NBA Scout: UConn is ‘Better Than You Think’ & Loaded With NBA Prospects

Originally posted on ZagsBlog.com:

BrimahA veteran NBA scout who recently visited UConn’s practice told SNY.tv that the Huskies are “better than you think” and are loaded with NBA prospects.

“I was shocked at how good they were,” the scout said. “I never expected them to be like this.”

The reigning NCAA champions lost several key players, including star point guard Shabazz Napier and athletic forward DeAndre Daniels, but the scout counts Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton and Ryan Boatright as potential future pros.

The scout also counted Sam Cassell Jr., Rodney Purvis, Omar Calhoun and Phillip Nolan as prospects to watch.

Here’s the scout’s breakdown of a few guys:

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Sophomore Walker’s star continues to rise

By Carl Adamec

Megan Walker was voted homecoming princess for her sophomore class at Monacan High two weeks ago.

For the next two years — or for as long as her recruiting process lasts — the talented 6-foot-1 wing from Chesterfield, Virginia, figures to have college basketball programs from around the country treating her like royalty.
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UConn football: Jones out for the year

John F. Silver

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Senior cornerback Byron Jones will miss the rest of the season as he undergoes surgery on his shoulder UConn coach Bob Diaco announced on his postgame conference call on Friday.
Tampa, FL, USA; Connecticut Huskies cornerback Byron Jones (16) during the second half against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. South Florida Bulls defeated the Connecticut Huskies 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa, FL, USA; Connecticut Huskies cornerback Byron Jones (16) during the second half against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. South Florida Bulls defeated the Connecticut Huskies 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jones has been dealing with shoulder problems and aggravated it during the first half of a 31-21 loss to East Carolina.

He will have surgery soon and is out for the final six games of his career.  Jones has UConn’s only two interceptions this year including one on Thursday in the end zone.

“Byron was playing through a small issue there,” Diaco said. “That, then exacerbated himself last night to the point that it needs to be addressed. If it doesn’t get addressed it will be something else.Right now, an isolated thing that needs to be fixed.”
Jones’ injury and rehab will be able to get him ready for the NFL Draft workout season. Jones, a terrific athlete and character player at 6-foot-1, has had a lot of interest of NFL scouts. Diaco said that Jones will be able to be 100 percent plus by the offseason.

“He’s very highly thought of,” Diaco said. “Executives that are in the building think highly of him. This will help him from a time frame standpoint. He will be full speed, not good as new, better than new when he has a time to show his wears.”

The Huskies’ thin corner depth takes a massive hit.

Right now, true freshman Jamar Summers is next man up with John Green, a converted wide receiver, another corner. It also looks like Diaco will take the redshirt off of freshman Brice McAllister and prepare him to play. McAllister is from Suffield Academy and was switched from running back to corner this summer.

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UConn, Georgetown announce two-year home-and-home

UConn and the Georgetown announced a two-year home-and-home series over the next two years for their men’s basketball teams.

Georgetown is scheduled to come to Connecticut on Jan. 23, 2016, with the Huskies visiting the Verizon Center to play the Hoyas on Jan. 21, 2017, the schools said.

From UConn’s release:

UConn and Georgetown have a long history, dating back to 1958 and including 64 games, with Georgetown holding a 35-29 advantage. As Big East Conference opponents, Georgetown had a 32-26 edge. The two programs share the record for most Big East Conference Tournament championships with seven apiece.

Georgetown won the last game played between the two teams, a 79-78 double overtime thriller at Gampel Pavilion on Feb. 27, 2013. UConn lost its last two games against the Hoyas, but the teams split their last four contests. UConn’s last win against Georgetown was a 79-62 decision on March 9, 2011, during the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, on the Huskies’ way to the Big East Tournament title and their third NCAA National Championship.

Postgame news and notes: Huskies put scare into ECU

Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies running back Ron Johnson (3) runs with ball during the 3rd quarter against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Connecticut Huskies 31-21. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Greenville, NC, USA; Connecticut Huskies running back Ron Johnson (3) runs with ball during the 3rd quarter against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Connecticut Huskies 31-21. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

GREENVILLE, N.C. — Seniors Byron Jones and Geremy Davis hobbled off at the half for the Huskies.

They never returned.

In place, UConn head coach Bob Diaco put in the young-ins. There was sophomore Noel Thomas at wide receiver, redshirt frosh Thomas Lucas at wideout. On the defensive side, true freshman Jamar Summers was in getting an education with sophomore and first-year defensive back John Green also getting time.  On defense, freshmen Forlunso Fatukasi and Cole Ormsby played big roles. True freshman linebacker Luke Carrezola had some major snaps.

UConn is young, that’s not news. UConn has been young since camp broke in August and the growing pains of youth is what the 2014 season is all about.

The beauty of youth though is that one day it suddenly clicks, that’s at least the hope.

UConn almost had it on Saturday at No. 18 East Carolina.

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Recap: East Carolina 31, UConn 21

Result:  No. 18 East Carolina had more than it bargained for in a 31-21 win over UConn on Thursday night in Greenville, N.C.

Need to know: UConn (1-6, 0-4)nearly pulled off a monumental upset, with the game tied in the third quarter after an 88-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Whitmer to Deshonn Foxx. The Huskies had several chances to take the lead, but ECU pulled away late. A 33-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter gave ECU a 24-21 lead, and then, the Huskies’ defense couldn’t get off the field as ECU clinched the game with a  Breon Allen 9-yard touchdown left with 1:38 left in the game. It was an eye-opening performance in the loss nonetheless as UConn was a 28 point underdog and nearly shocked the 18th ranked team in the nation.  The Pirates (6-1, 3-0) ran 100 plays in the game, amassed 580 yards of offense. Shane Carden had 39-for-64 for 445 yards and two touchdowns.  Justin Hardy had 14 catches for 186 yards while Cam Worthy had seven catches for 138 yards.

For the Huskies, Chandler Whitmer had his best game in two years passing 18-30 for 303 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for one himself.  The Huskies played a ton of young players with upperclassmen Byron Jones and Geremy Davis leaving at the half with injury. UConn lost for the fifth straight game, but likely had its best performance of the season considering the opponent.  The offensive line gave Whitmer time and the Huskies had some chances to steal the game.


Links: Box score | AP Recap

Next up: The Huskies head home to play Central Florida on Nov. 1 at Rentschler Field.