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The UConn Fast Break - 12/9/2022
Lots of hockey and football while basketball season is in full swing.
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. It is December 9th, and UConn men’s basketball is undefeated!
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Geno’s injury woes continue
UConn women’s basketball can’t catch a break. Azzi Fudd’s right knee injury, suffered in Sunday’s defeat to then-No. 7 Notre Dame, is a matter of weeks and not months, but it’s still a brutal blow. Thursday night against Princeton, Nika Mühl had a scary-looking head injury. Her status is uncertain.
Paige Bueckers and Ice Brady are already out for the season, while Dorka Juhasz was out for the sixth straight game on Thursday against Princeton. Lou Lopez Senechal, Caroline Ducharme, and Ines Bettencourt are the only healthy guards on the roster while Fudd recovers, leaving the Huskies dangerously thin in the backcourt, especially if Mühl, who was leading the nation in assists, it out.
Fudd has averaged 24.0 points per game and has been UConn’s primary option offensively in Bueckers’ absence. While the Huskies held on to beat Princeton, they head to Maryland for a ranked battle on Sunday and will also travel to top-15 Creighton on Dec. 28, which is the earliest realistic return date.
How deep are the Huskies? - With a nine-man rotation and an opening-day starter out with injury, the answer is very.
Andre Jackson is the team’s heart and soul - The junior, despite not scoring tons of points, is the straw that stirs the drink for a top-five team.
Huskies ranked No. 5 - It’s the first time the AP voters have ranked UConn this high in a decade.
Tigers tamed - After dealing with another brutal injury, the Huskies escaped with a 69-64 win.
Notre Dame powers through UConn - Azzi Fudd missed the second half in the team’s first loss of the season.
Friars vanquished - Providence was no match for UConn, which defeated the Friars by 45 points.
Allie Ziebell commits - The guard is the No. 5 overall player in the Class of 2024.
UConn WBB Weekly - This week’s newsletter looks at Amari DeBerry, who may see increased time while Dorka Juhasz and Fudd are out with injuries.
Chasing Perfection - The podcast crew looks at Fudd’s injury and what comes next.
How does UConn move on without Fudd? ($) - Geno Auriemma will be missing his best healthy player for a few weeks. Now what?
What went wrong against Notre Dame? ($) - A look back at how the Huskies suffered their first loss of the season.
Merrimack defeats Huskies - A brutal second period sunk UConn at home.
Team to move to Toscano Family Ice Forum after New Year - The new on-campus facility is set to open on time.
The Forecheck - This week’s newsletter looks at the 19th skater, which Mike Cavanaugh has used to cycle through freshmen.
UConn Hockey Hub Podcast ($) - The premium podcast looks back at the first half and previews UConn’s final game before the winter break.
Frustration sets Huskies back ($) - The team let its emotions get the best of them on Friday night.
Myrtle Beach Bowl bid - It’s a bowl re-match between UConn and Marshall.
Reviewing the offense - With the regular season over, some grades for the Husky offense.
Nate Carter to transfer - Despite limited action in 2022, it’s clear Carter will get a solid opportunity, probably in the power five.
Huskies savoring bowl opportunity - A return to the postseason is a big deal considering the depths to which the program has fallen.
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Andre Jackson with the block, Joey Calcaterra with the lob, and Donovan Clingan with the flush to put UConn up 20 against Florida.
Clingan was later seen doing the gator chomp:
11 a.m., the day after Christmas. No, this isn’t a Ben Folds parody, it’s the game time of UConn’s last bowl appearance.
Marshall was the opponent on Dec. 26, 2015, in the St. Petersburg Bowl, a game played without a title sponsor. Now known as the Gasparilla Bowl and held at Raymond James Stadium, the Huskies and Thundering Herd did battle at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
UConn surrendered only one touchdown and scored one of their own, courtesy of a Ron Johnson eight-yard scamper, but Marshall had three field goals to make the difference. We would find out later that UConn QB Bryant Shirreffs was playing through an injury.
UConn, Great Pic
It was tight at the end, but UConn women’s basketball closed out Princeton on Thursday, with a five-point win. A few shots from Ian Bethune.
Let’s give it up for UConn football. The Huskies went from the laughingstock of college football in 2021 to a bowl appearance in 2022. Jim Mora made an immediate impact and while he’s not a finalist for coach of the year, what he did at UConn in his first year was nothing short of a miracle.
His positive energy and use of the transfer portal has been felt since Day 1. The Huskies are still ranked just No. 113 in SP+ out of 131 teams, but are 11 points better than 2021, 10 points better than 2019, with a 12-point improvement over the debacle that was 2018. Its -14.6 rating is its best since 2016, which was Bob Diaco’s last season.
In men’s hoops, fans have been going wild through the Huskies’ undefeated start to the season, but now national analysts are getting in on the praise.
Norlander had the Huskies ranked 2nd in his updated power rankings, KenPom also ranks Dan Hurley’s squad No. 2 in the country.
Twitter’s @NoEscalators probably said it best: it’s time to be “reckless” with our projections for this team — the sky’s the limit!
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