- UConn Fast Break
- The UConn Fast Break - 11/29/2023
The UConn Fast Break - 11/29/2023
Basketball is getting into full swing, while men's hockey continues to confound.
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Are you ready for some big-time hoops this week (and pretty much every week after that)?
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Men’s basketball sets modern NCAA record
It would have been an unremarkable night featuring a comfortable win against a low-major opponent, days before a huge top-5 road matchup, but the Huskies also set an NCAA record in their 84-64 victory over UNH on Monday night.
It was the program’s 24th consecutive double-digit non-conference win, which tops the mark set by North Carolina between Nov. 15, 2008 and Nov. 15, 2010.
Dan Hurley’s Huskies’ last non-conference loss was on March 17, 2022, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with questions looming about whether he could win a big game. They were 3-5 in the postseason under Hurley up to that point.
Since then, he’s proven he can do that and more, despite facing challenges to his coaching ability from the fanbase until March 2023. He didn’t just build a winner, he built one of the most dominant NCAA Tournament teams of the modern era.
But this record is a testament to what is being built for the future. This season’s 7-0 start has included two workman-like wins over Indiana and Texas that were reminiscent of the Huskies’ 2023 NCAA Tournament triumphs. But it’s a completely different team doing it this year.
It will be tough for the Huskies to repeat as champs, no matter how good the 2023-’24 team ends up being. Either way, fans can take lots of comfort in the fact that the program is set up for a bright future, with many great seasons on the way.
Hurley and his staff are building something special. Their latest record is proof that the party should last well past 2023.
Notes & Quotes: Manhattan – A look at what the Huskies had to say about their dominant performance against the Jaspers.
Notes & Quotes: Texas – The Huskies have the talent and depth to take on anyone, says the Texas head coach.
Veteran leadership propels UConn to Empire Classic title – Karaban, Diarra, Johnson, Spencer, are leading this team through early injury concerns.
Huskies ranked No.4 in AP Poll – After spending the past two weeks at No. 5, UConn moved up a spot and earned two first-place votes.
UConn’s offensive underclassmen shine – The Huskies’ offensive skills were on display in their win against Sacred Heart.
Huskies end season with a win – UConn finished their season with an impressive 31-18 win over UMass.
Post-Game Spread – Our thoughts on the Huskies’ dominant performance against the Minutemen.
Offseason questions for UConn – Will they hire a DC? How different will the roster look? Will football change its conference situation? It’s going to be a busy offseason for this program.
Azzi Fudd tears ACL – The guard will miss the remainder of her junior season.
Huskies look to move forward after Fudd’s injury ($) – With Azzi Fudd out for the remainder of the season, UConn will look towards other players to fill her role.
Caroline Ducharme ruled out against UCLA – Ducharme was ruled out of the Huskies matchup against the Bruins due to neck spasms.
UConn falls to UCLA – The short-handed No.6 Huskies struggled offensively against the No. 2 Bruins.
Huskies defeat Jayhawks – Aubrey Griffin and Paige Bueckers led the way in a hard-fought win.
Podcast ($) – In the latest episode, we discuss what’s behind UConn’s shooting woes.
Huskies looking to spark their offense – UConn is in need of some remedies for their shooting woes this season.
UConn women’s hockey vs. Quinnipiac – The photo gallery for the Huskies 4-2 loss against the Bobcats.
UConn’s offensive burst leads to victory ($) – The Huskies’ shooting struggles were nowhere to be seen in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Dartmouth.
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Jordan Hawkins is having an incredible start to his rookie year. He set a career-high with 31 points on Nov. 6 and has had seven double-digit scoring games since, including two 25-point performances, with the most recent one coming on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz.
Hawkins is averaging 13.4 points and 4.1 per game, starting nine of 18 contests and averaging 28.9 minutes per game. His three-point shooting is at 37 percent.
NBA analysts are taking note…
Jordan Hawkins is one of the best rookie shooters in recent memory
— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA)
Nov 25, 2023
Jordan Hawkins is a SPECIAL shooter. Elite off-ball movement and a lightning-quick release
— Brett Usher (@UsherNBA)
Nov 26, 2023
I love how easy Jordan Hawkins can make shooting look.
— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA)
Nov 25, 2023
With the big matchup against No. 5 Kansas coming this Friday, let’s take a look back at the series history:
UConn last played Kansas in 2016, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. That squad won the AAC Tournament with the help of a minor miracle and beat Colorado in the first round to set up this matchup. The Jayhawks prevailed 73-61 in a game that was unfortunately not even that close.
That Kansas team would go on to the Elite Eight, where they lost to the eventual national champions Villanova.
The other two historical meetings between UConn and Kansas pre-date our blog. The Huskies lost big in the first-ever meeting, 88-59, on Jan. 28, 1995, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City.
In the return game on Jan. 19, 1997, at the then-Hartford Civic Center, Kansas won, 73-65 against a UConn team that would finish the season 18-15. Those Jayhawks were coached by Roy Williams and starred future NBA players Paul Pierce and Raef Lafrentz.
Hardened by the experience, Jim Calhoun’s Huskies would go on to the Elite Eight in 1998, and we all know what happened the next year.
UConn is looking for its first win ever against Kansas. In each of the three previous meetings, however, the Huskies were an overmatched squad. That won’t be the case at Phog Allen on Friday.
UConn, Great Pic
Some great ones from Ian Bethune:
It’s no secret that Jim Mora wants to join a conference. He’s on record as saying that independent life is “absolutely killing us," striking a remarkably different tone than he had in any of his interviews before this season.
Army will leave independence in 2024 to join the American Athletic Conference, which leaves just Notre Dame, UConn, and UMass among the independent ranks. We all know Notre Dame’s situation is different.
Independence can be tenable, but as the number of independent teams and non-conference slots for others dwindle, it becomes much harder.
This week we learned that Delaware will be moving up and joining Conference USA in 2025 as the 135th FBS team. It could be the start of a northward expansion for the league, and UMass, UConn, or some other regional FCS programs could be in the mix going forward.
The Blue Hens could combine with UConn, UMass, and Temple, which should probably go the way of UConn and depart The American, park most sports in the Atlantic 10, and figure out football in a less stressful place. This would create a 14-team football conference that can help with regional rivalries, make it easier to schedule, and compete against relative peers, and help with recruiting.
With a Power Five invite well out of the picture, it’s time for UConn fans to face the fact that the road to redemption will include some humbling stops along the way. Football needs to be in a conference soon, whether it’s the C-USA, Sun Belt, or some new creation, the team has to play for something. We’ll see what happens this offseason.
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