USA Today
Scouting the opposition: UConn, Daily Cougar
Questions leading up to UConn, Daily Cougar

Men’s Hoops
Ollie Says UConn Won’t Take Furman Lightly; Adams Looks To Turn It Up, Courant
Capsule: Furman at No. 19 UConn, Courant
UConn men host Furman before heading to the Bahamas, Register
UConn target Tremont Waters accepting leadership role at South Kent Prep, Register
Bench Provides Options for Kevin Ollie’s UConn Huskies, Today’s U
Furman-UConn Preview, Fox Sports
Furman road trip continues at UConn, Greenville News

Women’s Hoops
UConn Women’s Insider: Breanna Stewart Turning Heads Across The Country, Courant

Other UConn Sports
UConn Women’s Soccer Team Advances Over Notre Dame, Courant
UConn Field Hockey Falls To Syracuse In National Semifinals, 3-1, Courant

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