<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Dog House]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/blogs/dog-house http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sat, 30 May 2015 18:51:11 -0400 Sat, 30 May 2015 18:51:11 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[VCU's Terry Larrier Transfers to UConn]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 14:00:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

It's not the conventional recruiting path, but adding transfer students has become an important roster-building tool for the Huskies in recent years. The latest: Former Virginia Commonwealth wing player Terry Larrier is headed to Storrs where he will be eligible for the 2016-17 season.

"It was my relationship with Kevin Ollie [that made the difference]," Larrier told Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "He recruited me in high school and our relationship is real good. He's just a good dude, a stand-up dude. We talk all the time. I think he's done a good job with the UConn program."

Coming out of high school, Larrier's choices were down to UConn and VCU, and after a year in Richmond -- and following coach Shaka Smart's departure to Texas -- Larrier is now joining the Huskies. In his only season with VCU, Larrier averaged 6.6 points and 3.0 rebounds and 18.5 minutes per game. It's similar to the path Rodney Purvis took to becoming a Husky. Originally one of his finalists, Purvis enrolled at NC State over UConn only to transfer after his freshman season.

Larrier joins Mamadou Diarra in the Huskies' class of 2016. Diarra is a 6-8 power forward who committed to the program last week.

Larrier and Diarra will arrive in Storrs a year after Jalen Adams and Steve Enoch, who will be freshmen this fall. But the Huskies will only have transfers Shonn Miller and Sterling Gibbs for the '15-16 season, which means there will be plenty of scholarships available in 2016.

As for next season, which will be the Huskies' first without Ryan Boatright, Ollie said this to the Hartford Courant: "It's going to be interesting. A lot of guys who can put the ball in the hole, and I think a lot of hungry guys. Everybody felt bad Selection Sunday when our name wasn't called and took that pain into the offseason."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Men's Basketball Team Earn Perfect APR Scores]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 10:59:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin-ollie-rim.jpg

It wasn't that long ago that the men's basketball team was banned from postseason play because of low APR scores. On Wednesday, the program was one of 12 university sports that posted perfect 1000 Academic Progress Rate scores during the 2013-14 academic year.

It was the second straight perfect score for Kevin Ollie's team. The women weren't far behind, posting an APR score of 975 to go along with a four-year score of 982.

"Our men's and women's basketball programs have shown the country that you can win multiple national championships and have outstanding academic success," Director of Athletics Warde Manuel said in a statement. "I want to commend head coaches Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma and their staffs for the outstanding work that they have done supporting their young men and women."

The 12 other Huskies teams with perfect APR scores in 2013-14: women's cross country, field hockey, men's golf, men's ice hockey, women's ice hockey, women's lacrosse, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, men's tennis and women's tennis.

And four teams had perfect four-year APR scores: field hockey, men's golf, men's tennis and women's tennis.

"All of our student-athletes in each of our 24 sports are committed to excellence in both academics and athletics," said Manuel. "I want to recognize all of them for the outstanding dedication that they show in the classroom each and every day at one of the most highly competitive universities in the country."

"I also want to acknowledge the outstanding faculty at the University and the dedication of our staff of the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes. They care deeply about the success of our student and are committed to helping them gain success in the classroom."

<![CDATA[AAC Updates 2015 Football Schedule]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 10:43:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+diaco+temple.jpg

The 2015 football season is some three months away, and on Wednesday the American Athletic Conference announced schedule updates for the new 12-team, two-division format. The start time and associated television networks are below (all times are Eastern, UConn games are in bold):

Thurs., Sept. 3: Villanova at Connecticut – 7:30 p.m., ESPN3/SNY
Fri., Sept. 4: Baylor at SMU – 7 p.m., ESPN
Sat., Sept. 5: Florida A&M at South Florida – 7 p.m., ESPN3
Alabama A&M at Cincinnati – 7 p.m., ESPN3
Towson at East Carolina – 6 p.m., ESPN3
Tennessee Tech at Houston – 8 p.m., ESPN3
Missouri State at Memphis – 7 p.m., ESPN3
Sat., Sept. 19: Furman at Central Florida – 6 p.m., ESPN3
Maine at Tulane – 8 p.m., ESPN3
Sat., Sept. 26: James Madison at SMU – 7 p.m., ESPN3
Fri., Oct. 2: Memphis at South Florida – 7 p.m., ESPN2
Thurs., Oct. 8: SMU at Houston – 8 p.m., ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 16: Houston at Tulane – 9 p.m, ESPNU
Thurs., Oct. 22: Temple at East Carolina – 7 p.m., ESPN2
Fri., Oct. 23: Memphis at Tulsa – 8 p.m., ESPN
Fri., Oct. 30: East Carolina at Connecticut – 7 p.m., ESPNU
Fri., Nov. 6: Temple at SMU – 8 p.m., ESPN2
Thurs., Nov. 19: East Carolina at Central Florida – 7:30 p.m., ESPN

The 2015 season is obviously an important one for second-year coach Bob Diaco, who will be looking to build on his inaugural two-win campaign, and more importantly, continue the process of rebuilding a program that has floundered in recent years. UConn kicks things off against Villanova on Sept. 3. You can view the entire schedule here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Foxx Gets Chance With Seahawks]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:45:04 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/deshon-foxx-2013.jpg

In the weeks leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, only one player from UConn garnered any attention: Byron Jones, the cornerback who was eventually selected in the first round by the Cowboys. But he wasn't the only former Husky to impress an NFL team.

Wide receiver Geremy Davis was a late-round pick of the Giants, and Deshon Foxx, a pass catcher and returner with speed to burn, caught the eye of the Seahawks after he didn't hear his name called during the three-day draft earlier his month.

In fact, 20 minutes after the draft concluded, the Seahawks called Foxx to invite him for a workout, which coincided with his graduation ceremony at UConn.

“I wasn’t able to walk,” Foxx told SNY.com's John Silver last week. “I graduated during practice. I was happy. I told my mom it might be a possibility. She said that was the only way she would be OK with it, if I am not walking.”

Foxx wasn't offered a contract, but the Seahawks told him to stay ready. And they weren't kidding. A week later, the team called again, and this time they signed Foxx to a deal.

“There is nothing more I can ask,” he said. “The NFL is a tough place to be. There is opportunity in Seattle and I was able to have a good mini camp and they called me back. ...“It is a blessing. The coaches were up here, they love each other and it’s a family.

“Hopefully I can make the roster. That’s what I am looking for now.”

<![CDATA[Mamadou Diarra Commits to UConn]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 11:39:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

When it comes to recruiting, it's been a good few weeks for the Huskies. On Friday, prep star Mamadou Diarra committed to UConn. The 6-8 power forward is Kevin Ollie's first commit for the class of 2016.

Details of how Diarra made his way onto UConn's radar via the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore:

UConn had become very interested in one of Diarra's teammates, guard Hamidou Diallo, but associate head coach Glen Miller, who works with the program's big men, spotted Diarra and had coach Kevin Ollie take a look. When Diarra went to the Huskies' game against Memphis on March 5, he was struck by Ollie's handling of players. When he returned for a visit in April, and played with some of the current players, Ollie saw enough and made him an offer he would not refuse.

"I feel like when [Ollie] tells you something, he means it," Diarra told the Courant. "He loves all his players. I believe that. … You see so many players transferring now; I don't want to be one of them."

Diarra would join Jalen Adams and Steve Enoch, who will be freshmen this fall, but the Huskies will only have transfers Shonn Miller and Sterling Gibbs for one season, which means there will be plenty of scholarships available in 2016. Amore writes that the Huskies have also been watching 6-8 Terry Larrier, who is transferring from VCU after his freshman season. Two years ago, Larrier chose VCU over UConn but with coach Shaka Smart leaving for Texas, Larrier will transfer. According to CBSSports.com, it's down to UConn and Maryland.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ollie Excited About New Faces]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 10:54:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

Kevin Ollie's Huskies went through a lot last season, most of which had to do with overcoming the loss of key players Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey and DeAndre Daniels. In the end, Ryan Boatright couldn't carry the load himself, and youth and inexperience proved to be too much.

Now, some two months after UConn's season ended, the team already appears to be in better shape. Boatright is gone, but freshman standout point guard Jalen Adams is on the way, as is Seton Hall transfer Sterling Gibbs, who scored averaged 16.7 points per game last season to go along with 3.8 assists. He also led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (45). There's also Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year Steven Enoch and Cornell transfer Shonn Miller.

