Archive for NCAA
This year’s UConn team has been one with two personalities. In some games, they play like they can beat anyone in the country. And sometimes, like on Wednesday, they play like a team who’s never seen a basketball before.
Coming off an ugly loss to SMU, the Huskies traveled to Tampa to play a team they beat a few weeks ago by more than 40 points. Yet Wednesday’s game went down to the final minute, as UConn (22-6, 10-5) edged past USF 61-56.
Let’s be clear. USF (12-16, 3-12) is bad. Really bad. But UConn looked even worse for about three quarters of the game.
The Huskies looked horrendous in the first half. Neither Shabazz Napier nor Ryan Boatright hit a field goal, both going 0-4 from the floor. The Huskies scored the fewest points in a half this season with 22. Watching them play was miserable. After losing to SMU in such a painful way, one would think the team would really get up for USF. But they just didn’t. The shot selection was terrible, and even when it wasn’t, it seemed like nothing would fall.
Boatright didn’t start the second half, getting replaced by Niels Giffey. Boat came in soon after, and hit his first field goal nearly 28 minutes into the game. UConn was down by as much as nine, but suddenly, the Huskies remembered that they were supposed to win this game. UConn went on an 18-0 run, with Boat scoring 11 of those points.
USF came back, cutting the lead to one, when Bazz had his most Bazziest moments, hitting a couple circus lay-ups while getting fouled. Bazz played like Bazz down the stretch, scoring 11 of UConn’s last 14 points. He finished with 17 points and seven assists.
- The Huskies hit 7-of-9 three-point shots in the second half, after hitting only 2-of-9 in the first half.
- Giffey scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line.
- The one bright spot of the evening was the play of freshman Terrance Samuel. In just eight minutes, the New York City point guard got some key second-half steals, a couple points and an assist to light a fire under the floundering ass of the Huskies.
- Without question the best thing to come out of this game was the Pete Gillen drinking game created by Russell Steinberg on Twitter. As it seems Gillen will be doing UConn games on CBS Sports Net, you should brush up on the rules.
- According to Samuel, Bazz gave an impromptu speech halftime speech that got the team fired up.
- Inexplicably, Tyler Olander played 21 minutes, scoring zero points and getting two rebounds.
Shabazz Napier carried the flag for UConn down the stretch, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. After a shaky beginning that saw Temple open a 15-8 lead and UConn miss a number of open jumpers, UConn was able to exert their patented better-than-Temple-ness and take control early in the second half.
Napier strengthened his case for the many postseason awards for which he is in contention (AAC Player of the Year, Wooden Award, Cousy Award) with another strong game, leading the Huskies to a comfortable win in league play. Don’t take this for granted; you’re going to miss him next year.
Temple, it should be noted, looked at many points like they hadn’t practiced as a team yet this year. UConn’s aggressive defense unsettled them early, and they responded with some embarrassingly amateurish turnovers. They’ve been hugely disappointing all season, and Fran Dunphy has to be pretty frustrated. 100% of Temple Fans Polled (sample-size: 1) are only hate-watching their athletic teams at this point, so he’s probably not going to be in trouble for a while, but seriously, get it together.
I think that this UConn team is underrated (shocker), and I also think that they’re gelling nicely heading into the postseason, especially at protecting a lead. A team that could put a lineup of Nolan, Daniels, Calhoun, Boatright, and Napier (who, on aggregate, shoot 82% from the line) is going to be hard to catch at the end of a game.
With recent comments from UConn guard Shabazz Napier and American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco sparking debate, and some confusion, concerning full-cost-of-attendance stipends for college athletes, we thought it might be worthwhile to expand on the topic.
Some links that touch on various aspects of the topic:
The NCAA conference in January led to the power conferences seeking autonomy, and hoping to provide for full-cost-of-attendance to their schools.
As eluded to above, Aresco has said the AAC is on board with that plan. Additionally, UConn athletic director Warde Manuel told Kevin Duffy of the Connecticut Post that the university supports the additional stipend as well.
For their part, UConn’s scholarships are already some of the most inclusive in the nation.
- UConn covers tuition and provides money for textbooks. Student-athletes are also given on-campus housing as part of their scholarship.
- Players eat meals provided by the athletic department after practices in the training room.
- Otherwise, they can eat in the dining halls, similar to other co-eds, with their meal plan provided by UConn.
- If they choose to live off-campus, they don’t receive a meal plan, but they do receive money meant to cover food and other expenses.
- For road games, players are giving a stipend for meals.
Speaking of food, from 2012, here’s the New York Times piece that brought attention to the issue of the NCAA and their rules concerning food for athletes.
Some bizarre incidents have occurred because of food-based restrictions. The late Utah coach Rick Majerus drew ire for sharing a bagel with Keith Van Horn after his father passed away. And as recently as Wednesday, when Oklahoma self-reported a violation for doling out too much pasta.
Silliness aside, Yahoo!’s Nina Mandell took a look at the financial problems players encounter under current conditions.
From several years earlier, in 2011, a report was released claiming the NCAA was trapping student-athletes in poverty.
Napier isn’t the only high profile player speaking up. Last month, University of Alabama Quarterback AJ McCarron (with his collegiate playing career over), went on record saying the NCAA should pay their players.
NCAA President Mark Emmert is against paying players.
Members of the Northwestern University football team have taken it a step further, seeking to unionize.
Here is what Northwestern players are seeking, via the Chicago Tribune.
Hearings are going on that will determine if the unionization efforts are allowed. Here is an Associated Press story about testimony from a sports economist.
These are complicated issues that draw heavy opinions on both sides. TIME magazine recently ran a cover story titled “It’s Time To Pay College Athletes.” Forbes ran a rebuttal that you can read here.
A public opinion poll conducted by Marist College last April showed that only 27 percent of people asked would support student-athletes earning a salary or stipend above a scholarship.
“My college experience has been tough,” said Napier. “We don’t have enough money sometimes, and there’s so many rules now that you can’t take money from anybody [to help]. That’s understandable but, when it gets down to it, we make so much money for the NCAA and they don’t give us any money at all. [They] expect us to starve, or expect us not to eat, it’s kinda tough.”
“You’ve got to learn how to save your money. You’ve gotta learn how to do a lot of [other] things that are kind of unnecessary. We come here to get a good education, and that’s really important, but at the end of the day, if I can’t study because I’m hungry, I’m not going to be able to do well in class. And [then] I won’t be able to play. There’s a lot of things that they don’t really take into perspective.”
While the NCAA has yet to formally address the issue, American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco, revealed before Saturday’s game that the AAC is committed to following the lead of the power five conferences in providing athletic scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance, if permitted.
Currently, scholarships cover tuition to the university but can sometimes fail to cover the expenses of items like food, text books, and even room and board. Student-athletes are frequently left with thousands of dollars in additional costs that can pile up and become unmanageable given the financial restraints placed upon them by the NCAA.
While a full cost of attendance scholarship would come too late to benefit Napier, he said it would benefit players in similar financial situations going forward. For a conference struggling to find its identity, like the AAC, it could also provide a crucial recruiting tool to its member schools as they aim to compete with their major conference rivals.
All parties will have to wait for the full cost of attendance policy to be enacted and permitted by the NCAA first. The major conferences have essentially agreed to the concept, as did a majority of schools at the latest NCAA convention. The NCAA is expected to seek a vote on the matter this summer.
UConn forward Niels Giffey faked a shot, drawing Louisville’s Wayne Blackshear into the air. As Blackshear came down, landing on Giffey’s shoulder, the shot was released. It was wild. No whistle. The ball went out of bounds. Louisville possession.
UConn head coach Kevin Ollie exploded. He raced towards referee Mike Stuart who rewarded Ollie with a quick technical foul. Three seconds later, Ollie was given his second technical foul, triggering an automatic ejection from the game. Said UConn’s star guard Shabazz Napier, “[Ollie] responded in a way that a lot of people would’ve responded. They gave him two quick ones instead of just one and telling him to calm down. But…it was a foul.”
It was the most recent, and a particularly egregious example, of a problem that has plagued college basketball for a generation. Referees have continuously seized more control of the action on the court, while maintaining immunity from the consequences of their game-altering calls. After running Ollie from the game last Saturday, referee Stuart wouldn’t comment on the blown call that incited Ollie. He offered only a questionable explanation for the technical fouls, and only to ESPN’s Andy Katz after the local press pool was told Stuart would not be made available for comment.
