Ryan Boatright

UConn honors Newtown tragedy victims in pregame ceremony


We’ve seen sports teams from various states, both far and neighboring, honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn. since Friday. On Monday night, UConn got their opportunity to honor their fallen in-state citizens.

The men’s basketball team held a heart-felt memorial before their game with Maryland-Eastern Shore. Along with a moment of silence, players like Ryan Boatright (pictured) wrote SH on his face and 26 students held candles to honor the 26 victims shot to death, 20 of them children ages 6 and 7, in the tragedy that rocked the nation.

The Huskies also honored the fallen with a green, rectangular patch on their jerseys with the letters “SH” on them. Others also wore green and white ribbons in tribute, according to the Associated Press.

UConn’s campus in Storrs, Conn., is located about 75 miles northeast of Newtown.

While all memorials have been equally heart-wrenching, one that honors the victims in the state where the unthinkable act occurred carried a little more impact, I’d imagine. Some in that crowd on Monday night may have been friends or relatives of those who died and with Connecticut having no professional teams in any of the major sports, UConn has the state’s attention. They did right by the state, definitely.

Great job by the Huskies for giving those in the state a little bit, however small, to smile at with an 84-50 over Maryland-Eastern Shore.

David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
Leave a comment

Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
Leave a comment

South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.