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The UConn Fast Break - 4/14/2023
A parade, many home runs and lots of draft news!
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Not sure what to do with basketball over? The answer is baseball!
This weekly newsletter is brought to you by the folks who run The UConn Blog on SB Nation and the UConn WBB Weekly, UConn Hockey Hub, Hook C Baseball and Husky Football Forum newsletters on Substack! Please consider sharing or supporting our work!
Baseball is on a roll
UConn baseball holds a 24-8 record and was ranked No. 19 in the RPI as of April 14. The Huskies just went 2-1 against St. John’s to open Big East play last weekend and have a big series coming up against Xavier this weekend.
In Baseball America and D1Baseball’s most recent NCAA Tournament projections, the Huskies are the 2-seed in a regional hosted by Boston College. Baseball America has the Eagles seeded No. 14, while D1Baseball is more bullish, at No. 8.
The Huskies had a 3-3 start against Ohio State, Cal, and Cal Poly, but are 12-4 in their last 16 games following their return from Spring Break, including a pair of midweek wins against CCSU and Bryant on Monday and Tuesday. As a team, UConn is hitting .305/.415/.494, each of which is in the top 50 of the NCAA rankings.
This weekend, Xavier represents the strongest challenge in conference play as the only other Big East team in the top 100 of the RPI.
UNC Asheville transfer Dominic Freeberger (.369/.468/.600), one of six Huskies to start all 32 games, has been leading the team in batting average and is one of three players with seven home runs on the year along with Ben Huber (.349/.455/.643) and Korey Morton (.269/.355/.500).
The weekend rotation, which is comprised of Ian Cooke (3-2, 4.81 ERA), Jack Sullivan (4-1, 4.86), and Andrew Sears (1-0, 5.34), has been less successful than in years past, but the bullpen has been good at preserving leads. Garrett Coe (3-1, 4.64) has a batting average against of .164 in 21 1/3 innings, while Brady Afthim (0-0, 2.30) and Zach Fogell (3-0, 3.00) have also been effective at limiting runs, and runners in the later innings.
As always, The UConn Blog and Hook C Baseball newsletter are the best places in the world for coverage of this team. We followed them from the start of the season and will continue to do so until the final out!
Sanogo enters NBA Draft – The big man announced that he will enter the NBA Draft, while Nahiem Alleyne entered the transfer portal.
Sanogo is a UConn great – His three years in Storrs saw incredible progress for himself and the program.
Hawkins heading to the NBA – Jordan Hawkins is projected by many to be a first-round pick.
Clingan Returning – UConn’s parade day got even better when Donovan Clingan announced he would be coming back to Storrs.
Fast Break Podcast – In the latest episode, we discuss UConn’s championship win and their dominant tournament run.
Spicy Nuggets – Some of the funnier things we heard during the NCAA Tournament.
Post-Championship Recap – Lot of news in the week after winning the title.
Lou Lopez Sénéchal selected fifth overall – Lopez Sénéchal was selected fifth overall at the WNBA draft and is heading to the Dallas Wings.
Dorka Juhász drafted 16th overall – Juhász was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx with the 16th overall pick.
WNBA Draft Night – Check out our photo gallery from the WNBA draft.
Huskies set to play at 2023 Cayman Island Classic – Next fall, UConn will travel to the Cayman Islands to play in the inaugural Cayman Island Classics which is slated to feature top opponents.
Morgan Cheli is the right fit for UConn ($) – The 2024 commit possesses several similarities to the Huskies and is shaping up to be a perfect fit.
UConn WBB Weekly – Catch up on all the latest news revolving around UConn women’s basketball.
Huskies’ successful Big East opener – UConn rallied late in the game to defeat St. John’ss 7-5 to kick off conference play.
UConn crushes CCSU – The Huskies traveled to Dunkin’ Park and dominated CCSU 10-4.
Support the most in-depth coverage of UConn men’s hockey around!
Michael Quigley has some nasty stuff, and it was on full display with this punchout in the sixth inning of UConn baseball’s victory over Bryant on Tuesday.
Elon is still waging his war against Substack, so you can click this link to watch.
The WNBA Draft was on Monday night as we saw the start of two Huskies’ professional careers.
Let’s take things back to 2016, when UConn players were picked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 for the first (and only) time in league history. Breanna Stewart went first to Seattle, followed by Moriah Jefferson to San Antonio, and then Morgan Tuck to Connecticut.
Check out all of our coverage from a landmark evening.
UConn, Great Pic
Some gems from the championship parade and WNBA Draft, all from Ian Bethune.
College sports has seen a lot of change with NIL and new transfer rules. Players have more options and more opportunities than ever to find an ideal situation for their collegiate years.
Coaches and fans may bemoan losing a player from their team, but these people have the right to do whatever they think is in their best interest, whether it’s to transfer or go pro (or test the waters).
Just because they are not perfect pro prospects does not mean one more year of college is the automatic solution. Believe it or not, you can still develop as a basketball player outside of campus.
If someone wants to transfer to a different school, good for them! That worked out really well for Josh Carlton, Brendan Adams, and Jalen Gaffney at their next schools, for example, and UConn as well. It doesn’t always, but you don’t need to kick people on their way out.
Moreover, coaches (or students in other non-athletic activities) have been able to freely depart whenever they like. Their criticisms of the new system are wildly hypocritical. They no longer wield absolute power over players, and that affects their chances of earning millions, and that’s largely why they’re mad.
As fans, you have a responsibility to not be shitty and certainly not to publicly besmirch people for choosing not to go to your favorite school. This is their career. Grow up. Touch grass. Be a decent person.
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