Cox taking her time in recruiting process

By Carl Adamec

When A’ja Wilson — the top recruit in the Class of 2014 — went through the process before signing with the University of South Carolina, she said of the rumors and speculation surrounding her, “If you don’t hear it from me or from my parents, don’t believe it.”

Dennis Cox, whose daughter Lauren is the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2016, would be thrilled if people would follow Wilson’s advice as they keep up with his 16-year-old.
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Reporter’s notebook: Random thoughts and tidbits

John F. Silver

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — UConn heads to East Carolina on Thursday.  

It’s a game that at one time would be treated with great fanfare, but I think now there is some dread on UConn fandom’s behalf. Doing some advance homework, ECU has over 3,300 yards of offense and 274 points scored, UConn is less than half that at 77 points and just a shade over 1,500 yards of offense.

Connecticut Huskies head coach Bob Diaco reacts during the second half of a game against the Temple Owls at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Connecticut Huskies head coach Bob Diaco reacts during the second half of a game against the Temple Owls at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

How is UConn supposed to compete? That’s why you should be tuning in on Thursday for the game in what will be a litmus test for UConn’s defense, and a benchmark for the Huskies program.

UConn head coach Bob Diaco said this week that he has all the ingredients and infrastructure in place to have a championship program. He didn’t like the question, but then gave a great answer to it.

“Infrastructure here is strong, puzzle pieces are here,” Diaco said. “(There are) frustrating mechanics that need to get worked out to have a top flight program. There is no an immovable force. There’s enough things, nothing here will be preventing us from becoming a championship program. That is exciting. Recruiting is going great. There is a lot to recruit too.”

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Commitment to UConn dream come true for Irwin

By Carl Adamec

Bethany Irwin saw the irony.

Thirty years ago, the Branford, Connecticut native chose to play her college basketball at Penn State. On Tuesday, her daughter Kyla — a 6-foot-2 junior forward from State College, Pennsylvania — announced her decision to make an oral commitment to attend the University of Connecticut.
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UConn football: Defensive strides

Temple Owls quarterback P.J. Walker (11) runs the ball against Connecticut Huskies linebacker Cole Ormsby (57) during the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Temple Owls quarterback P.J. Walker (11) runs the ball against Connecticut Huskies linebacker Cole Ormsby (57) during the first half at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

STORRS, Conn — UConn head coach Bob Diaco looks at his defense and likes what he sees, but he is far from happy.

What?

Diaco criticize the defense? Hasn’t he looked at the other side of the ball?

Yes, he has, but for those with great talents, great things are expected.

UConn football will always be a defensive team. The Huskies went against the trend when they hired a head coach in getting Bob Diaco. If you haven’t heard, offense is all the rage in college football and offensive coaches and play-callers get jobs.

But, if UConn is going to win at the FBS level, be the top team in the American Conference it’s going to do so defensively. The Huskies are in their infancy under Diaco, a former defensive coordinator and that influence is all over the team.

While the offense struggles in nearly all places from execution to identity, the UConn defense knows what it is, and where it is going.

The Huskies are 1-5, but in the last five games have held all their opponents under 302 yards of offense. The defense is ranked No. 4 in the nation in first downs allowed (95), No. 17 in the nation in total offense surrendering 325 yards per game, 28th in rushing defense at 121.2 per game and 18th in the nation in third down conversion percentage defense allowing only 31 percent of conversions. The Huskies make teams move the ball and generally get off the field when given the chance.

But is this a Top 20 dominant defense?

No. No one knows that more than Diaco.

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Commit No. 18: WR Hergy Mayala (Trinity-Pawling, Pawling, N.Y.)

John F. Silver

UConn is hitting the skill positions hard on the recruiting trail this year. The Huskies received another commit at WR as Trinity Pawling receiver Hergy Mayala has given his commitment.

Mayala is the second receiver in a week — the other Tyraiq Beals of East Orange, New Jersey — to commit to UConn. The Huskies also have two other wide receivers in Aaron McLean (6-6) and Frank Battle (6-5) in the fold for next season. That’s four wide receivers added to a position that is a strength on the team and has young players going forward.

Mayala is another bigger receiver at 6-2 and 191 pounds, though not the size of McLean or Howard.

He’s the 18th commit on the board for the Huskies, who are now expected to fill the 25 scholarship limit for 2015.

2015 commits

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SNY Unveils Broadcast Schedule for 2014-2015 UConn Women’s Basketball

NEW YORK- SNY, the official television home of the UConn Huskies women’s basketball program,  announced the network’s broadcast schedule for the team’s 2014-2015 season on Tuesday.  As the team returns to the hardwood following a perfect 40-0 season and an unprecedented ninth national title, SNY will feature 17 live games and provide comprehensive coverage for all American Athletic Conference basketball games televised on the network, delivering exclusive pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows.  The network’s LIVE game schedule tips-off Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1:00pm as the defending champion Huskies host Creighton University from Gampel Pavilion.

Eric Frede returns for his second season as lead play-by-play announcer, while former UConn basketball legends Meghan Culmo and Kara Wolters return as network analysts.  Culmo will once again serve as in-game analyst while Wolters teams in studio with Gary Apple for pre-game, halftime and post-game presented by People’s United Bank.  Kerith Burke resumes her role as SNY’s in-game reporter.  SNY’s on-air team will kick-off its coverage for the 2014-2015 season Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 6:30pm as contributors to the UConn Women’s Basketball Preview Show presented by Connecticut Lighting Centers, a half-hour special featuring exclusive interviews with players and coaches as well as in-depth analysis of the key storylines and players to watch.

SNY’s highly acclaimed program Huskies All-Access will once again provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at UConn Women’s Basketball, as cameras follow the team and coaches on and off the court, offering an insider’s view of the nation’s top women’s basketball program.  Huskies All-Access premieres Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7:30pm.  The Geno Auriemma Show debuts Friday, Dec. 19 immediately following UConn’s matchup versus DePaul University.  The show will provide viewers exclusive insight from Coach Auriemma on game strategy, player performances, and the challenges facing the team and coaching staff during the year.  A full detailed schedule consisting of premiere episodes will be released shortly.

For daily coverage of the UConn Huskies, fans can tune into GEICO SportsNite from 10:30pm-1:00am.  For up-to-the-minute information about the team, fans can log on to www.sny.tv and snyuconn.com – which will provide complete coverage with game highlights, press conferences and interviews.

To view the complete 2014-15 UConn women’s basketball schedule, click here.

Around the American Week 8: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

 Houston Cougars wide receiver Greg Ward Jr. (1) runs with the ball on a keeper during the first quarter against the Temple Owls at TDECU. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (1) runs with the ball on a keeper during the first quarter against the Temple Owls at TDECU. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

John F. Silver

We are starting to finally see some separation in the American. Right now, East Carolina, ranked No. 18, is the class of the league but don’t count out UCF, which is 4-2 after a win over Tulane this week and is starting to hit its stride.  

PrintThis week also brought us another good week out of Houston, which has been revitalized since Greg Ward Jr. has entered the lineup at quarterback. Houston beat Temple 31-10, beat Memphis last week, and is now 4-3 and perhaps dispelled the notion as the most disappointing team in the league. Cincinnati rolled SMU for its first league win and South Florida rallied from a 27-7 halftime deficit to beat Tulsa 38-30. 

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