Camp Preview: Defensive line

 Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Mikal Myers (92) and defensive tackle Julian Campenni (90) warm up before the start of the game against the Boise State Broncos at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Mikal Myers (92) and defensive tackle Julian Campenni (90) warm up before the start of the game against the Boise State Broncos at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

UConn NGs Julian Campenni and Mikal Myers aren’t the prototypes in a 3-4 defensive system.   

The nose should be big and massive and eat up space. At 5-11 and 6-1, Campenni and Myers the duo doesn’t have ideal height or girth.

That doesn’t make the duo any less effective. What Campenni and Myers lose in height they make up in other areas, including a low base that allows them to play bigger and strong than their size.

To read more of this story, click here


Comment

Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

Tim Boyle will vie for the UConn starting quarterback job in camp this summer.

Tim Boyle will vie for the UConn starting quarterback job in camp this summer.

John F. Silver

It starts and ends at quarterback. It always has for the UConn football team.

UConn’s never had consistent quarterback plan — a decade and counting in fact — and head coach Bob Diaco got his first taste of UConn instability last year in game 1 when his starter Casey Cochran had to retire from the sport after a concussion.

To read more of this story, click here


Comment

Camp Preview: 5 burning questions for 2015

Nov 29, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Bob Diaco during the game against the Memphis Tigers at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

UConn has won 5 games in two years and judging by the preview magazines, not much is expected from the Huskies. UConn has designs on a marked improvement from last year’s 2-10 season. It’s sorely needed. The outward of momentum that has carried the program its first decade is gone. The fan base is depressed in the AAC and the season ticket base has eroded from over 30,000 (mid 2000s) to  a little over 21,000 last year. This year, with a home schedule that lacks marquee teams Navy and Army headliners), the driving force behind fan attendance will be the Huskies. UConn is going to be a better team than 2015. The second year of a new coach is always easier than the first and for the first time the group looks on the same page. But, the schedule is as difficult as UConn has had in its FBS history. UConn plays BYU, Missouri, UCF and Cincinnati on the road, all teams that could be ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season.    

Diaco comes into 2015 with a new slate, and a lot of questions marks. Here are some of the biggest issues that must be decided when camp opens next week.

1. Will Frank Verducci’s offense show life?

UConn not only struggled statistically — 122nd in scoring and 123rd in total offense — but it also struggled with an identity. One game, the Huskies outlawed the forward pass and another they would go four wide. The Huskies never ran anything consistently, much less productively. That’s why Diaco brought in veteran coach Frank Verducci, who recruited Diaco to Iowa. Verducci coming on to the staff was the first part of a seismic shift. Every other offensive coach moved positions with Mike Cummings taking over the offensive line. The Huskies need to have an offensive identity and Verducci’s a run-game guru with major NFL experience. UConn wants to be a ground-oriented physical football team that can control possession. If the Huskies don’t look like that, something went terribly wrong. To read more of this story, click here


Comment

Collier, Dangerfield capture U-19 gold

By Carl Adamec

Napheesa Collier has a new gold medal and memories that will never get old.

The UConn freshman forward recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds along with six steals, and tournament Most Valuable Player A’ja Wilson had 30 points as the United States national team topped host Russia 78-70 Sunday in the gold medal game of the FIBA U-19 world championships in Chekhov, Russia.
To read more of this story, click here


Comment

Napier traded to Magic

John F. Silver

One year after drafting former UConn star Shabazz Napier to pair with LeBron James, the Heat are set to send him off for a second round pick.

Citing sources, ESPN is reporting that the Heat are sending Napier, who won two national titles at UConn, to the Magic for a future second round pick.

Napier was a favorite of LeBron James, and the Heat drafted him prior to James leaving Miami and returning to Cleveland last summer.

Napier never got off the bench for the Heat. He averaged 5.1 points and 2.5 assists in 51 games. Napier also spent time in the D-League.

The Magic need depth at PG after Elfrid Payton, an all-rookie selection last year.


Comment

Collier leads USA U-19s into gold medal game

By Carl Adamec

During her days on the basketball court at the University of Virginia, the professional ranks, and in the Olympics where she won three gold medals, Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame guard Dawn Staley played as hard as anyone.

So her words mean something. And the United States U-19 national team and South Carolina had strong praise for Napheesa Collier on Saturday after the UConn freshman forward had a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead Team USA past Spain 80-65 in a semifinal game of the FIBA U-19 world championships in Chekhov, Russia.
To read more of this story, click here


Comment

Dolson joins stars on WNBA’s center stage

By Carl Adamec

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Stefanie Dolson enjoys being the center of attention.

But that the spotlight has found the former University of Connecticut and now second-year Washington Mystics center is humbling to her. She will represent the Eastern Conference in Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game being played at Mohegan Sun Arena.
To read more of this story, click here


Comment