Class of 2014:
Daniel Hamilton (SG): He made the West roster for the Jordan Brand Classic!
Sam Cassell Jr. (PG): He was named All-State!
Class of 2015:
Josh Sharma (C): Kevin Ollie was in to see him play last week. Per Adam Finkelstein.
Isaiah Briscoe (PG): UConn, St. John’s, Rutgers, and Seton Hall are the main options for him right now. Also, he’s planning on cutting his list down to 10 in the next few weeks. Per Adam Zagoria.
Bennie Boatwright (SF): His top ten is UConn, USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and California Poly. Per himself.
Class of 2016:
D’Marcus Simonds (SG): He said Mississippi State is hi leader right now. Per Rivals.
UConn made short work of Rutgers in the American Athletic Conference semifinals.
The top-ranked Huskies jumped out to a 13-0 lead less than 3 minutes into the game, and led by 31 at the half en route to a 83-57 rout of the 24th-ranked Scarlet Knights on Sunday.
“We got out in transition; we moved the ball great; we got everybody involved; it wasn’t just one player,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. “That entire first 20 minutes was as good of basketball as I could hope for, especially in the postseason.”
Conference player of the year Breanna Stewart scored 22 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 19, hitting five 3-pointers as the Huskies (33-0), extended the school’s third longest winning streak to 39 games.
UConn had 24 assists on their 33 baskets. Stefanie Dolson had 15 points, Bria Hartley added 12 and nine assists and Moriah Jefferson chipped in with 10 points and seven assists.
“When we’re playing like that, it’s fun,” said Hartley. “I think we all had a great time out there and we really enjoyed it. So, I think we want to keep playing like that the rest of the way.”
Connecticut, which won 18 conference tournament championships in the Big East, will play for the inaugural American title Monday against No. 3 Louisville, which beat South Florida 60-56 in the other semifinal.
Briyona Canty had 16 points to lead Rutgers, which fell to 22-9 and must wait to see whether it has done enough to earn an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.
“It is an uncomfortable situation to be in, because we don’t really know” said Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, who added that she would accept a WNIT bid, something she has been opposed to in the past.
Rutgers was held scoreless for close to 3 1/2 minutes to start the game before Tyler Scaife, the league’s freshman of the year, made a layup.
That did little to slow the Huskies.
A 3-point play by Stewart gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead at 25-4, and a few minutes later brought the crowd to its feet with her defense. Up 30-9, she chased down Betnijah Laney and blocked a layup on what appeared to be an easy breakaway after a Rutgers steal and then made a 3-pointer on the other end.
“We’re always hustling back, because once someone turns it over and we lose the ball, we want to make up for it,” she said.
UConn made better than 58 percent of its shots before intermission and a 3-pointer by Jefferson gave the Huskies 50-19 lead at the break.
Rutgers, which did not attempt a 3-point shot, outscored UConn 38-33 in the second half, going on a 9-3 run to open the period, but it was far too little and much too late.
“We knew their game plan was to take us out in the first couple minutes,” said Laney. “It was just a matter of us focusing on that and making sure they didn’t. But, it happened.”
Rachel Hollivay blocked three shots, giving her 99 for the season, passing Sue Wicks for the program’s single-season mark.
Rutgers, which beat SMU 68-49 in the quarterfinals, was playing its final game in the conference. The Scarlet Knights move to the Big Ten next season. Rutgers falls to just 1-5 this season against teams ranked in the Top 25. The lone win came by three points against Georgia in December.
The Huskies improve to 33-6 against the Scarlet Knight in the final meeting between the two as conference rivals. They are now 8-1 against Rutgers in conference tournament games.
UConn also has beaten Louisville twice this season, by 17 points at home and 20 points last week in Kentucky.
But Auriemma knows the Cardinals have a bit more motivation this time around.
“Not only to win a conference championship, but if they win (Monday) then they are definitely a No. 1 seed,” he said. “So, it should be a great atmosphere.”
