User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Huskies show what the NCAA will be missing

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - The Connecticut men's basketball team can't play for a national title this season. The Huskies still want to put on a show.

Advertisement
They got their first chance Friday night in the program's annual First Night, the unofficial kickoff to the practice season, which featured the traditional slam dunk contest, a 3-point shooting competition, music, dancing and pyrotechnics.

It also gave former coach Jim Calhoun, who retired last month, one final chance to address the Husky fans. He was in the building briefly, but did not make an appearance on the court. Instead, he addressed the crowd in a taped message shown on the scoreboards and passed the baton to new coach Kevin Ollie.

``I'll always be a part of UConn basketball, I'll always be rooting for UConn basketball,'' he said. ``But this is your night. It's your First Night. Have a great journey the entire winter. Go get `em Huskies.''

The crowd of about 7,000 towel-waving fans gave Ollie the night's loudest ovation as he was introduced, and interrupted his speech to the crowd by rhythmically clapping and chanting his name.

``He's passing the baton to me, but I don't feel like he's behind me,'' Ollie said of Calhoun. ``He's beside me and we're running together in this race.''

UConn didn't qualify academically for the NCAA tournament and is also banned from the Big East tournament.

Paul Jankco, 42, of New Hartford brought his 8-year-old son Jacob. He said he's anxious to see if the hard-nose style Ollie played with as a point guard at UConn will translate to the team.

``It's hard to follow a legend, but I think he is going to be really good,'' he said. ``He'll be able to relate to the players a little bit more, and he's really got nothing to lose.''

Women's coach Geno Auriemma, who had a notoriously icy relationship with Calhoun, said he's been a big Ollie supporter since he was a player here in the early 1990s.

``I remember how hard he worked and how low maintenance he was,'' he said. ``Watching Kevin work and watching him work the players out last year, and watching his career in the NBA and how it evolved. I just think those are the kind of people you need to root for.''

Auriemma women's team is expected to compete for an eighth national championship this season. First Night was the fans' first chance to see Auriemma's highly touted recruiting class, which includes former national high school player of the year Breanna Stewart, who competed in the dunk contest.

``This year, from Day 1, we had a great preseason,'' Auriemma said. ``That's made all the coaches and the players feel really, really anxious to get started.''

Women's sophomore star Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis won the 3-point competition and men's freshman Omar Calhoun had the night's best dunk, going between his legs with the ball on the way up.

Ollie also made some news off the court, when he added another former UConn player to his staff. Ricky Moore, the co-captain of the 1999 championship team, becomes the program's assistant director of basketball administration.

Moore joins Ollie, Kevin Freeman, Glenn Miller, and Karl Hobbs as former Husky players on the staff.

``The kids should be able to go to a coach and know that he's had this experience,'' Moore said. ``The kids shouldn't feel this is impossible to do, going to class, whatever. We've been through it.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Marshall: Eyes on the Ivy
Iskoe: College Hoops Report
Washington edges Oklahoma, 69-67
Texas Southern stuns Michigan St. in OT
UNC runs past Ohio State, 'over' hits
Kentucky embarrasses UCLA, 83-42
Villanova rallies in OT win over 'Cuse
Lehigh tops Arizona State 84-81 in 3OT
Indiana upsets No. 23 Butler, 82-73
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA BK  Hot Streaks
6-2 L8 G-Plays, +1,845 This Year
12-4 L16 G-Plays, 19-6 This Month
2-0 Y'day, 9-3 L12 Selections
11-6 Last 17, 14-7 Win Streak
11-5 L16 Guaranteed Plays
11-3 Last 14 Guarantees
6-2 Record L8 Guarantees
18-9 L27 Guaranteed Plays
25-14 Last 39 Selections
3-1 L4 NCAA BK Picks
6-3 L9 Guarantee Streak
4-1 Last 5 Guarantees
NCAAFB College Football Expert Sports Picks
2014 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1880
Brian Edwards + 1103
Mike Rose + 923
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 380
John Fisher + 345
Joe Williams + 288
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Mike Rose 66 %
Brian Edwards 64 %
Greg Smith 60 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Brian Edwards + 860
John Fisher + 747
Doc's Sports + 720
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 245
Doc's Sports + 100
Andy Iskoe + 100
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 799
Mike Rose + 470
Antony Dinero + 420
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide