UConn men’s basketball participated in its first full team practice of the 2020-2021 season on Friday. Head Coach Dan Hurley said the team practiced for two hours, with about 45 minutes of “live” 5-on-5 competition.
“That practice today, we got after it,” said Hurley. “We played and it had the intensity of a first practice.”
“It felt as close to normal as it can get, especially to start off practice, we were able to get in the film room together,” added senior forward Isaiah Whaley. “That was our first time in the film room in forever.”
“Definitely a lot of energy today,” said freshman guard Andre Jackson. “I think it went well. A lot of voices from the upperclassmen were expressed today.”
The Huskies are not at full strength right now. Brendan Adams, Tyrese Martin and Akok Akok did not participate in the live portion of the first practice while they recover from injuries. Andre Jackson, Tyler Polley and Jalen Gaffney also had minute restrictions.
Coach Hurley is impressed with his team’s depth, saying he feels like he has seven or eight starters. The Huskies have shown improvement over the last two seasons and he’s hoping to continue that trend in year three as UConn returns to the Big East Conference.
“We just want to take another big step in the program and continue to make progress,” said Hurley. “People are going to pick us relatively high in a new league but we’re not going to get seduced into thinking that we’ve arrived. We’ve got to show up with that edge because we’re still climbing.”
The Huskies can play their first game on November 25 but a schedule is not yet finalized. UConn is committed to play in the Legends Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena on December 2-3.