Reprinted with permission from UConnHuskies.com
American Athletic Conference player of the year Breanna Stewart scored 22 points Saturday to lead top-ranked UConn to a 72-42 rout of eighth-seeded Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
Bria Hartley added 17 points for the Huskies (32-0), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 12 and Stefanie Dolson had 10 points and nine rebounds.
UConn extended the school’s third longest winning streak to 38 games. The Huskies, who won their regular-season conference games by an average of 37 points, will play No. 24 Rutgers in the semifinals. The Scarlet Knights beat SMU 68-49 earlier Saturday.
Jeanise Randolph had 14 points for Cincinnati, which finishes the season at 13-18.
UConn never trailed, but Cincinnati stayed with the Huskies for much of the first half. The Bearcats cut the deficit to 17-13 on a layup by Randolph. But the Huskies scored the next 10, part of a 20-4 run that gave them a comfortable 37-17 halftime lead.
Stewart had 13 of her points by intermission.
The Huskies opened the second half with a 13-3 run, and cruised from there.
Connecticut, which has won at least 30 games for the ninth straight year, went undefeated in the regular season for the seventh time.
The Huskies will again be heavily favored on Sunday. They beat Rutgers by 30 points on the road and by 37 in Storrs last week.
The Huskies place four players on the all-conference first team, and have the league’s player of the year (Stewart), coach of the year (Auriemma), and defensive player of the year (Dolson).
UConn is seeking it’s 20th conference tournament title, after winning 19 in the Big East, including six of its final seven in that conference. The only loss during that span came to Notre Dame last year.
The Bearcats defense had been holding opponents to more than 13 points below their season averages, and conference foes to just 59 points a game.
But the Huskies won the regular-season meetings by a combined 90 points, beating the Bearcats 67-34 at home in December and 86-29 at Cincinnati last month.
They shot just 32 percent on Saturday.
Cincinnati lost its final two regular-season games before holding on to beat Central Florida 54-52 in the tournament’s first round on Friday night.
The Bearcats fall to 3-8 since losing leading scorer Dayeesha Hollins for the season with a knee injury in late January.
Former UConn men’s star Andre Drummond, whose Detroit Pistons play in Boston Sunday, was in the stands. He said he decided to surprise Mosqueda-Lewis, who has been a close friend since they were freshmen together.
He also was a regular at the women’s games as a student.
“They play with a lot of effort and energy,” he said. “They get the crowd going and they play hard every possession. I love that.”
Reprinted with permission from UConnHuskies.com
Athletic director Manuel Warde managed to lure Mike Cavanaugh from the nearby newly-minted hockey powerhouse, Boston College, to take the head coaching position at UConn. Last season, interim coach Dave Berard led the Huskies to a rare winning season since UConn has been playing Division I hockey, after head coach Bruce Marshall stepped down mid-season, his 25th season.
In Coach Cavanaugh’s first season leading UConn, the Huskies have exceeded expectations. The team’s stated mission at the beginning of the season was to win a regular season title for the seniors. Was it attainable? Of course. But it didn’t happen. We may have lost to Army and Sacred Heart but we did better than most thought we would. The AHA regular season title was really for grabs. A title was attainable until Mercyhurst clinched during the second to last weekend of the regular season with a win at Niagra. Third to last game of the season. Mercyhurst and Air Force lived up to their expectations at the top of the standings. Bentley and UConn were predicted to finish in or near the bottom half of the league by coaches and writers.
Preseason poll: coaches and USCHO writers.
Final Standings Coach’s Poll USCHO
Mercyhurst T-2nd 1st
Bentley 9th 5th
Air Force T-2nd 3rd
Connecticut 6th 7th
Robert Morris 7th 8th
Niagara 1st 2nd
Canisius 4th 4th
Holy Cross 8th 9th
RIT 5th 6th
Sacred Heart 12th 12th
AIC 11th 10th
Army 10th 11th
The win over #9 Providence is historic. First win ever over a Top 10 D-I college hockey team. Some of us have been waiting a very long time to see that happen. We have a winning season in Cavanaugh’s first season.