Not surprisingly, Ollie likes how the roster is taking shape.

"I like the experience we have, especially with our young guys working very, very hard," the coach said Tuesday, via the Hartford Courant. "I like the new additions. I think we've got a very deep team, and guys are going to challenge each other every day in practice. That's what we want, that breeds success when everybody's competitive for minutes. ...

"It's going to be interesting," Ollie continued. "A of guys who can put the ball in the hole, and I think a lot of hungry guys. Everybody felt bad Selection Sunday when our name wasn't called and took that pain into the offseason."

Ollie, who was speaking at the Open Hearth's annual Overcomer Breakfast in Harford, also addressed the annual speculation about him leaving for an NBA job.

"I want to be your head basketball coach for a long, long time," he said. "Everybody's got these [theories]: I'm going here. I'm going there. ... I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere, because my family's first, and you guys are my family."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crozier Named to Remington Watch List]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 10:51:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+football_generic+shot.jpg

Earlier this month former UConn center Alex Mateas was the first overall pick in the CFL Draft. On Tuesday, the Huskies were celebrating sophomore center Ryan Crozier's selection to the Remington Watch List, which is awarded every season to the best center in college football.

Details via the press release:

Crozier played ten games last year as a true freshman on the offensive -- starting the final three at left guard. He was moved to the center position during 2015 spring practice.

Since its inception, the Remington Trophy has raised over $2.6 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $115 million for CF Research.

Dave Remington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.

Crozier played tackle and guard in at national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas HS. He helped the squad to a 10-3 record in 2013, including the top spot in the 7A District 15 standings. As a junior and senior, named Class 7A All-State second team.

Crozier is the only true sophomore to make the watch list.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Jefferson Excited About Representing USA]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 10:52:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP944992913622.jpg

Moriah Jefferson has quietly become one of the most dangerous players in the college game. Often, most of the attention is paid to Breanna Stewart, but Jefferson is the engine that makes that offense run smoothly. And now she's representing her country as part of the United States Pan-American Games, an honor, despite all the success, she's not taking for granted.

“I’m really happy to make the team and represent my country again,” Jefferson said, via SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “I’m looking forward to playing in the Pan-Am Games and playing with Stewie again. Playing with her is always exciting and always fun and it’s the third time in the last four summers that I’ve been able to do it.”

In addition to Stewart, Jefferson got to watch some of UConn's incoming freshman; Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier were recently named to U-19 national team that will play in the world championships later this summer.

“It looked like they were doing some real good things,” Jefferson said. “Katie Lou was knocking down shots and Napheesa and De’Janae (Boykin) were aggressive going for the ball. It already seems like they play really well together.”

It's hardly surprising that the Huskies will be prohibitive favorites to win their fourth straight national title next season.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gibbs Expects Huskies to Be Good in 2015-16]]> Mon, 18 May 2015 10:50:28 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

The Huskies will be a completely different team in 2015-16. Gone are Ryan Boatright (graduation) and Terrence Samuel (transfer), and in their places are incoming freshmen Jalen Adams and Steve Enoch, and transfers Shonn Miller and Sterling Gibbs.

Of the group, the explosive Adams has the most upside while Gibbs, who announced he was coming to UConn over the weekend, offers a proven track record after stops at Texas and Seton Hall.

With Boatright's departure comes a void at the point-guard position, one both Gibbs and Adams could fill.

"I'm a point guard, 100-percent," Gibbs said, via the New Haven Register. "I can score the ball, and the fact that I'm able to score, sometimes people may try to say, 'He's a combo, a two-guard.' But I'm a point guard who can score, and at the same I'm I'm able to get my teammates involved."

Gibbs averaged 16.7 points per game last season to go along with 3.8 assists. He also led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (45).

Gibbs also has high hopes for what UConn can do in 2015-16, after a disappointing effort last season.

"I think UConn can be really good," he said. The sky's the limit. It's not like anything's gonna be given to us. I know Coach Ollie's gonna push us to the limit, make sure we all jell together as one family, as a brotherhood."

It also doesn't hurt to play for a program that has a proven track record when it comes to churning out NBA-ready guards.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to come into a veteran team with a great coach and have the chance to make an impact,” Gibbs told SNY.tv. “The tradition of UConn and their guards speaks for itself.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sterling Gibbs Is Transferring to UConn]]> Mon, 18 May 2015 11:08:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP463092600188.jpg

Sterling Gibbs made it official over the weekend: He's headed to UConn. The former Seton Hall standout announced that he's transferring to play for Kevin Ollie and the Huskies, a move that gives a young UConn depth depth, experience and a scorer.

The 6-2 combo guard averaged 16.7 points per game last season to go along with 3.8 assists. He also led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (45).

 So why did Gibbs settle on UConn?

 "Overall, the coaches," he said, via the New Haven Register's David Borges. "It's a great coaching staff, great players, a seasoned team. Everything Coach Ollie has dealt with as far as guards. It's a UConn tradition, everything their guards have done throughout the years."

 "My favorite player has always been Marcus Williams. I used to watch all his games, even when he was on the Nets. The way he dished the ball and was also able to score a little bit. And, of course, Kemba (Walker) and Shabazz (Napier).

 Gibbs began his college career at Texas before transferring to Seton Hall. Last season was a rocky one for Seton Hall; the Pirated finished 16-15, the locker room was reportedly unsettled, and Gibbs was suspended two games for hitting Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono in the face with his forearm. 

Gibbs will join 6-7 Shonn Miller as the Huskies' second transfer this offseason. Miller played previously at Cornell, and he will also use his fifth year of eligibility in Storrs.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Proposal: Make Women's Game 4 Quarters]]> Mon, 18 May 2015 10:43:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geno-auriemma-nat-champs.jpg

On Friday, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee proposed and recommended that instead of two 20-minute halves, the women's game move to four 10-minute quarters. UConn coach Geno Auriemma has been a proponent of the change and, not surprisingly, he's happy it's being discussed seriously.

“What a great step forward for our game,” Auriemma said in a statement, via SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “As the game becomes more global each year, it’s important that we start the process toward standardizing the rules. This is just the beginning of what I hope are many other changes to improve this great game.”

Nothing's official until it's approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will convene via conference call on June 8. Still, it's a step in the right direction, one that could make the game better.

The rules committee is very excited about the change to the four-quarter format for the 2015-16 season,” said University of Richmond coach Michael Shafer, who is also the chair of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee. “We believe this change, along with the associated changes to the timeout and foul rules, will address flow of the game and physicality. The overall format will strengthen the connection of college basketball with women’s basketball globally.”

In the new format, team fouls would be reset to zero at the beginning of each quarter (currently, it's reset to zero at the beginning of each half).

<![CDATA[Boatright Looking to Impress at NBA Combine]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 10:25:40 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UConn-Cincinnati-Boatright.jpg

Ryan Boatright is the latest in a long line of outstanding point guards to make their way through UConn. Whether he can make the transition to the NBA -- like Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier most recently -- is the biggest question facing the diminutive playmaker.

It was a concern for scouts during Boatright's senior season and remains so as Boatright showcases his talents at the NBA combine in Chicago this week.  On Thursday, he scored 12 points and added two assists, a steal and a block in 25 minutes.

"I thought I played good for the minutes I played," he said, via the Hartford Courant. "I could have improved on the turnovers. I had two careless turnovers (three total). But overall I think we played good."

Boatright measured 5-10, 170 pounds at the combine, which is a shade under his the 6-0, 175 UConn had him at last season. Of course, being undersized won't matter if Boatright can convince NBA scouts, coaches and front-office execs that he can play. Which has been the plan all along.

"I think everybody knows I can score, everybody knows I can handle the ball," Boatright said. "I think the biggest question of NBA teams was that I was too small. I am showing that I can hold my own. And I am not even at the weight right now that I was during the season [he says he played at 152]. I am just proving that I'm not too small.

"I think I need to put on some weight. If I can put on some weight, it will make my game a lot easier and I won't get knocked off my spot as much. I can slow down a little more. There is always room for improvement. My jump shot, my ball-handling, there is always room for improvement."

One person who doesn't need convincing: Michigan St. coach Tom Izzo, who saw plenty of Boatright during the point guard's career.

"We played [UConn] the year before and they beat us," said Izzo, who was in attendance at the combine. "[Boatright] was unbelievable. He played so hard, he played well. He was so good defensively. Kevin [Ollie] did a great job with that team. Boatright played well against us, I can just tell you that. He played so good defensively it was scary."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Former Husky McCombs Signs With Argos]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 10:22:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/lyle-mccombs-michigan.jpg

Earlier this week, former UConn center Alex Mateas was the first overall pick in the 2015 CFL Draft. And now Mateas will be joined in the league by a former Huskies teammate: running back Lyle McCombs has signed with the Toronto Argonauts.

McCombs, who rushed for 1,115 yards as a UConn freshman, left the football program last June as the fourth-leading rusher in school history (2,681 yards). He also has 11 career 100-yard rushing games. New coach Bob Diaco made the decision to move on from McCombs, who played his final college season at Rhode Island, an FBS school. There he rushed for 663 yards (4.8 YPC) and scored five touchdowns.

Back in June 2014, Diaco said that McCombs, who was the centerpiece of the Huskies' offense for his first two seasons, had "not met the expectations set forth by the group and for that he won't be moving forward with us."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Recruit Boykin Taking Part in USA U-19 Trials]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 09:31:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geno-auriemma-nat-champs.jpg

Katie Lou Samuelson is the biggest name in a stacked 2015 incoming freshman class, and she has garnered most of the attention, but there are a group of playmakers headed to Storrs who will have a big role in helping the Huskies to their fourth straight national title.

And that brings us to De’Janae Boykin, the 6-2 forward who is currently taking part in USA Basketball’s U-19 national team trials in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“I have to show the selection committee that I’m a versatile player, that I can play inside and outside and I’ll play hard wherever they put me,” Boykin told SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “That’s what I’ve done before and I’m going to stick with that. I’ll do anything they want me to do. It’s an opportunity to make another national team and that’s exciting.”

Not surprisingly, Boykin won't be the only player in attendance with ties to UConn. She'll be joined by rising sophomore Gabby Williams, along with incoming freshmen Napheesa Collier and -- yep, you guessed it -- Samuelson, and 2016 UConn commitment Crystal Dangerfield.

Boykin played in just six games as a high school senior because of a wrist injury and now she'll go up against older, more experienced players.

“I didn’t get to play a lot during my high school season and right now I’m excited to be healthy and back out there,” Boykin said. “It’s going to be great competition going against the college players but it’s not something I’m going to think about and worry about. All you can do is give your best.”

Whatever happens in Colorado, in a few months, Boykin will be trying to help the Huskies defend their title. Which means she will be playing alongside Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck.

I’m sure me, Katie Lou, and Napheesa will be asking them questions and we’ll be trying to get to know them better,” Boykin said. “They deserve a fourth championship and we’re going to do whatever we can to help them get that fourth one, and our first, and keep it rolling. I’m sure they’ll let us know what is expected of us.”

<![CDATA[UConn's Mateas No. 1 Pick in CFL Draft]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 09:29:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+football_generic+shot.jpg

Former UConn center Alex Mateas has been considered a top CFL prospect since last season and on Tuesday he became the first Husky to be taken first overall in the CFL Draft.

"It is a great honor," Mateas said, via the New Haven Register's Jim Fuller. "This draft is packed with offensive linemen so it could have gone either way so I am excited they picked me and it is a great honor to be picked No. 1. Being drafted to your home city, you couldn't ask for anything better.

"It is time to focus on what we do and our job and that is to play pro football so it is now to get back to the grind."

Mateas, who grew up in Ottawa, Ont., was drafted by his hometown team, the Ottawa Redblacks.

"The opportunity to represent my home city and play football on the same field that I used to play soccer on as a kid is surreal," he said, via UConn's website. "I look forward to contributing any way possible to the team and to bring a Grey Cup back to Ottawa."

Mateas wasn't selected in the NFL Draft, held earlier this month, but he did have a tryout with the Jets. He went unsigned and now his football-playing future is in Canada.

And the Redblacks couldn't be happier.

"When you take into account Alex's abilities on the field, his durability, the level of competition that he played against as well as his integrity and intelligence, the selection of Alex was an easy decision," said Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins. "Add the fact that Ottawa is home and this is where he wants to be makes this the perfect selection."

Mateas becomes the seventh UConn player to be drafted into the CFL.

2015: Alex Mateas, OL Ottawa (Round 1, Pick 1)
2013: Jesse Joseph, DE Montreal (3, 23)
2011: Moe Petrus, OL Hamilton (2, 10)
2009: Martin Bedard, TE Montreal (2, 14)
2006: DE Shawn Mayne, Hamilton (3, 18)
2006: DL Jason Ward, British Columbia (6 ,48)
2004: WR O'Neil Wilson, Montreal (3, 25)

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Geremy Davis Signs With Giants]]> Mon, 11 May 2015 09:18:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geremy-davis-catch.jpg

It's official: Geremy Davis has signed his four-year contract with the Giants. Now all he needs to do is make the team. And while that's a 50/50 proposition at best for sixth-round picks, the Giants liked Davis' skills so much that they thought about drafting him a round earlier.

"He's a player who we discussed in the fifth round and almost took then," Chris Mara, the Giants senior vice president of player evaluation, told TheMMQB.com. "Big, strong, tough kid. He's more of a possession guy, but he's got a special teams temperament also."

But it wasn't just Davis' size and good hands that caught the Giants' eye. It was also his ability to contribute in other areas like special teams.

"This guy is a big guy who is strong, competitive and more of a possession type receiver, even though he ran really fast at his pro day," vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross said, via NJ.com. "He is more of a possession type. He catches the ball. A big guy like that is going to make it as your fourth receiver and special teams player if you want to say the Tyree role. Preston Parker did it for us last year.

There are worse things than being known as guy who brought down the then-undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII back in February 2008.

"You need those utility backup guys to help you win," Ross continued. "Be ready. Be prepared. If you get in the game, make a catch and play on all the core special teams. Every team needs has to have those kinds of guys to win and that is what we think this guy can do."

<![CDATA[Auriemma Happy With US Team Workouts]]> Mon, 11 May 2015 09:16:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geno-auriemma-nat-champs.jpg

Geno Auriemma and Team USA held training camps last week ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, an early opportunity for 24 players and the coaching staff to get reacquainted with each other well ahead of next summer's competition.

“We wanted to come in and have a competitive camp for three days,” Auriemma said, via SNY.com Carl Adamec. “We got to see where the veterans are and to see if they still have it and to see where some of the younger guys are and if they fit in to the level they need to get to. I thought we did all that and accomplished a great deal.”

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of familiar faces, including rising UConn senior Breanna Stewart, just-drafted-into-the-WNBA Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, and UConn grads Maya Moore, Sue Bird, Stefanie Dolson, Bria Hartley and Diana Taurasi (who didn't participate because of a wrist injury).

“The weather was great, the restaurants were great, the golf course was great, and the players were pretty good,” Auriemma, laughing. “The older guys are in-between seasons, coming off their European seasons and getting ready for what’s coming up in the WNBA. They were just here to compete a little bit.”

In addition to getting the veterans back in the swing of the upcoming international competition, it was also an opportunity for younger players to catch Auriemma's eye for the future.

“That’s the case for most of these younger guys,” Auriemma said. “Let’s say all the guys that played in the world championships last year want to come back, some tough decisions are going to have to be made on how to incorporate the new guys. There aren’t many spots available if the veterans still have the ability and they’re healthy.

“The young guys had their moments here. One day some of them were really good, on another day some of them were OK, on another day some of them struggled. The thing with the young players is they struggle with how physical everybody on the floor is and they’re not used to that. They’re used to being the best athlete or the quickest or the strongest. This was a good learning experience for them and they handled themselves great.”

In fact, two of Auriemma's current players -- Stewart and Moriah Jefferson -- will take part in the World University/Pan Am Games trials later this week.

<![CDATA[Geremy Davis Happy for Chance to Prove Himself]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 10:47:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geremy-davis-catch.jpg

As the draft wound down, Geremy Davis admits that he was getting nervous. By it's very nature, the NFL Draft is a crap shoot, first-round talents slip, little known names get drafted earlier than expected, and sometimes sure-fire players end up not hearing their names called at all.

“I was so excited. Thank God I got to see my phone ring,” Davis said, via SNY.com's John Silver. “I was getting so antsy. I was getting sick of looking at my phone.”

One of the biggest issues facing Davis as the draft approached was whether he was fast enough to play in the NFL. His size and ability to catch the ball were well known, but if he couldn't get open he'd be of little use at the next level. It's why some pre-draft conversations had him moving to tight end.

But then Davis ran a 4.47 at his pro day.

“The [tight end] talk was because they weren’t sure how fast I was,” he said. “As of right now, I haven’t heard talk of tight end. I think it was in terms of how fast I was going to run.”

And now that he's plenty fast Davis hopes that's the last he hears of the tight end talk. Still, he knows there's plenty of work to be done, especially when it comes to setting up and beating NFL defensive backs.

“I know from a speed standpoint, it helps. I will keep on improving from that standpoint and enhancing all my techniques,” Davis said. “I can catch the ball in traffic. Speed helps if you mess up technique. ...

“From a receiver setup, I am a big receiver and physical and I can hep out in the blocking game. “I’m capable of using my body to shield the defender and to make catches.”

The Giants will get their first glimpse of that when minicamp starts.

<![CDATA[Seven UConn Players Headed to NFL Camps]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 10:38:32 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ByronJones.jpg

In addition to Byron Jones (Cowboys first-round pick) and Geremy Davis (Giants sixth-round pick), five other players with ties to UConn will be making appearances this weekend at NFL minicamps.

Defensive lineman D.J. McBryde signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent while defensive end Reuben Frank (Lions), wide receiver Deshon Foxx (Seahawks), center Alex Mateas (Jets) and quarterback Chandler Whtimer (Eagles) head to camp on a tryout basis.

Jones is obviously the best known player of the bunch; he missed much of his senior season with a shoulder injury but he blew the doors off the February combine and his pro day and the Cowboys ended up taking him with the 27th overall pick.

Davis was one of the Huskies' most consistent players, no easy chore on an offense that lacked punch for most of his career. But his size and good hands made him an attractive late-round choice for the Giants, and he'll have an opportunity to win a spot on the 53-man roster.

McBryde, who had 33 tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss in his career, admitted that wanted to play for the Eagles, a fact the NFL team made clear in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Mataeas is also considered one of the top prospects in the CFL Draft, Foxx is a burner who can run past anybody, Frank has the size (248 pounds) and speed (4.7 40 time) defensive coordinators look for in outside linebackers, and Whitmer has FBS experience as a starting quarterback.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Auriemma Talks Mosqueda-Lewis, Stokes]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 10:37:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kaleena+mosqueda+lewis+uconn.jpg

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will begin her WNBA career in Seattle while former UConn teammate Kiah Stokes will do the same in New York, and Geno Auriemma thinks both programs are good fits for two players that played big roles in the Huskies' recent championship run.

“I think they both ended up in good spots,” Auriemma told SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “K is in with a young coach who’s trying to build a program. Kiah’s in with a team that she can do the things that she does. I think Kiah and K can end up being very successful.”

The Storm have standout point guard Sue Bird, and they also drafted Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd with the first-overall pick (Mosqueda-Lewis went No. 3).

“Hopefully the two of them can grow together alongside Sue. They’re all different as people and players as I think that’s good. So, it’s a great spot for K.”

Meanwhile, Stokes will join former Husky Tina Charles in New York.

“Tina will draw a lot of the attention there,” Auriemma said. “So Kiah doesn’t have to go in and be that franchise-type player. She can learn and grow and having a player like Tina around will help her do that."

But the biggest difference for Mosqueda-Lewis, a born scorer, will be her ability to become a better defender against the best players in the world.

“Defense is something that every single player has to work on,” former Husky Bria Hartley, who graduated in 2014, told Adamec. “Kaleena will do that and playing against great players will help her. Offensively, she doesn’t have to be a highlight reel. She needs to get open and make shots. There are enough playmakers around her there like Sue, Renee, Jewell, that will get her open shots. And having a great leader like Sue around will make the transition easier for her.”

<![CDATA[UConn Guard Terrence Samuel to Transfer]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 10:53:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/483295983.jpg

Terrence Samuel, a sophomore guard for the University of Connecticut Men's Basketball Team, will transfer at the end of the spring semester, according to a news release from the athletic department.

Samuel, who lives in Brooklyn, started eight of the 65 games he played during his two years at the university, averaging 3.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, athletic department officials said.

He averaged 4.5 points per game during six of the 2014 NCAA tournament games, helping the Huskies secure the national title. Samuel played all 35 games of the 2015 season and averaged 3.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

"Terrence has been a player who has always given his best on the court and in the classroom," UConn Coach Kevin Ollie said in a statment Thursday. "We thank him for his contributions to the program and wish him good luck and much success in all his future endeavors."

It's not clear where he's going.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn's Lenehan Wins AAC Academic Honor]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 20:14:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/483304481.jpg

Three UConn student-athletes were honored Tuesday by the American Athletic Conference for outstanding academic and athletic achievement during the last academic year. One of those student-athletes, Patrick Lenehan, a member of Kevin Ollie's basketball team, was named 2014-2015 Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

More details via UConn's website:

Lenehan, a 6-3 guard, is a former walk-on who earned a UConn scholarship in the 2014-15 campaign. He has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA as a molecular and cell biology major and intends to pursue a medical career with a specialty in cancer research. A Rhodes Scholar finalist, he has already been accepted to medical school at Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Columbia and UConn.

Lenehan has received some of the highest academic honors UConn can bestow, including the Goldwater Scholarship, the Presidential Scholars Award Scholarship, the UTC Academic Scholarship, and he has been recognized as a Babbidge Scholar. He is the second UConn player to win a conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining two-time Big East Scholar-Athlete winner Emeka Okafor (2002-03, 2003-04).

According to the press release, all nominees must have maintained no lower than a 3.0 grade point average, must have competed in an AAC-sponsored sport, and must be a senior.

In addition to Lenehan, UConn volleyball's Amy Christensen and men's swimming and diving's Sawyer Franz were named as 2014-15 American Athletic Conference Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarship winners.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Sterling Gibbs to Visit UConn]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 20:13:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP463092600188.jpg

Seton Hall transfer Sterling Gibbs, who has whittled his list of prospective landing spots, has planned a visit to UConn, according to the ZagsBlog.com's Adam Zagoria. Gibbs, a 6-2 combo guard, averaged 16.7 points per game last season to go along with 3.8 assists. He also led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (45).

The six remaining schools vying for Gibbs' talents: Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Baylor, N.C. State, VCU and the Huskies. According to his brother Ashton Gibbs, Sterling is currently in Pittsburgh, he's expected to head to Ohio State sometime Thursday, and he'll visit UConn next week.

Gibbs began his college career at Texas before transferring to Seton Hall. Last season was a rocky one for Seton Hall; the Pirated finished 16-15, the locker room was reportedly unsettled, and Gibbs was suspended two games for hitting Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono in the face with his forearm.

If the Huskies land him, Gibbs would join 6-7 Shonn Miller as the second transfer this offseason. Miller played previously at Cornell, and he will also use his fifth year of eligibility in Storrs.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Former Husky BJ McBryde Signs With Eagles]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 20:13:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+football_generic+shot.jpg

Over the weekend at the 2015 NFL Draft, UConn cornerback Byron Jones was a first-round pick of the Cowboys, and wide receiver Geremy Davis went to the Giants in the sixth round. And while former teammate B.J. McBryde wasn't one of the 256 college players to hear his name called, he'll still have an opportunity to fulfill his NFL dream because the Eagles have signed him as an undrafted free agent.

Despite interests from seveal teams, McBryde was sold on the Eagles from jump street.

“I have been wanted to be with them from the start, this whole process this is the team I wanted,” he said, via the New Haven Register. “They were at the top of my list. This is like a dream come true. I am glad I ended up where I did.

“I am getting ready to prove that I can play this sport at the next level, which is what I have been wanting to do for a while.”

The Eagles didn't hide the fact that they liked McBryde, working him out during UConn's pro day in March.

"I got to work out with the D-line coach, some real nice work, change of direction stuff," McBryde said last week, via the Hartford Courant. "Did some things we did on pro day, some were part of the Eagles' defense and I enjoyed it. The type of defense they run, they said it fits me well, and I would have to agree. I feel like I would enjoy playing in that defense. I was really excited to see Philly come in the picture."

