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Freshman to Get to Work Immediately

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Incoming freshman Daniel Hamilton plans to be on campus later this month, along with prized recruit Rakim Lubin, but junior college transfer Sam Cassell Jr. arrived in Storrs last week. And the other big name in the class, Rodney Purvis, has already been with the team for a year, taking classes in 2013-14 while he sat out after transferring from NC State.

And although practices don't officially begin until October, the three new faces will be plenty busy in the next three months.

Coach Kevin Ollie, fresh off a national title and a well-earned five-year contract, talked Tuesday about the expectations for these young players trying to transition into life as college students.

"We want to have them take classes, build up there credits, so they have the opportunity just like three of our other student athletes (Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander) had the opportunity to cross the stage and get their diplomas a couple weeks ago," Ollie said, via the Connecticut Post. "That's what they are building towards and also we get an opportunity to work out with them, too, get in the gym and understand them and they understand us.

"A lot of guys look at us a little crazy because you know we push them even in this month. Even in early June we push them because we know if we push them now later on down the road it will be second nature to them, and they'll understand what it takes to be an UConn basketball player."

Ollie also weighed in on rising sophomore Amida Brimah, whose breakout freshman season had a lot to do with the team's success. Brimah is now recovering from shoulder surgery but he should be ready for the season.

“He’s doing good,” the coach said. “He’s growing an afro, so I guess that’s good. The shoulder looks good; he’s out of his harness. ...

“Of course he can’t do anything physically right now, but we got the best physical trainer James Doran -- you know I’ve said that many times. He’s going to have Amida right at the right time. He’s going to get back on the floor and he’s going to dominate. I think he’s going to have a great sophomore season. I really believe that.”

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