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The UConn Fast Break - 12/23/2021
Basketball and hockey are on holiday breaks but the news never stops!
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Adama Sanogo is huge
Quite literally, Adama Sanogo stands a powerful 6-foot-9 and 240 pounds, according to the UConn roster, and his importance to the team is just as large.
Given what we’ve seen so far, with Sanogo missing a few games due to an abdominal injury, his presence appears to be the difference that makes UConn the Big East contender we think it might be.
After losses to West Virginia and Providence, where Tyrese Martin was also out for the West Virginia game, it’s clear how much Adama Sanogo means to this year’s team.
The FS1 announcers mentioned that RJ Cole’s three-point shooting percentage is 20 points higher when Sanogo plays than when he does not. Sanogo is such a threat to score when he gets the ball down low that it changes the entire strategy of the opposing defense. When he isn’t there, they can pressure the perimeter and UConn just doesn’t have enough shooting or scoring ability to overcome.
Sanogo was averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds before making his return appearance in the win over Marquette, where he scored six points and grabbed two rebounds in 12 minutes. When he’s at full strength, this UConn team is dangerous. Hurley also seems to be close to finding some of his ideal lineups, which is also exciting.
But clearly, Sanogo needs to stay healthy for the Huskies to make a run.
Football Signing Day recap - In addition to the 11 players that had previously verbally committed to the Huskies, Jim Mora also flipped three-star former Virginia Tech commit Matthew Hoffman, who plays tight end, and also added quarterback Cade Millen, who transferred from FCS Northern Arizona as well as junior college running back Will Knight.
Lou Spanos returns to football staff - Spanos will go back to his original post on the team as defensive coordinator under Jim Mora.
Men’s basketball falls to Providence - UConn lost in a rock fight, 57-53, with a furious comeback effort that fell short. Dan Hurley not did not go deep on his bench in this game, and we saw a curious set of individual decisions on playing time.
Men’s basketball beats Marquette - The Huskies looked solid in the 78-70 win to avoid going 0-2 in league play. The return of Adama Sanogo and the excellent play of Martin and Cole put UConn over the top.
Men’s basketball drops from AP Top 25 - The Huskies are out of the poll for the first time this season.
No. 7 women’s basketball falls to No. 6 Louisville - It was a tough loss at Mohegan Sun Arena, as UConn had a lead late.
Holiday break provides an opportunity for women’s basketball - Geno Auriemma’s team has some issues that it needs to clean up as it heads into the holiday break.
Women’s basketball falls to No. 11 in AP Poll - The Huskies are outside of the Top 10 for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
WBB injury updates - Evina Westbrook has been trying to keep the hobbled Huskies involved with practice. Meanwhile, Geno Auriemma said that Azzi Fudd and Nika Muhl are progressing well from stress reactions, while Aubrey Griffin is still struggling.
Men’s soccer hires new coach - Chris Gbandi, who was part of the Huskies’ national championship in 2000, is the new head man after spending six seasons leading Northeastern.
UConn Hockey Hub Podcast - The podcast crew reviewed the first half of the men’s hockey season, which will resume in the New Year.
UConn baseball announces 2022 schedule - The Huskies were also a unanimous pick in the Big East preseason coaches poll to win the league.
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Tage Thompson was the first, and to date only, first-round pick in men’s hockey history when he went No. 26 overall to St. Louis in 2016.
Now in Buffalo, the Connecticut native is having a breakout season, with 10 goals and eight assists in 30 games so far this season, setting career highs in both categories. On Thursday, the forward showed off his silky mitts with this play to help the Sabres top Minnesota in a shootout.
UConn women’s basketball is known for doing a lot of winning. Geno Auriemma’s teams own the two longest winning streaks in Division I basketball history.
Prior to the Huskies’ reign, John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins men’s teams from 1971-1974 won 88 consecutive contests. However, 11 years ago this week, UConn broke that record for the first time with the team’s 89th straight win, beating No. 12 Florida State 93-62 on December 21, 2010.
Maya Moore led the way, scoring 41 points in what was a career-high to that point, adding 10 rebounds. Bria Hartley (21 points) and Tiffany Hayes (14 points) were also in double figures in front of a sold-out crowd.
The Huskies extended the record one more game with a road win over Pacific before No. 2 Stanford took down the Huskies at Maples Pavilion, a bit of a house of horrors for UConn over the years. Stanford also snapped the school’s 47-game winning streak there early in the 2014-15 season.
UConn, Great Pic
The basketball programs had a busy weekend. The men played on Saturday against Providence, while the women faced off with No. 6 Louisville in the Hall of Fame Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena.
We were lucky to have Ian Bethune at both games to capture these gems.
UConn men’s hockey wrapped up its first half of the season with an 8-6 record and important wins over BU, Northeastern, and UMass Lowell. While preseason expectations for this team were high, Mike Cavanaugh’s squad has had the look of a really great team at times, but still hasn’t looked its best.
The Huskies have beaten all of the teams they should have — something previous year's teams cannot say — and with the team mostly healthy, it is shaping up to be an exciting second half for UConn men’s hockey, with all possibilities still on the table. They could set many program records this year, including Hockey East finish, postseason finish, in addition to individual milestones and program records.
Daniel Connolly, the only person in the world covering this team on a game-by-game basis, has written a thorough first-half review so you can catch up on all things #IceBus. We also recorded a podcast discussing the team and handing out some first-half awards.
After that, they’ve got some huge contests at Boston College and home against BU before a home series vs. New Hampshire and then the CT Ice Tournament. January is going to be a very interesting month for UConn men’s hockey.
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