Details on McBryde's college career, via the school's website:

he 6'5 defensive tackle finished his UConn career after playing in 30 contests over the last four seasons, including all 12 with eight starts as a senior in 2014. McBryde recorded 33 tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss in his career, with a career-best 26 stops last season. He also added a pass deflection and has a career-high six tackles at USF on Sept. 19.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Did Homework on Byron Jones]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 09:36:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/471750938.jpg

Seven months ago, UConn was in the midst of a two-win season and Byron Jones' college career was already over thanks to a shoulder injury. On Friday, Jones was the 27th pick in the NFL Draft, thanks to the Cowboys, a team in desperate need of secondary help.

And while some in the national media consider Jones the beneficiary of a strong offseson workouts, NFL scouts, coaches and general manager know that Jones is a top-flight football player, long before he opened eyes with his ridiculous broad jump and vertical leap at February's combine. Take the team that drafted him, for example.

"We probably knew as much on him as anybody in the draft,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, via SNY.com. “Pasqualoni coached him and we had a scout who knew his position coaches and felt real good about our evaluation of Byron.

“He played two years as a safety and as well as what he can do at corner. So, that was pretty prominent in our decision to take him. It was hard waiting. But, it worked out for us. we were fortunate when you put in the cross hairs our team needs, type of player he is, our coaches were particularly on the table for him during our evaluation process.”

The Cowboys were so high on Jones that they weren't sure he'd last till the end of the first round.

"We had him rated high on our board,” Jerry Jones conceded. “He was in our top 15 and 16 players on the board.” There’s an urge as you watch 26 players roll out, there is an urge (to trade up). But that is the art of the process. Seriously, that’s the anxiety that is involved. We didn’t see a lot of trading possibilities, but we were keeping our eyes open in case a real bargain came along.”

And there's no easy Jones into the big pool. The Cowboys will throw him in the deep end and see what happens.

“We anticipate him starting out as a corner," Jerry Jones said. "Depending on health of secondary, moving him to safety is realistic.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Draft WR Geremy Davis]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 09:34:25 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geremy-davis-catch.jpg

It's long been known that cornerback Byron Jones would be drafted, the only question was how high. The Cowboys answered that question when they selected him 27th overall, joining running back Donald Brown as the only former Husky to go in the first round.

But five rounds later, Jones' teammate Geremy Davis heard his name called too. The Giants selected the wide receiver with the 186th pick.

"It's a blessing to be in the NFL," Davis told the Hartford Courant. "When I saw my name on the screen I was so happy. God is good."

Davis, who was one of UConn's most consistent players during his career, didn't care that he had to wait until Saturday to hear his name called.

"It didn't matter. I just wanted an opportunity to prove myself and I have that but regardless of where you're picked you're going to have to come in and work," Davis said. "I'm just glad the Giants gave me an opportunity."

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Davis leaned on former coach T.J. Weist to help him improve every aspect of his game.

"[He] helped me a lot; I love that guy and still talk to him to this day," Davis told the Hartford Courant last week. "He's just a technician and you see how many wideouts he dealt with and helped contribute to their game. He did the same thing when he came to UConn, from the little things — from a stance standpoint, how to catch the ball, where to tuck the ball away from the defender — and a bunch of other things. All of it has helped my game so much from where it was."

Now Weist couldn't be happier for Davis.

"His unselfish character and humility allow him to be grateful for the chance to show what kind of player he is," Weist said. "He knows this is his opportunity and he's going to take full advantage of it. The Giants got a great player and an even better man. I'm very proud of his play on the field and even more of how he lives his life."

Davis is expected to meet his knew employers on Thursday.

"I never talked to them throughout this whole process, but I'm glad they were watching me from afar," Davis said. "I'm just really excited right now."

<![CDATA[Report: Sterling Gibbs Could Be Headed to UConn]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 09:32:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP463092600188.jpg

The Huskies are a team in transition. They're not necessarily rebuilding, but with Ryan Boatright headed for the NBA, and an upperclassman leadership void, coach Kevin Ollie has his work cut out for him.

Freshman point guard Jalen Adams will help immediately, and the hope is that Sterling Gibbs can do the same -- with the added bonus of the veteran leadership me mentioned above. Gibbs announced last week that he's leaving Seton Hall to play his fifth year elsewhere. According to 247 Sports, elsewhere will be UConn.

The 6-2 combo guard averaged 16.7 points per game last season to go along with 3.8 assists. He also led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (45).

Gibbs began his college career at Texas before transferring to Seton Hall. Last season was a rocky one for Seton Hall; the Pirated finished 16-15, the locker room was reportedly unsettled, and Gibbs was suspended two games for hitting Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono in the face with his forearm.

"We didn't want to do this, but it was just a tough situation,"Gibbs' father, Temple Gibbs, told the Asbury Park Press. "It was something he felt he had to do for his state of mind."

Gibbs would join 6-7 Shonn Miller as the Huskies' second transfer this offseason. Miller played previously at Cornell, and he will also use his fifth year of eligibility in Storrs.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cowboys Compare Jones to McCourty]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 10:42:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/byron-jones-cowboys-1st.jpg

It's been a meteoric rise for Byron Jones, whose final college season was cut short because of a shoulder injury. On Thursday night, the former Huskies cornerback went to the Dallas Cowboys with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

And while it's unfair to call Jones, who lit up the combine and his pro day, a workout warrior, it's understandable why the national media hadn't heard much about him until February. But the Cowboys were well aware of Jones and they have confidence that he'll upgrade a secondary that struggled much of last season.

"You've got to have guys who cover in this league," Stephen Jones, the Cowboys' executive vice president, said, via ESPN.com. "Certainly, Jones helps us out here. He's a big, tall corner and you don't get taller at corner unless you pick them tall. He certainly can do it and we feel good about him if he's playing corner and we feel good about him if he's playing free safety. And I think the McCourty analogy is good."

That would be Devin McCourty, the Patriots former first-round pick who had success early in his career at cornerback before moving to safety, where he's now one of the top players at that position. And it sounds like the Cowboys could have similar plans for Jones.

"A lot of times you project to another position. He has the physical traits to play safety even though he's played cornerback the last few years," coach Jason Garrett said. "What he gives us is you see him play free safety for two years with two good cornerbacks when he was a younger player. ... I do believe it's a realistic projection for him to play cornerback and also play free safety. He has the athletic ability, the experience and he's one of those guys with great upside."

Jones was the fourth cornerback taken in the first round, and he's the second UConn player to go in the first round after running back Donald Brown was selected by the Colts back in 2009.

<![CDATA[UConn Football Unveils New Uniforms, Helmets]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:28:19 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/new+uconn+helmet_1200.jpg

For the second time in three years, the UConn football team will have a new look. According to the school, Bob Diaco's Huskies will sport new helmets and uniforms in 2015.

"The new look is sporty and sleek while maintaining a traditional, collegiate feel," the school said in a press release.

You can judge for yourself below.


And here are more photos. The Huskies will officially unveil these (sigh) puppies in the Sept. 3 season-opener against Villanova.

Photo Credit: UConn Huskies/YouTube
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<![CDATA[Vegas Gives Huskies 50/1 Odds to Win Title]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:01:38 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin-ollie-rim.jpg

Longs odds have never meant much to the Huskies. The last two national championship teams (2011 and 2014) weren't highly thought of heading into the season. In fact, no one paid them much attention midway through the season either. It wasn't until they caught fire in the conference and NCAA Tournaments that people took notice.

So with that in mind, here are the extremely early odds for the 2016 national champion, courtesy of Bovada:

Duke: 10/1
Kentucky: 10/1
Michigan State: 10/1
North Carolina: 10/1
Maryland: 14/1
Kansas: 16/1
Iowa State: 18/1
Virginia: 18/1
Arizona: 20/1
Gonzaga: 20/1

So UConn isn't in the top 10, which certainly seems reasonable given how last season unfolded. But they're not as far down the list as you might expect. As of this week, they're 30th, with 50/1 odds, which is up from 75/1 odds they were looking at on April 8.

Of course, this means little six months out from actual basketball, but it doesn't point to the Huskies' need play more consistently next season, a chore that gets even tougher when you include trying to replace Ryan Boatright. The hope is that freshman Jalen Adams can help fill that role.

<![CDATA[UConn Football Ranks Near Bottom in FBS]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:13:08 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bob-diaco-boise-state-sept.jpg

If anyone can save UConn's football program it's Bob Diaco. The problem -- and this is something he's pointed out pretty much since arriving on campus in Dec. 2013 -- is that it's a multi-year process.

Last year's two-win season offered a glimpse of what fans could be in -- in the near term, at least -- and unless the Huskies find a quarterback, we could see more of the same in 2015. Which explains why the Orlando Sentinel's preseason FBS rankings have the Huskies at 120th in the nation. As has been the case in recent years, team strengths lie on the defensive side of the ball -- "... the team welcomes Florida State transfer E.J. Levenberry to join experienced linebackers Marquise Vann and Vontae Diggs."

Meanwhile, questions remain on offense, particularly at -- you guessed it -- quarterback.

"The lack of a true starting quarterback will undoubtedly be the biggest issue for the Huskies to tackle in August along with addressing the passing game following the loss of Geremy Davis, who tallied 2,292 career yards and seven touchdowns at UConn, depth at the running back position and continuity on the offensive line."

Not surprisingly, the outlook is decidedly grim heading into next season, which shouldn't come as a surprise to people paying attention.

"UConn still faces a long climb toward joining the conference elite and a tough schedule certainly won’t do much to help the win column," the Sentinel explained. "Seven of the first nine opponents on the Huskies’ 2015 schedule boasted winning records last season. UConn’s nonconference schedule is challenging, with road contests against BYU, Missouri and a home game against Army."

That doesn't mean Diaco won't continue the rebuilding process, just that these things take time.

<![CDATA[Geremy Davis Hoping for NFL Shot]]> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:53:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/geremy-davis-catch.jpg

Cornerback Byron Jones could be the only UConn player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, which runs from April 30-May 1. But wide receiver Geremy Davis, who had a solid college career under some trying circumstances -- namely, playing in one of the least productive offenses among FBS schools -- could be a pleasant surprise for the NFL team that gives him a shot.

To prepare for the unknown -- Davis will likely be a late-round pick and he may even go undrafted -- the former Huskies standout has been seeking advice from his former Huskies offensive coordinator, T.J. Weist.

"[He] helped me a lot; I love that guy and still talk to him to this day," Davis told the Hartford Courant. "He's just a technician and you see how many wideouts he dealt with and helped contribute to their game. He did the same thing when he came to UConn, from the little things — from a stance standpoint, how to catch the ball, where to tuck the ball away from the defender — and a bunch of other things. All of it has helped my game so much from where it was."

Under Weist's tutelage, Davis caught 71 passes for 1,085 yards and three touchdowns in 2013. But Weist wasn't retained after the season and Davis, who battled through injuries in 2014, wasn't nearly as productive.

"Geremy is hungry," Weist told the Courant. "And when I say hungry, I'm talking about guys who will work. Guys who will truly work on their own, work at their craft, because when you get to the league, that's the best talent in the world and the best ones work harder than anybody. If you don't have that work ethic, you don't have that hunger, you're going to get left behind. There's so many examples of great athletes who get left behind because the game doesn't mean enough to them, and they don't work hard enough or work hard in the offseason, but I truly believe Geremy Davis has that hunger and fire and love of the game to succeed."

In a draft where several top prospects can't seem to steer clear of trouble, Davis is appreciative of the opportunity, one he doesn't plan to squander.

"I've been waiting all my life," he said. "Growing up, I just wanted the opportunity, but to actually have the opportunity now ... I'm just being patient and trusting in God that wherever I end up I'll make the best of it."

<![CDATA[Byron Jones Still Flying Under Radar]]> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:35:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/byron+jones+uconn+cornerback.jpg

Not many people outside the American Athletic Conference know exactly what to make of Byron Jones. After a mind-blowing workout at the February NFL Combine, he's been labeled a "workout warrior," mostly because most folks on the national stage don't watch a lot of UConn football.

And we get that -- it's not the SEC, or the Big Ten or the ACC, and Saturdays in the fall are devoted to those teams in those conferences. But that doesn't make Jones anymore workout warrior than Marcus Mariota or Todd Gurley. The only difference is that those of us who were watching -- and that includes the man who recruited him -- have known for some time that Jones is a special player, a fact that we didn't need confirmed by a 40-yard dash or a broad jump.

"He had that injury, and he still put in the work and showed what he was able to do," former UConn coach Randy Edsall, now the coach at Maryland, told Sporting News. "It doesn’t surprise me. I knew he was a really hard worker. ... "He's a kid that hasn’t changed in the five years since we recruited him. You want a lot of guys like Byron Jones on your team."

Jones is listed at 6-1, and his athleticism makes him attractive to, well, all 32 teams. The only question is whether he will be a first-round pick.

"You see the trend shifting over to bigger and longer cornerbacks," Sherman told Rolling Stone recently. That definitely plays in my favor, kind of like I came at the right time. But yeah, you use your length as much as you can at the line of scrimmage, use your size, obviously that length and size becomes an advantage when the ball is up in the air: you can go up and get it. I'm just excited to get an opportunity to play in a league where the trend is going over to longer cornerbacks."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[UConn-Syracuse to Renew Rivalry]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:44:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+diaco+temple.jpg

UConn and Syracuse last played football in 2012, when both were members of the Big East Conference. The Orange has since moved on to the AAC while the Huskies are now in the AAC.

But the two old rivals will be reuniting again on the gridiron over the coming years, according to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy.

The details: Syracuse would come to Rentschler Field in 2016 and the Huskies would travel to upstate New York in 2018 for the return trip.

More from CollegeFootballTalk.com:

Syracuse will not meet its ACC power conference scheduling requirement with this series, but the requirement has already been met for 2016 with Notre Dame in MetLife Stadium and 2018 against the Irish in South Bend.

UConn leads the all-time series over Syracuse, 6-3.

According to SNY.com's John Silver, the Huskies' schedules are now set for 2016 and 2017 with two games needed in each of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons. "There is also a yet to be scheduled home-and-home series with Tennessee," Silver writes. "The game were agreed too long before the conference realignment circus and while the contracts remain in place, the dates are TBD."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Former UConn C Alex Mateas Top CFL Prospect]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:40:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+football_generic+shot.jpg

UConn cornerback Byron Jones could be a first-round pick in this week's NFL Draft. He will also likely be the only Huskies player to hear his name called over the three-day event. But when the CFL holds its annual draft next month, former UConn center Alex Mateas could be one of the first players off the board.

According to the CFL's final Scouting Bureau rankings, Mateas is the third-best prospect behind Rice defensive lineman Christian Covington and UNLV offensive lineman Brett Boyko. Yale running back Tyler Varga is fourth.

Mateas, a redshirt senior from Ottawa, Ontario, started all 12 games at center for the Huskies last season. He's also excited about the prospect of playing professionally in Canada. "That would unbelievable, it would be just a dream come true," he said back in December. "I am going to take everything I learned here, apply it to whatever happens to the future."

According to the New Haven Register, scouts from Calgary and Toronto were at UConn's Pro Day last moth.

Varga, meanwhile, had a good showing at the January Senior Bowl and is currently preparing for the NFL Draft.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Ollie Reiterates He's Staying at UConn]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:13:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

A short time after UConn coach Kevin Ollie said he had no plans to leave UConn, the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder fired coach Scott Brooks. Rumors persisted, however, that Ollie could be an option for the Thunder, which prompted the coach to tweet Thursday, "Everybody has their sources but this is the only source I need. #FamilyFirstAlways. #UConnluv."

An hour later, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, said that Ollie went so far as to remove himself from consideration for the Thunder job.

The Hartford Courant's Dom Amore reports that, despite reports that Ollie remained interested in the Thunder job after stating otherwise, there had been no communication between the NBA club and the Huskies coach. "But there are back-channel things going on," the source added.

Either way, Ollie, who signed a five-year, $15 million contract last May, is staying put. And his response this week is similar to the one he issued last summer, when rumors first surfaced about his NBA coaching prospects.

"I don't know about the future," Ollie said at the time. "The only thing I can do is take care of today. I got a five-year contract, and I believe I'm going to be here all five years. That's my motto, that's where I want to be at. I want to be here with my family. I want to see my daughter graduate high school here in Connecticut. And whatever happens is going to happen. There's going to be speculation ever year, but the kids know that I have their back, their best interest in mind."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Football Still in Rebuilding Mode]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:11:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/bob-diaco-boise-state-sept.jpg

SBNation rolled out a UConn football preview this week and thorough doesn't begin to describe it. Kudos to Bill Connelly for the exhaustive effort. Unfortunately, a team that we've all known to be in rebuilding mode well before coach Bob Diaco arrived on the scene in December 2013, remains so after his first full season yielded just two wins.

