A slight tweak in the rules that govern summer practices for college basketball teams is probably helping newly hired UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley and his players adjust to each other.
The Huskies are in the midst of attending classes as part of UConn’s first summer session, and are also going through strenuous workouts with the new coaching staff.
NCAA regulations allow the players to spend a maximum of eight hours per week for a maximum of eight weeks doing team activities. Four of those eight hours can be spent on the practice court, while the other four are dedicated to strength and conditioning only.
Previously, only two of the eight hours could be devoted to “skill-related workouts,” i.e. practice.
UConn will hold workouts for three weeks during the school’s first summer session, and five more weeks of workouts during the second summer session.
Before the practices began, Hurley predicted his players might be shocked by the intensity.
“I think the intensity level is going to go up significantly this summer,” Hurley said during a recent public appearance in East Hartford. “I think they saw what it’s going to be in terms of expectations and standards.”
UConn has added three new players to its roster in guards Tarin Smith and Brendan Adams, as well as big man Kassoum Yakwe.
But Hurley has tried to embrace the Huskies who played for Kevin Ollie as well.
“It was important for me that the returning players understood that I wasn’t coming in and making transactions,” Hurley said. “I’m a coach that embraced every returning player that wanted to be a part of rebuilding this great program.”
UConn’s non-conference schedule is nearly complete, though it might a few weeks until the Huskies release the final dates and sites for their 2018-19 foes.
For the first time in recent memory, UConn’s non-conference games are likely to be completed before New Year’s. There are no marquee out-of-league matchups slated for January or February as the Huskies have often featured.
In addition, UConn will be staying close to home in the non-conference. It will have only home games, highlighted by a visit from Arizona, as well as four neutral-site affairs: in Newark, New Jersey against Florida State (Dec. 8), at Madison Square Garden in New York against Villanova (Dec. 22), as well as two games as part of the 2K Classic at MSG against Syracuse and either Iowa or Oregon (Nov. 15 and 16).
As far as the Huskies’ American Athletic Conference schedule, that is still being worked on by the conference. Although the women’s basketball pairings of which teams will be playing each other was announced last week, the men’s basketball matchups will be delayed for at least another week.
Recruit on campus
Hurley’s Huskies hosted a significant recruit on campus for an unofficial visit Tuesday. Jams Bouknight, one of the top shooting guards in the Class of 2019, stopped by the Storrs campus.
Bouknight is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound New York native who currently attends The MacDuffie School in Granby, Mass-achusetts. He is ranked as the No. 76 overall prospect in the nation by 247sports.com.
Bouknight was offered a scholarship by Ollie and his staff before Ollie’s firing, and he was also offered one last season by then-Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley.