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The UConn Fast Break - 5/1/2023
Baseball is booming. People are going pro.
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. This is Jon Rothstein’s month of rest but the portal action keeps coming.
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UConn in the pros
It was a big weekend for former UConn Huskies on their journeys into professional sports.
A trio of UConn football players, LB Brandon Bouyer-Randle, FB Robert Burns, and OL Jake Guidone reached undrafted free-agent deals with Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Baltimore, respectively.
Three more former Huskies, LB Ian Swenson, DB Tre Wortham, and LS Tommy Zozus, were invited to rookie minicamp for the Jets, Bears, and Jaguars, respectively.
Matt Peart and Travis Jones are the only NFL Draft picks to come out of UConn since 2018. As head coach Jim Mora and his staff continue to rebuild the program, this is an area where the Huskies also are looking to return to former glory.
As for men’s basketball, Andre Jackson and Adama Sanogo were each invited to the NBA Combine, a good sign for their chances at the next level.
Neither one is in many mock drafts presently, but Jackson’s athleticism is sure to impress in Chicago, while Sanogo will have the opportunity to impress in meetings with teams.
The Huskies went five years between NBA Draft picks before James Bouknight was drafted No. 11 overall in 2021. This year, Jordan Hawkins is projected to be a first-round pick, continuing a nice trend for the program under Dan Hurley.
NBA Combine invites - Andre Jackson and Adama Sanogo will head to Chicago for the NBA Combine.
UConn Fast Break Pod ($) - Nearly two hours long, going into each main rotation player’s season and their contributions to the ‘ship.
UConn WBB Weekly - How do Dorka Juhasz and Lou Lopez Senechal fit with their WNBA teams?
Series with Louisville - A good series with a top team.
Wildcat sweep - The Huskies swept Villanova in a doubleheader.
Schedule musical chairs - Yale’s injured pitchers and Boston College’s travel woes brought together an unlikely pair.
Spring transfers - Aaron Turner and Keelan Marion have entered the transfer portal in recent weeks.
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Maddix Dalena was in his home state this weekend and went yard to help clinch victory as part of a doubleheader sweep over Villanova on Saturday. Click the link to watch below as Twitter and Substack duke it out for embed access.
The NFL Draft came and went this year without a Husky picked. But in 2009, UConn had what was arguably its most successful draft.
Donald Brown went No. 27 overall to Indianapolis as the program’s first first-round pick, while Darius Butler, William Beatty, and Cody Brown each went in the second round to New England, the New York Giants, and Arizona, respectively.
Butler is one of UConn’s most successful pros, playing 124 games over nine seasons for New England, Carolina, and Indianapolis. He recorded 15 interceptions, bringing back four for a touchdown.
Brown spent five years with the Colts and two with the Chargers, while Beatty spent most of his career on the Giants, where he won one Super Bowl and got a second ring with the Eagles in his final NFL season.
UConn, Great Pic
Rhode Island came to Hartford to play UConn baseball at Dunkin’ Park. Despite the weather, Ian Bethune was there to grab these.
We are now four weeks from Selection Monday and for the first time since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams and added the Super Regional round in 1999, there are two teams from the Northeast firmly in the hosting discussion: Boston College and UConn.
The Huskies hosted as a 2-seed in 2010 and just missed out on hosting in 2018, losing out to Coastal Carolina and NC State. Rutgers is the only other team from the area to host, doing so in 2000, but did so as an unseeded team.
If the teams from Chestnut Hill and Storrs continue to win at their current clip and maintain solid RPIs, the committee should not be afraid to give them the right to host a regional in the first weekend of June. They’ve earned it.
BC played 14 games before its home opener, while UConn had 17 road contests to start the year. These two also make up two-thirds of New England’s top 100 RPI teams, along with Northeastern. They both lack the ability to play midweek opponents that help them keep up their RPI, a problem that affects the Huskies more since the Big East offers weaker competition than the ACC.
Despite all this, they both sit in the RPI top 20 this late in the season. If things hold up, it could be a banner year for college baseball in this part of the country.
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