Sunday presser: UConn’s football R&D project

UConn coach Bob Diaco will take the Huskies to East Carolina on Thursday.

UConn coach Bob Diaco will take the Huskies to East Carolina on Thursday.

John F. Silver

STORRS, Conn. — The UConn football team is in beta testing right now.

UConn head coach Bob Diaco, playing about 20 freshmen during the game, sends out the Huskies for a game and then goes back to the drawing board. Each week the Huskies are improving, tinkering and seeing what they havce and how it runs.

The only way to get better is to play. The only way to learn what the defenices are is to see them exposed on the field.

The Huskies have played six games this year. Each week, Diaco goes back to the laboratory to tweak and improve. It’s a painstaking process.

UConn is 1-5, and a frustrating 1-5 on top of it. The Huskies have been in every game since the season opener against BYU. The last five games — all games where the opponent has had 302 yards or less of offense — have led to a 1-4 record.

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Tuck able to put focus back on basketball

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Geno Auriemma sat in his Gampel Pavilion office on a mid-January afternoon with a look of concern on his face.

Sophomore Morgan Tuck had met with her family and informed the University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach they had decided she would have season-ending surgery on her right knee. The timing would allow her to apply for a medical hardship waiver to maintain three years of eligibility.

But her loss would put the Huskies at nine active scholarship players and down a post player. What if something else went wrong? UConn had already established itself as the best team in the country but would it have enough to finish the job?
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Champions Center named after Werth Family

UConn officially opened its $40 million basketball training facility on Friday christening the name of the facility after the first major donors to contribute.[/sny-editorial]

The Champions Center will be named after Peter J. and Pamela H. Werth, who pledged a multimillion dollar donation to get the project started.

The two donations, totaling $7 million, were critical for the project, the first University building financed entirely with private donations. The new $40 million basketball training facility is adjacent to the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, the campus home of the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s basketball championship teams.

“We believe the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center is the key to sustaining UConn’s tradition of great basketball,” said Coleman Levy ’61 (CLAS), ’62 MA, ’66 JD, chairman of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors.

“Built solely with private donations, the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center is a real tribute to the steadfastness of our friends and alumni and their willingness to support UConn’s transformation and vision for the future,” he added. The Werths’ latest gift of $2.3 million followed their previous $4.7 million pledge.

The 75,000-plus square-foot building features complete facilities for the men’s and women’s championship basketball programs. The center includes common areas designed for academic support, sports medicine and strength training, along with separate practice gyms, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and video analysis facilities.

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Commit: OT Bryan Cespedes, New London, CT

John F. Silver

UConn picked up its second commit in three days and its first offensive lineman as New London tackle Brian Cespedes committed to the Huskies on Friday.  

The Huskies now have 17 official commits for the 2015 class and picked up their first offensive lineman, a weak spot on the team.

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UConn’s Jefferson reaching for new heights

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Moriah Jefferson was aware of the expectations even before she made her verbal commitment to play point guard for coach Geno Auriemma and the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team.

“Anytime you play for someone like Coach Auriemma, he throws a lot at you and you either catch it or you drop it,” Jefferson said. “So far, I think that I’ve done a good job of holding on to it.”

In her first season as a full-time starter a year ago, Jefferson did everything the Huskies asked of her and more.
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UConn No. 15 in coaches poll

UConn has been tabbed the No. 15 team in the country according to the USA Today Coaches Poll (ESPN, Oct. 16).

Kentucky leads the nation, followed by No. 2 Arizona.

The AP Top 25 comes out at the end of October.

To Huskies, practice facility is perfect

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — The Champions Center where the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team held its first official practice Wednesday may not be much more than a length-of-the-court pass to the Storrs Field House or Guyer Gymnasium.

For the Huskies and 30th-year coach Geno Auriemma, it’s in a different world.
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