To our advantage going into the AHA playoffs, Robert Morris is 0-2-1 in their last three games, 2-3-1 in their last six. They will be playing Army. We will likely be playing RMU in the quarterfinals at home, unless Army pulls of a monumental upset. Army is 2-2 in their past four, against UConn and Holy Cross. We may be 2-2 in the past four, as well. But that is probably an indictment of Bruce Marshall’s recruiting more than anything else, given the resources present at UConn. If Army wins, we’ll be playing the highest seed remaining from the first round.
We have not won a postseason hockey tournament since 2000. We were a 4 seed in the MAAC tournament that year, ironically. The hockey MAAC existed from 1997-2003, when Fairfield and Iona fielded D-I teams, then the AHA carried over most schools and added more teams, such as Army and Air Force, from 2003 till today. Our playing days within the AHA are in it’s last weeks. Hopefully, we come out victorious. We have yet to make it to the national championship tournament.
Going by probabilities, we have an 18% chance to make the tournament as a 16 seed and a less than 1% chance to make it as a 15 seed. Will not be seeded any higher. Mercyhurst has a 27% chance to make the tournament, Air Force has a 23% chance, Bentley has an 18% chance, and the team with the fifth best chance, RMU, has a 4% chance. The end of an era for UConn hockey is truly about to begin.
University of Connecticut senior guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) scored 26 points in his final home game, leading 19th-ranked UConn to a 69-63 win over Rutgers on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 10,167 at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies improve to 24-6 overall and 12-5 in conference place with the victory. This is the last regular season meeting between the teams as members of the American Athletic Conference as Rutgers will be heading to the Big 10 at the end of the season..
The UConn guard made a career-high seven 3-pointers and hit eight of his 13 shots from the floor.
Senior forward Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) added a career-high 16 points for the Huskies, who have won three in a row and seven of their last eight games.
Miles Mack scored 16 points for Rutgers (11-19, 5-11), which hasn’t beaten the Huskies in Storrs since 1972. Wally Judge added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Connecticut led by three points at halftime and held that lead at 56-53, before going on an 8-0 run. Two dunks by UConn sophomore forward Philip Nolan (Milwaukee, Wis.) made it 64-53 UConn and forced Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan to call a timeout.
The Scarlet Knights began chipping away at the lead, and cut the lead to 67-63 when Kadeem Jack stepped in front of a pass by junior forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) and made a dunk at the other end with a minute left in the game.
But Daniels blocked a layup attempt by Judge on Rutgers next possession and hit a free throw on the other end. Nolan then drew a charge on the baseline, and Napier sealed the game from the foul line as the fans chanted “M-V-P.”
UConn shot 47 percent from the field, while Rutgers hit on 44 percent, after making just one of their first nine shots, as the Huskies jumped out to an early 10-3 lead. Rutgers got hot after that, scoring the next eight points to take the lead.
The crowd got into the game after Connecticut freshman center Amida Brimah (Accra, Ghana) blocked a shot into the first row, and another one off the backboard, forcing a shot-clock violation on Rutgers. That sparked an 8-2 run that gave UConn a 27-20 advantage.
The teams started trading 3-pointers, hitting 14 of them before intermission.
Napier made 4 of 6 and Giffey was 3 of 6, helping UConn to a 34-31 lead at halftime. UConn finshed 12 of 25 from behind the arc. Rutgers was 8 of 18.
Connecticut came into the game with a remote shot at a share of the American Conference championship. They were in fourth place in the conference, a game behind SMU, a team that has beaten the Huskies twice.
Rutgers, the seventh seed in the conference tournament, hosts Cincinnati on Saturday.
Napier needs just two points to catch Kemba Walker and move into seventh place on the school’s all-time scoring list. His four assists Wednesday put him just nine behind coach Kevin Ollie for third place on that list.
The Huskies return to action Saturday when they face No. 11 Louisville on the road at the KFC Yum! Center. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and the game can be seen on CBS and heard on the UConn IMG Radio Network.
Reprinted with permission from UConnHuskies.com