Being a referee is not a glamorous profession. Your absolute best day on the court should result in no one remembering you were there at all. And NCAA officials live a more modest existence than most. Unlike officials from the major professional sports, NCAA refs are non-union independent contractors. That means they are employed directly by the NCAA with no negotiating power and no leverage to gain a larger chunk of the NCAA’s massive yearly revenue.
The same characteristics that define NCAA referees also serve to explain their performance issues on the court. Because of their independent contractor status, many referees work other professions to supplement their officiating income and to obtain benefits like health insurance and retirement options not provided by the NCAA. It also has lead to a much older crop of referees than one would expect. It’s very difficult for younger men and women to break into the refereeing elite while the veteran guys need to work continuously to make a living. On the court, that has manifested itself in whistles often blowing in anticipation of action instead of in reaction to it. It seems almost cruel to ask middle-aged men to run the court and react at the same speed as the world-class athletes they are policing. The most-used referees also officiate many more games per season than a college hoops team would play.
Recently, much has been made of the NCAA’s newly-instituted hand-check rules. The idea: calling more fouls will lead to more free throws in the near term, boosting point totals. In the long term, it will condition players to get out of each other’s way, boosting open shots and, you guessed it, more points. But all of this depends on proper enforcement of the new rules by a refereeing corp who is overworked, untrained and struggling to keep up with the realities of the sport.
Inconsistency at best — and incompetence at worst — has become a hallmark of the modern NCAA referee. Fans are more vocal than ever, and are bolstered by the immediate fact-check of high definition instant replay. It’s a common occurrence to see players complain. And even the ones who don’t are aware of the issues wrought by poor officiating.
“It’s basketball. Throughout the whole season it’s kind of up and down. They inserted the new rules — the hand checks — but certain days they call it, certain days they don’t,” said Napier. “They might as well just go back to old school basketball where if you ain’t bleeding, you ain’t getting fouled. I’d prefer that. Because I wouldn’t want to expect anything. I wouldn’t want to get any cheap fouls. I understand they’re trying to get some points on the board, but it’s not equal. One day it’s good. One day it’s bad. You’ve just got to deal with it.”
While Napier’s idea of limiting foul calls would make the game more predictable for players, it’s both unlikely and falls short of solving the underlying problems. Some have suggested improving the pay and benefits of all NCAA referees, allowing them to focus solely on officiating while avoiding the inevitable burn-out of constant travel and work. The NCAA could provide additional training for their referees, possibly doubling as an aptitude test.
The other missing aspect is accountability. Recently, the NBA has begun acknowledging blown calls in games. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been an outspoken critic of NBA officiating and has had some success in bringing about transparency. Cuban’s end-game — an open and public listing of all missed calls — is almost certainly a non-starter, but the principles behind honest, and public, performance evaluations would add credibility to all levels of officiating.
Any reform in the college ranks is unlikely, however. By hiring referees as independent contractors, the NCAA is saving an incredible amount of money. There are 30 NBA teams. There are 351 Division 1 college basketball teams. The cost of offering all referees benefits and a reasonable salary would be amazingly expensive.
There is also not enough pressure from the universities or the public to force a change. In 2012, the NFL and the union representing their referees failed to reach a contract renewal and the league locked out their officials, hiring replacements to handle the whistles in the pre-season and indefinitely thereafter. As the regular season began, the performance of the replacement referees was so poor that it spawned a massive public uproar. By the fourth week of the season, the NFL relented, agreeing to the demand of their locked-out officials. It was a public relations disaster for the league, and a look at how drastic a situation needs to get before change is implemented by a profit-driven sports league.
Without the leverage of a labor negotiation, it’s hard to fathom what a similar situation would look like in college basketball. What would happen if every referee refused to show up one day? Could they even afford to? While fans see referees as an inconvenience, there’s hardly a storm brewing that would qualify as public outcry. Would that change with a blown call that determined a tournament game? It’s impossible to know. Yet, without some catalyst event that forces the NCAA’s hand, expect inconsistent refereeing to be a steady presence in college basketball.
Well, Husky Nation, you can breathe easy today. UConn won a game. Take a moment. Let that wash over you. I’ll wait.
After dropping two hideous games in Texas to Houston and SMU, and falling out of the national rankings for the first time this season, UConn (12-3, 0-2) fended off a very good Harvard squad (13-2, 0-0) in Gampel Pavilion 61-56.
“It wasn’t a big time offensive game,” Coach Kevin Ollie said. “We just grinded it out.”
This was something of a must-win for UConn, which dropped its first two conference games for the first time in two decades. Lack of effort and intensity were the hallmarks of their losses, so everyone was looking to see what version of this team was going to show up. Fortunately, at least in the second half, it was the team that actually gives a crap.
“We were connected,” Ollie said. “When there was a bad play, we recovered.”
Harvard was up five at the half, and even when UConn went up eight in the second, the Crimson kept coming back. Instead of letting it get the best of them, UConn managed to keep it together and get the win.
Shabazz Napier started to look like Shabazz Napier in the second half, and closed the game out with back-to-back three point shots.
“The first three I made was slightly overshot, and I felt good taking the shot,” said Bazz, who led the team with 18 points, 13 of which he scored in the second half. “[On the second shot] I was fortunate enough to be given a lot of space, and I just tried to knock it down.”
The Husky offense couldn’t seem to find its rhythm in the first half (sound familiar?). The Huskies turned the ball over 11 times in the first half. While they shot 57.9 percent from the field in that half, they only took 19 shots. They pulled down ten rebounds, none of them offensive.
“We were playing like we just had too much on our shoulders,” Napier said.
UConn went colder than the wind chill outside Gampel going nearly seven minutes without a bucket. Harvard went on a 10-0 run in that time to take a 14-10 lead. The Huskies seemed to be playing like they knew they had to win, and it caused them to make mistakes.
“It’s not our characteristic to make that many turnovers,” Ollie said. “I just told the guys at half time to relax.”
Other than the win itself, the best thing about last night’s game was the greatly improved defense.
“We communicated more, we talked more on defense,” Lasan Kromah said. “There was more energy. There was more focus on stopping our man, as a pride thing.”
UConn forced 14 Harvard turnovers and got eight steals. They scored 18 points off of turnovers, and 12 fast break points.
“We’re a defensive team,” Napier said. “When we play defense the right way, we’re going to score on offense. Our offense is predicated on defense.”
UConn’s defense held Harvard to 26.7 percent shooting in the second half, allowing them only 25 points.
“I’ll bet on UConn any day when we have a team shooting that bad,” Ollie said.
- The starting rotation got another new look. Defensive specialist Kromah got the start, along with Tyler Olander, Ryan Boatright, DeAndre Daniels and Shabazz Napier. Amida Brimah was originally announced as the starter, but did play 15 minutes on the game before fouling out.
- Harvard was missing leading scorer Wesley Saunders, who contributes nearly 16 points per game. He was bothered by a knee sprain before the game and held out as a precaution.
- Jim Burr was one of the refs, making his usual questionable calls. The most egregious (probably) was the blocking foul call against Tyler Olander when he had basically set up camp in the lane. Unfortunately, that is only one example of many.
- This was the team’s first game on campus in over a month. The last game in Gampel was the Florida contest on December 2. The students are still on break, but the section was fairly well populated.
- Omar Calhoun is in a bad way right now. He played only five minutes and didn’t take a shot. Something is obviously very wrong with him, but it’s not clear what.
- Napier’s knee has been bothering him since the Stanford game, swelling up and just generally causing him to be less Bazz-like. “Certain practices I’ll play through it, and then I’ll take the last 10 minutes off,” he said. “I have this new routine I’m doing to make sure it heals up quicker, because I do play a lot of minutes, and that hinders it from getting healthy.” Bazz was sporting a compression brace for the first time. “It actually felt great today,” he said. “I’ll stick to the routine and hopefully be healthy by Sautrday.”
- Ollie was very positive about the game, and the team overall during the press conference after the game. “They’ve got something special,” he said. “This season is going to be something special if they stick together.”
UConn faces Central Florida on Saturday, at 6 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. You can watch it on ESPNU.
We here at A Dime Back don’t pretend to be unbiased. We all attended UConn and grew up on UConn basketball. We love this team. So I hope you’ll understand how much self-control it’s taking for me not to litter this article with expletives and basically call for the end of the world.
Disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe the play of this team in Texas this week. After an abysmal first half against Houston, the Huskies managed to climb out of a 21-point hole to almost win. SMU is unranked, but they’re coached by Larry Brown, can rebound like nobody’s business and play great defense. But UConn is coached by Kevin Ollie, hits a ridiculous percentage from the free throw line and (on the season, anyway) from three. But it was like UConn was playing underwater as they lost to SMU 75-64. And what hurts the most is they didn’t seem to be trying to win this game. Like, at all. The word of the day is “uninterested.”
Lasan Kromah and Ryan Boatright seemed to be the only people playing yesterday. Boat looked good on offense, scoring 15 points, on 5-for-10 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three. Kromah is far and away the best one-on-one defender on the team right now. He led the team in rebounds with six, as well as dishing four assists, getting two steal and a block, as well as scoring 12 points.
For a team that was known during the Calhoun era as one that, no matter what, could always play great defense, perhaps the most upsetting part of the game was how lazy UConn was on defense. There were far to many wide-open layups and tip-ins under the hoop. Post defense is but a distant memory.
“There’s going to be some changes,” Coach Kevin Ollie said after the game. “If we can’t score, we’re going to definitely play defense. That’s what I hang my hat on.”
The Case of the Missing Bazz has not been solved yet. For the second straight game, Napier was nonexistent on offense in the first half.
“He got discouraged, but he has to understand, we need him to score, too,” Ollie said. Bazz finished the game with 12 points, eight of which were scored at the charity stripe.
This road trip needs to serve as a wake-up call for Coach Ollie and his players. The lack of effort and fire was a little too reminiscent of the 2009-2010 team of which we do not speak. They need to do something drastic, and fast, before this entire season gets flushed down the toilet.
So, in short: Bleeerrggggg.
- The revolving door that is the Huskies starting rotation got a different look again today. Tyler Olander got the start over Brimah and Nolan (and everyone in Husky Nation got beer to self medicate). Olander got one rebound. One.
- Niels Giffey started in the first half, with the Ghost of Omar Calhoun on the bench. In the second half, Kromah got the nod, presumably because he was the only person playing anything resembling defense.
- Dikembe Mutombo was in the audience for this horror show. He and Ollie had a nice bro moment at halftime.
- UConn had 11 assists, 11 turnovers and 24 (TWENTY FOUR) fouls. SMU got tagged for 22 fouls. I don’t care what league you’re playing in, 46 fouls in one game is just insane.
- SMU out-rebounded UConn 37-29. Including 15 offensive boards.
- Nic Moore lead SMU with 20 points on 5-for-9 shooting as well as getting 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Markus Kennedy supplied a team-high eight rebounds.
The Huskies finally get to play a game in Gampel against a pretty good Harvard squad on Wednesday at 7 p.m. You can catch the game on ESPNU.
The NBA Draft gurus of DraftExpress.com released a video scouting report on UConn’s Shabazz Napier on Thursday. Compiled by Mike Schmitz, the video explores Napier’s strengths and weaknesses and is accompanied by clips from recent games.
It’s certainly worth the 13+ minute run time, so watch it for yourself.
Having seen Napier up close the past four years, I think Schmitz’s review is fairly accurate. Napier’s shooting has consistently improved and is certainly NBA-caliber (especially with his range). Combined with his leadership skills, court vision and flair for the dramatic, Napier looks capable of contributing to an NBA team.
The critique I found most interesting regarded Napier’s decision making. A friend of mine (the infamous Parky Parkinson) used to remark of a young Napier, “he’s the best worst player I’ve ever seen.” It was a quip about Shabazz’s tendency to launch “No-No-No-No-YES” shots. What looked like a terrible decision was salvaged by the ball going through the hoop.
That tendency by Napier has faded slightly as he’s matured and learned how to pick his spots better, but he is certainly still prone to odd decisions. Ed Daigneault of the Waterbury Republican-American has dubbed them “Shabazz’s what-the-hell moment,” of the game. It’s interesting to see how national scouts are picking up on that as they look into Napier’s game.
The most troubling part of the video for me is something I’ve been seeing for a while, and that is Napier’s failure to stay in front of his man on defense — a flaw that extends to Ryan Boatright as well. With freshman Amida Brimah’s minutes dwindling, UConn’s defense is commonly devoid of capable inside defenders. Therefore, they are best served by staying in front of opposing guards and denying entry into the paint. Napier’s defensive lapses are exacerbating the Huskies’ most obvious defensive problems. What’s interesting is, I think this is a relatively new trend for Napier that arrived around the time he was asked to burden more of the scoring load on offense. Maybe he’s tired?
Regardless, it’s nice to see Napier getting some national attention. Last season, when he put the team on his back, he received little to no fanfare. Now, with UConn again eligible for the NCAA Tournament, Napier is being mentioned as a possible National Player of the Year candidate. If he can lead his team to a successful season, look for many more flattering accolades in Napier’s future.
UConn brought us some holiday cheer by beating Eastern Washington University 82-65 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The Eagles kept the game close through the first half, but UConn ran away with the contest down the stretch. This was an especially heartening turn of events, as we have repeatedly seen this Husky team let leads slip away at the end of games.
The Huskies’ offense took some time to come together. UConn lead 18-16 with under eight to play in the first half. Only Ryan Boatright was on during the first half, scoring 8 of the Huskies first 20 points. But by the second half, the Huskies’ offense seemed to be running the way you would want a nationally ranked collegiate basketball team’s offense to run.
Instead of firing off desperation threes (and missing badly) as they did against Stanford, UConn’s guards drove to the hoop and got fouled, repeatedly. UConn made 25 of their 27 free throws, going an astonishing 92.6 percent from the charity stripe. There was a clear effort to drive into the lane and get fouled, obviously because this team can hit basically all of its free throws.
“We’re not settling for a lot of threes,” Coach Ollie said. “We do want to shoot threes, but the right type of threes.”
Phil Nolan wasn’t in the starting line up for the second game; Amida Brimah started at center. But Brimah picked up two fouls early, and only played five minutes in the game. Nolan looked like a competent rebounder. His last two performances suggest Nolan has worked his way back into the starting line up. Ollie said after the game that Nolan wasn’t benched; he just wasn’t starting.
“Phil was great,” Ollie said. “He responded the right way.”
Neils Giffey was another new face in the starting rotation, replacing the slumping Omar Calhoun. Giffey made the most of his minutes going 4-of-5 from the floor, including hitting his only three-point attempt, making all four of his free throws, blocking three shots, getting three steals and an assist, just for good measure. Giffey is 21-for-32 on three pointers this season. That’s an insane 65.6 percent. He doesn’t have enough attempts on the year (yet) to be officially listed, but that percentage is better than anyone else in the country. I credit the beard.
In other good news, Calhoun’s shots finally started to fall. After a couple early misses, he ended the night 5-for-9 from the floor, including hitting back-to-back three pointers in the second half. Calhoun and Nolan lead the team in rebounds with six apiece.
Shabazz Napier led the team with 15 points and nine assists. But the scoring was spread pretty evenly across the Husky line-up. Boat had 14, Giffey had 13, Calhoun had 12 and Nolan had a career-high 11. DeAndre Daniels chipped in another eight.
- UConn scored 22 points off of EWU’s 15 turnovers. And, shockingly!, UConn managed to out-rebound EWU 39-36.
- EWU is now 1-19 against ranked opponents. Tyler Harvey led EWU with 19 points. As expected, EWU threw up a lot of three point shots, going 9-for-28 from behind the arc.
- This was the first game UConn played in Bridgeport. The Webster Arena was sold out, with 9,274 people in attendance. By all accounts there was little energy in the room (except when free T-shirts were being launched into the stands) and there was no student section. If UConn is going to play off campus, then they have to sell student tickets and get students to the game.
- Giffey confirmed after the game that there was some trash talking between him and compatriot Martin Seiferth. In German, ‘natch.
- Bazz was clearly not at 100 percent during the game. He missed the end of practice with a knee issue that did appear to be bothering him, but he played for 35 minutes.
- We had a Kenton Facey sighting. He only played for three minutes, but managed to grab two offensive boards while also not fouling anyone.
- Coach Kevin Freeman was not on the sidelines for today’s game, as his wife gave birth to a baby boy yesterday. Congrats to the Freeman family!
UConn plays at Houston at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. You can catch the game on ESPN2.