Dan Hurley wanted to decide after training on Sunday whether his UConn men’s basketball team would play three or just two games in the following week.
In the middle of training, the decision was made for him when Vanderbilt dropped out of the planned start of the Roman Legends Classic on Tuesday due to COVID-19 problems with the huskies.
In both cases, UConn (2-0) will only play the two games this week, which seemed to have been Hurley’s preference from the start. The first comes on Thursday when the Huskies take on USC in a Legends Classic fight in the « Bubbleville » in the Mohegan Sun Arena (7pm). m. , ESPN). It will not be easy.
USC (3-0) finished a 79:53 dismantling of a good BYU team in Bubbleville on Tuesday evening. Led by the Mobley brothers – Evan, a 7-foot newbie and likely to be an NBA lottery pick in 2021, and Isaiah, a 6-10 year old and likely future NBA player – the Trojans boast of size and talent that outweigh anything UConn has to offer in its situation. The first two games against the low-majors Central Connecticut State and Hartford.
« Unlike the first two games, you actually have the chance to get a really good win instead of avoiding losing a game that will really blow up your season, » Hurley explained. « Especially if you want to be a team that plays in March. It’s exciting to have the chance not to have to go after a win that you may have to apologize for if you don’t win enough or play well. ”
After training on campus on Wednesday, the huskies drove to Bubbleville and arrived just before 5pm. m. They will be tested for COVID-19 and will retreat to their hotel rooms, which are all on one floor and closely guarded by security.
Like all teams in Bubbleville, the Huskies will remain under lock and key during their stay until Saturday when they take on NC State around noon.
« It’s the equivalent of an MTE type of event where you physically see teams that have the great talent and high-level athletes, » said Hurley. “These are high major games. They are exciting games because you will learn a lot about your team and the best course of action. ”
Hurley wasn’t happy with the overall performance of his team in the first two games, saying that the last couple of exercises had been a « cauldron of intensity » and that there was a revolving door of players going from the starting team to the second team.
« There’s a standard of toughness you must meet if you want to play on the backboard for me as a guy on the hunt, » Hurley said. « Everyone’s position on this team has been open for the past two days. We weren’t happy in the first two games . . . In the past, my teams were known for their relentless tenacity and competitiveness. I always have to bring five people onto the pitch who reflect that. ”
These two games this week may not be UConn’s final testing outside of conference before Big East kicks off on December. 11 against St.. . Johns. Hurley reported that the Huskies were looking for the « right dance partner » for a game on Monday.
« We wanted to play three games before the Big East game, » he said. « So we would be looking for a really good game. ”
« It’s exciting to play an exciting game. If you want to be a team competing in the NCAA tournament, you have to beat high profile opponents. ”
Akok Akok has been participating in 5v5 exercises in training for the past few days but suffered from slight thigh strain and was closed on Wednesday for training. Hurley won’t be setting a return-to-game schedule for Akok, who suffered an end-of-season Achilles tendon rupture in February, but noted, « Don’t look for him for the next few weeks. ”
James Bouknight has been added to John R’s watchlist. Wooden Award given annually at the end of the season to the most outstanding player in college basketball.
Bouknight, a sophomore, is one of 50 players on the preseason watchlist. He is one of four Big East players on the list, joining Villanova’s Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Creighton’s Marcus Zegarowski.
USC Trojans Men’s Basketball, University of Connecticut, USC Trojans Football, Dan Hurley
World News – CA – UConn has the chance to go for a really good win against USC
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