STORRS, Conn. (AP) The UConn’s men’s basketball team ended its summer workouts and unofficially began the new basketball season Wednesday by completing the annual “Husky Run” through campus.
Sophomore swingman Daniel Hamilton was the first member of the team to complete the annual 3.1-mile race. He jogged the last few yards backward, and finished in 20 minutes, 21 seconds – 10 seconds ahead of junior forward Kentan Facey.
Junior center Amida Brimah, who ran 20:22 a year ago, didn’t participate this year because of a sore ankle. Also sitting out the “Husky Run” was junior guard Sam Cassell Jr., who missed a significant portion of last season due to a stress fracture in his leg.
Hamilton says he’s in the best shape of his life, and believes his team has what it takes to be among the best in the nation.
The Huskies finished 20-15 and lost in the first round of the NIT last season, a year after winning the program’s fourth NCAA championship.
Jon Gill, a senior at Lyman Hall-Wallingford HS, won the “Husky Run” for a second consecutive year with a time of 17:45.
Video credit: WTNH News 8
UConn head coach Kevin Ollie and his staff have been productive on the recruiting trail in the Class of 2016, as they’ve reeled in commitments from three players considered by many to rate among the top 100 players in the class. One of those three is point guard Alterique Gilbert, a native of Georgia who spent the summer playing for the CP3 All-Stars alongside talented players such as elite power forward Harry Giles.
Gilbert, who’s joined in UConn’s 2016 recruiting class by forwards Juwan Durham and Mamadou Diarra (VCU transfer Terry Larrier will be eligible to play in 2016-17 as well), will be a key figure for a program that will at the very least lose grad student Sterling Gibbs and senior Omar Calhoun from its perimeter rotation at the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
Above are Gilbert’s highlights from this summer, with Courtside Films putting together the video.
Juwan Durham, a top-30 prospect in the Class of 2016, verbally committed to Connecticut and head coach Kevin Ollie on Tuesday evening. He announced the decision on Twitter.
“This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I’d like to announce that I will be committing to the University of Connecticut,” he tweeted.
The 6-foot-9 Durham joins fellow power forward Mamadou Diarra and Alterique Gilbert, a four-star shooting guard who committed to the Huskies in July.
Durham, a Tampa Prep (Florida) product, is rated as the No. 27 overall recruit in the rising senior class by Rivals.
Being outside college basketball power conferences hasn’t stopped Ollie on the recruiting trail (of course, the 2014 national championship didn’t hurt). Durham is the second four-star commit in a two-month span, and is joining a list of sought-after recruits continuing to head to Storrs.
Since joining the American Athletic Conference, UConn has landed two five-star commits — Jalen Adams and Daniel Hamilton — and another four-star prospect in Steve Enoch. That doesn’t include Ollie’s success in landing transfers, like Rodney Purvis in 2014 and Terry Larrier this spring. Ollie also bolstered his 2015-16 roster with the addition of graduate transfers Sterling Gibbs and Shonn Miller.