Wednesday, August 20, 2008


August 20, 2008

by Raymond Balter

Upstate New York is not an area that is generally considered a hotbed of high-major Division 1 basketball talent, certainly not when compared with the more urban and metropolitan areas further south. That’s not to say that great players can’t exist up north, and judging by the final four schools that comprise Brandon Triche’s list, he certainly qualifies as one the top overall players in the Empire State’s 2009 class. The Dewitt, NY native said that he hopes to decide on one of those four schools by the November signing period.

The four schools that appear to have made the cut and form the list from which the eventual winner for his services will come from are Syracuse, Georgetown, Connecticut, and Georgia Tech.

Triche had this to say about Connecticut: “They have a Hall of Fame coach, and the competition at the guard spot will make me a better player."


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Friday, August 08, 2008


August 8, 2008

Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Classic will attract a crowd

This weekend is like Jim Calhoun’s family reunion as the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game will take place Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. It is a chance for the Connecticut program to flex its powerful muscles as they bring together the Ben Gordon’s, Ray Allen’s, Rudy Gay’s, etc of their world in the star-studded reunion.

It is also a perfect time to bring some recruits to see the festivities and there is a good possibility that Omari Lawrence and Kevin Parrom will take on some of the action from the weekend, either on campus Friday or at the event on Saturday. Either way, Lawrence and Parrom will be Seeing Stars (Hartford Courant) as well as the UConn program.

Current class of 2009 commit Jamal Coombs will also be on hand Saturday night, along with Gerard Coleman. The Boston Area Basketball Club Guys (Hartford Courant), along with teammates Alex Oriakhi, another 2009 UConn commitment, and Phil Pressey did not make it for the recent UConn Elite camp due to their deep run in the AAU Nationals in Florida. Oriakhi and Pressey, who along with Coleman is a 2010 recruit, will be in Oregon this weekend for the Nike Global Games and unable to attend.


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Thursday, August 07, 2008


August 7, 2008

On Sunday and Monday, Jim Calhoun hosted his second annual Connecticut Elite Basketball Camp at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. For the second consecutive summer, 2010 elite recruit Tobias Harris was in attendance.

Harris, a 6-foot-8 forward from Half Hollows Hills West High School on Long Island, was unable to participate in any on-court action due to a thumb injury suffered in the AAU Nationals in Orlando recently. Tobias was not the only Harris at the camp, younger brother Tyler, just 14 years old, participated in the UConn camp.

"Tobias and Tyler thought the camp was good, they had a chance to speak in depth with Rudy Gay," Torrel Harris, Jr, father of Tobias and Tyler, told the NBE Basketball Report in an e-mail. "Tobias loves the way Rudy playshe paid very close attention when Rudy was speaking directly to him at the camp."

Gay was able to deliver some poignant advice for the campers, advice that hopefully all will use to improve their game.

"Rudy discussed how to take advantages of your opponent on the court and how he does it," Mr. Harris said. "When practicing on your game, practice like it (is) your last game you will play."


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Tuesday, August 05, 2008


The Connecticut Elite Camp wrapped up on Monday, but it definitely seemed to be exactly what UConn coach Jim Calhoun needed. As he enters his final week of radiation treatments following a May surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his neck, Former Players Boost Calhoun’s Spirits as well as his Recruiting (Hartford Courant) as they come to speak at the camp or give him a phone call to let him know they are thinking of him.

Nearly forty of those past players will be at the Mohegan Sun on Saturday for the Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game.

Of the 24 players who made it in to town for the Elite camp over the course of Sunday and Monday, three of them seemed to get most of the attention from Jim Calhoun and his staff. Daniel Orton, Dominic Cheek and Durand Scott definitely had it made very clear to them how interested UConn was in recruiting them. With Scott, a former high school teammate of Kemba Walker, the Huskies Have Another Recruit on Radar (Norwich Bulletin) and see him as a combo guard possibility who, most importantly, is a winner.

An Old Friend Back on Campus (New Haven Register) for the camp yesterday was NBA All-Star Rudy Gay, and his presence certainly made an impact on the campers. Gay played in several scrimmages with the players and spoke to the group afterwards. Gay’s presence certainly reminded campers of UConn’s pull in the NBA.

2009 Connecticut commitments Alex Oriakhi and Jamal Coombs, along with their 2010 recruit BABC teammates Phil Pressey and Gerard Coleman, did not make it back from the AAU Nationals until very late Sunday night and did not make the trip to the Elite Camp.

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Monday, August 04, 2008


August 4, 2008

It is a very big recruiting time at Connecticut with the second annual Jim Calhoun Elite Camp in the UConn campus. Some of the biggest names on the recruiting landscape were in attendance as the Elite Camp Gives Top Recruits a Good Look at the Huskies (Norwich Bulletin).

Daniel Orton, a 6-foot-10, 267 pound center from Oklahoma might be the biggest name at the camp. Orton has pared his school list down to UCLA, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Kentucky and Connecticut and might follow the new trend, fashioned by Tyreke Evans, of waiting until the spring to make a decision.

Another impressive prospect on hand was St. Anthony’s shooting guard Dominic Cheek, who told the Norwich Bulletin that the Huskies will ‘definitely’ be among his top choices as Cheek Works on Cutting List (ZagsBlog.net) and, along with coach Calhoun offering a comparison to Ray Allen, the chance to play with Kemba Walker intrigues Cheek very much. Cheek and Walker formed a bond while playing with the USA U-18 team earlier this summer and Cheek May Follow Walker to UConn (Connecticut Post). Of course, Cheek is also close to the other U-18 point guard, Maalik Wayns, who has committed to Villanova. Cheek indicated that the Wildcats, along with the Huskies, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Kansas will make the pared down list of schools he will consider, among others.

Other Elite Camp Notes (Hartford Courant) mentions that the Husky staff is very high on Walker’s former Rice HS teammate Durand Scott and believe the 6-foot-4 swing man can make as much of an immediate impact as Cheek.

Patrick Young, a 6-foot-9 big man from Florida will transfer to the Winchendon School and is very high on Connecticut. Young will re-classify into the class of 2010, so he is still wide open in the recruiting process. Another Florida stud from the class of 2010 was expected to make the trip, but after a deep run (championship) in the AAU Nationals, Brandon Knight decided taking a break from the AAU and camp circuit was a better idea.

As for the Current Huskies, Jonathan Mandeldove, Craig Austrie (showing off an improved physique) and Stanley Robinson, although not currently part of the team, worked as counselors at the camp on Sunday. AJ Price looked very good in a workout with a team trainer. Kemba Walker’s passing ability drew a Marcus Williams comparison from coach Jim Calhoun.


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