The issues haven't changes -- starting with finding a starting quarterback -- but Connelly does offer some hope by looking at other FBS programs that saw surprising success under new coaches entering their second season.

"There were second-year surges last year -- Sonny Dykes at California, Bret Bielema at Arkansas, Dave Doeren at NC State, Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech, Sean Kugler at UTEP," Connelly wrote on Wednesday. "On average, these five went from three wins and an F/+ ranking of 103rd in 2013 to seven wins and 51st in 2014. None of the five was expected to do as well as he did. That's the Year Zero effect."

Sadly, Connelly doesn't expect that same good fortune to shine on the Huskies in 2015.

"Is there potential for a similar rise at UConn? Probably not. If the running game catches hold, then there's possible for improvement into the 90s or so on offense, and if the run defense improves as I expect, then maybe the defense will creep back into the 50s or 60s in Def. S&P+. Average that out, and maybe this becomes a top-80 team."

Hey, it's better than going backwards -- though, to be fair, UConn ranked near the bottom of all FBS programs in most major categories last season. That said, if you're a glass-half-full type, Connelly does expect some improvement, even if it's marginal at best.

But that's too big a leap to count on, especially considering how bad the offense has been for going on five years now. The odds are much better than UConn improves to around 100th, and while that's something you can build off of, it won't result in many 2015 wins, not with only four opponents who ranked worse than 73rd last year."

None of this would come as a surprise to Diaco, we'd imagine. He's been preaching longer than anyone that this wasn't an easy rebuilding project. The question now becomes whether the Huskies can get better -- even if incrementally -- this season and beyond.

<![CDATA[Coach Kevin Ollie Says He Has No Plans to Leave UConn]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:01:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin-ollie-rim.jpg

For the second consecutive offseason, UConn coach Kevin Ollie has been mentioned as a possible NBA coaching candidate. And for the second consecutive offseason, Ollie had to reiterated that his allegiances lie in Storrs, with the Huskies basketball program.

“As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities," Ollie said on Wednesday in a statement released by the university.

"We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom, and in our community.”

Last week, Yahoo.com reported that Ollie could be a candidate for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder job should the team decide to part ways with incumbent Scott Brooks. On Monday, SNY.com's Adam Zagoria wrote that, according to sources, Ollie was being “seriously considered” for the Thunder job. 

Ten months ago we heard similar rumors, and Ollie issued a statement to assuage concerns about his coaching plans.

"I want to be here at UConn," he said at the time.

"I don't know about the future," he admitted. "The only thing I can do is take care of today. I got a five-year contract, and I believe I'm going to be here all five years. That's my motto, that's where I want to be at. I want to be here with my family. I want to see my daughter graduate high school here in Connecticut. And whatever happens is going to happen. There's going to be speculation ever year, but the kids know that I have their back, their best interest in mind."

A month before Ollie made those comments, UConn signed him to a new five-year, $15 million contract, which made him the highest-paid coach in the American Athletic Conference.

<![CDATA[Williams Looking to Get Better This Offseason]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:03:39 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP263777918388.jpg

Gabby Williams had a solid freshman campaign, one that saw her grow as a player as the season progressed. It certainly helped that she avoided injury, something she couldn't say her last two years in high school.

“I stayed healthy and that was a big thing,” Williams reiterated, via SNY.com. “Just having an opportunity to play in [the NCAA championship] game was something I worked for all season. It all came down to this moment. All the awards, all the accolades, they would have meant nothing if we didn’t win this final game.”

Back in March, coach Geno Auriemma admitted he didn't quite know what he had in Williams, who ended up growing into her role down the stretch.

"I've started calling Gabby Williams 'Forest Gump,' " Auriemma said at the time, via the Hartford Courant. "You know when he talks about how you never know what you're going to get in the box of chocolates? Well, I come to games saying, 'OK, let's see what the Gabby Williams show looks like today.' And you have no idea what it's going to look like. It's like this at practice sometimes, too. You never know when it is going to blow up or something completely different."

Next up: preparing for her sophomore season where, like always, there will be stiff competition for playing time.

“I’m really looking forward to this offseason and I’m excited that I’ll be able to work on my game and improve,” she said. “I haven’t had the chance to do that the last couple of offseasons. Last year I didn’t even play full court until First Night. So, I’ll be ready to get back out there and try to expand my game.”

A year ago, Williams was part of the nation's best recruiting class. Now she'll be competing with another stellar freshman class. This one includes Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier and De’Janae Boykin, who are all top-10 players. There's also Georgetown transfer (and 2013-14 Big East freshman of the year) Natalie Butler.

But Williams sounds like she's only worried about what she can control.

“I absolutely have my goals, that’s for sure,” she said. “I’m hoping that I can improve my shooting. I know that’s something I need to work on. Maybe they’ll pull me off the block a little bit next year and I can get some guard play back in my game. It’s about being able to expand my game. This year a lot of my shots were around the rim. If I can add more range, I’ll be tougher to defend.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[UConn, Kansas St. Agree to Home-and-Home]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:59:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP227608622892.jpg

Starting next season, UConn and Kansas State will play in a home-and-home series, according to SNY.com's Carl Adamec.

The Huskies will host the Wildcats on Nov. 23, 2015, and UConn will make their way to Manhattan, Kansas the following season.

“I wanted three things out of scheduling UConn: a marquee opponent for our fans, a tremendous challenge for our team, and a unique women’s basketball event for our ‘Team Hally’ game and girls basketball players across this region,” Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie said in a statement.

More details via the release:

The return game in the series comes in the 2016-17 season and will be the Third Annual Team Hally game. The inaugural Team Hally game was played in the 2014-15 season against Kansas on Jan. 11, a 58-52 K-State win. The Second Annual Team Hally game will be against a Big 12 opponent to be determined following the announcement of the 2015-16 Big 12 schedule.

Hally Yust passed away at the age of nine during the summer of 2014 and had the dream of playing basketball for Kansas State. In her memory, her family has set up the Hally Yust Memorial Fund through the K-State Foundation. To date, the Hally Yust Memorial Fund has raised nearly $75,000 in support of women's basketball. To learn more about the fund or to make a donation, please contact the K-State Foundation by calling (800) 432-1578 or by sending an e-mail to foundation@found.ksu.edu.

This will be the second and third meetings between the two teams. UConn and Kansas State first faced off during the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies won, 76-26 on their way to the Final Four, where they lost to Notre Dame.

<![CDATA[UConn Football Player Charged With Assault]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:19:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sean+mcquillan+facebook+edit.jpg

UConn football tight end and Glastonbury native Sean McQuillan is facing assault charges after fighting with his roommate Friday night, according to the Daily Campus.

McQuillan was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

A report from UConn police states that McQuillan got into a fight at the Celeron Square Apartment complex and caused "significant facial injuries" to the victim.

The Daily Campus reported the victim was McQuillan's roommate

University officials declined to elaborate on the incident Tuesday night.

"The athletic department is aware of the situation and we will wait for the judicial process to take its full course. In the meantime, Sean has a responsibility to finish out the semester academically," UConn Athletic Department spokesman Mike Enright said in a statement.

According to McQuillan's bio on the UConn football website, the 22-year-old red shirt senior started 11 games in the 2014 season. He was team captain at Glastonbury High School and studies resource economics and communications at UConn.

McQuillan was released on $500 bond ahead of his court appearance Monday. He's due back before a judge May 21.

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Ollie Being 'Seriously Considered' for Thunder Job]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:09:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

Last week, Yahoo.com reported that Kevin Ollie could be a candidate for the NBA's Oklahoma Thunder job should the team decide to part ways with incumbent Scott Brooks.

On Monday, SNY.com's Adam Zagoria writes that, according to sources, Ollie, who was mentioned as an NBA coaching candidate following the 2013-14 season, is being “seriously considered” for the Thunder job.

More from Zagoria:

Ollie teamed with Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and remains close with GM Sam Presti. Ollie is considered to be one of the keys to convincing Durant to remain in Oklahoma City after he enters free agency in 2016, the source said.

In June 2014, two months after Ollie led the Huskies to an NCAA title, the then-second-year coach reiterated his commitment to UConn.

"I want to be here at UConn," he said at the time.

"I don't know about the future," he admitted. "The only thing I can do is take care of today. I got a five-year contract, and I believe I'm going to be here all five years. That's my motto, that's where I want to be at. I want to be here with my family. I want to see my daughter graduate high school here in Connecticut. And whatever happens is going to happen. There's going to be speculation ever year, but the kids know that I have their back, their best interest in mind."

A month before Ollie made those comments the University signed him to a new five-year, $15 million contract, which made him the highest-paid coach in the American Athletic Conference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Laimbeer Excited About 1st-Rounder Stokes]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:02:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/UCONN13.jpg

Kiah Stokes flew under the radar most of her career at UConn, and the same happened on draft night, when she was selected 11th overall -- and eight picks after college teammate Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis -- by the New York Liberty.

But Stokes, who never was much of a scorer but was dominant in the paint for the Huskies, has Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer very excited about his first-round pick.

"You can not teach the kind of size and athleticism that she has," Laimbeer said, via the Hartford Courant. "She's long with broad shoulders and she can run. And she's solid defensively with great timing, which is very hard to find in a college player. Women just don't instinctively have the timing necessary to have great shot-blocking ability. But she does. And that's a great anchor for us to grow the rest of her game."

Stokes was the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and finished her career with 325 blocked shots. But she averaged fewer than three shots a game last season. Put another way: there's work to be done on the offensive end to make her a well-rounded pro.

"Offensively, Kiah will admit she wants to improve herself," Laimbeer said. "I think it's just a matter of her not having had the opportunity because of all the scorers they've had [at UConn]. We are going to demand more of her offensive. We suspect she's going to be a quick learner and we're going to stick Herb Williams [Liberty assistant] with her in an attempt to get her offensive game to where we believe it should be. Geno says there's a tremendous amount of room to for improvement and we believe that, too."

And Stokes didn't shy away from Laimbeer's words.

"If they need me to [score 20 a game] then I will," Stokes said. "But honestly, I think I was drafted because of what I've done defensively. So I want to start it off knowing that's what I will bring to them every day at practice. I need to make sure I'm consistent on that end and then I can think about bringing offense to the table as well."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Recruits Adams, Enoch Play in Jordan Classic]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:42:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin-ollie-2014.jpg

Incoming freshmen Jalen Adams and Steve Enoch will play important roles in UConn's 2014-15 season, and Kevin Ollie has to hope that they're ready for the challenge.

Last Friday at the Barclays Center, both players took place Jordan Brand Classic regional all-star game. When it was over, Adams, the next in line to be a great UConn point guard, had scored 27 points. Enoch, a presence in the paint, finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Like Kemba Walker, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright before him, Adams is going to play early and often. Coach Kevin Ollie doesn't really have a choice.

"Jalen Adams is going to be an instant — a player for us that's going to do things for us," Ollie said this week, according to the Hartford Courant. "He can do so much off the bounce. He's very athletic. People don't know how good a passer he is. I'm going to weigh on him to come in and do the different things we know he can do, ball-handling, pushing the ball. That's one of his strong suits, and I'm going to try to display that each and every day. Go out there and show his God-given talents, and God's given him a lot."

And like Ollie's relationship with Napier and Boatright, it sounds like he's close with Adams too.

"Me and Coach Ollie talk a lot," Adams said. "Me, him and all the assistants, we have a really close relationship. I want to go in and be a vocal leader and be able to get everybody in the right positions. He just wants me to come in and be ready to learn and get better."

Ollie also weighed in on Enoch: "Every time I see Steve, he's doing better. He's performing very well. He's rebounding the ball. He's got a chip on his shoulder. So I think he's going to be a phenomenal player for us, a serviceable big man coming in his freshman year, getting to learn from Amida [Brimah], from Kentan [Facey] and Phil [Nolan]. I see a lot of potential there, and that potential has to turn into skill."

And to complete the circle of compliments, Enoch also spoke about future teammate Adams: "Jalen, I think he'll have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders coming in. But he has a lot of help, a lot of good guards, hard-working guards who know how to handle the ball at the college level. I think he'll be just fine."

<![CDATA[Huskies Add Cornell Transfer Shonn Miller]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 10:05:06 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconnj.jpg

UConn has landed 6-7 forward Shonn Miller, who will be a graduate student for the 2015-16 season. Miller previously played at Cornell, where he averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds last season.

Miller missed his junior season with a shoulder injury, and because the Ivy Leagues do not allow redshirting, he would have to transfer to continue his college basketball career.

"I just felt accepted from the first moment I stepped up here," Miller told the Hartford Courant. "I felt like part of the family. I just got a good vibe from the whole situation."

The Huskies are familiar with graduate transfers; in recent years R.J. Evans and Lasan Kromah were contributors off the bench for UConn.

"What I hope to get out of this opportunity is to win, in whatever role the coaches want me," Miller said. "I feel like I can do whatever they need me to do — score, rebound."

So what are the Huskies getting in Miller? The Courant asked Yale coach James Jones.

"I think Shonn is a tremendous talent," Jones said. "He's big, strong, athletic, he had some thunderous dunks over his career, you shake your head at how awesome they were. He's a tremendous defensive rebounder. … He can fall in love with the three-pointer. I think he's more effective scoring around the basket and he could be a better offensive rebounder."

Miller will join a 2015 class that includes freshman point guard Jalen Adams and big man Steve Enoch.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Liberty Take Kiah Stokes With 11th Pick in Draft]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:23:46 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kiah+stokes_1.jpg

Most of the discussions in the days leading up to the draft were about where Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis would go (the Storm ended up taking her third overall). But, center Kiah Stokes, Mosqueda-Lewis' teammate at UConn, went mostly unnoticed through the process, though WNBA teams were well aware of who she was.

On Thursday night, the New York Liberty selected Stokes, a force in the paint but not much of a scorer in college, with the No. 11 pick. New York coach Bill Laimbeer thought so much of Stokes that he traded up to get her.

"I had not had any contact with anyone from New York, so this is all very exciting to me," Stokes said, via the Hartford Courant. "I'm taking a moment to take it all in, but I am also very anxious to get it all started. To hear your name called is an incredible experience. And now it's all about trying to do what I can to best make an impact."

Despite spending four years in Storrs, Stokes doesn't know much about New York City. That will change soon.

“I’ve been there a few times, taken a train ride,” she said, via SNY.com. “To live in New York is going to be amazing. It’s a new scenery. Connecticut has been great. So was Iowa.

“I just want to make sure that they know I’m working hard and I’m going to do everything I can to make the team and then be a consistent defensive threat. I’m going to do anything I can on and off the court.”

And Stokes is now teammates with former UConn All-American Tina Charles.

“This is an opportunity you dream of when you’re a little girl,” Stokes said. “To make this a reality is an honor and to play with Tina, someone that I’ve looked up to especially coming from UConn. I’m excited to get to know her better and learn from her. She’s a great player and I want to follow in her footsteps.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Ollie Could Be Candidate for Thunder's Job]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:22:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin-ollie-rim.jpg

A year ago, Kevin Ollie was fresh off a national championship and suddenly one of the hottest young names for possible NBA coaching vacancies. Nothing ever materialized, and UConn wisely renegotiated Ollie's contract, but the 42-year-old has again been mentioned as a potential candidate for an NBA team.

According to Yahoo.com's Adrian Wojnarowski, Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to evaluated whether they're committed long term to current coach Scott Brooks. And if the two sides part ways, Ollie could be in the mix as his replacement.

More from Wojnarowski:

Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie would be a candidate for the Thunder's coaching job if it opens, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Ollie was a teammate with Durant and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City and he's an individual whom Presti holds in high esteem.

League sources tell Wojnarowski that Florida's Billy Donovan "could emerge as a serious candidate" as well.

In June 2014, Ollie reiterated his commitment to UConn.

"I want to be here at UConn," he said at the time.

"I don't know about the future," he admitted. "The only thing I can do is take care of today. I got a five-year contract, and I believe I'm going to be here all five years. That's my motto, that's where I want to be at. I want to be here with my family. I want to see my daughter graduate high school here in Connecticut. And whatever happens is going to happen. There's going to be speculation ever year, but the kids know that I have their back, their best interest in mind."