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.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.