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UConn kicks off '16/'17 campaign with First Night Celebrations on October 14 in Storrs.

POSTED October 04, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


TORRINGTON: It may feel as though it’s been just a couple of weeks or months since the last women’s college basketball season wrapped up but believe it or not, it’s about to begin again.

Seems like yesterday that we were at Mohegan Sun to witness UConn grads Stewie, Jefferson and Tuck go one, two and three in the WNBA Draft after taking their fourth straight national Championship in April.

The trio has moved on though, Stewart was named the WNBA Rookie of the Year, Jefferson was on the All-Rookie team and Tuck had a good first year that ended with surgery.

That begs us to start to wonder about what this season will bring as the UConn women and the rest of the country, get ready for an act that does not include those all too familiar names.

Mind you, the cupboard is never bare in Storrs.

Returning champions include Kia Nurse, Katie Lou Samuelson, Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier, all who were major pieces in the puzzle that completed the four-peat for their senior leaders and each of them contributed in a significant way.

Let’s face it though, a year ago if head coach Geno Auriemma needed a big win, he had to look no further than to his superstars who would swoop in and take care of business.

There will be no such luxury this year.

It’s a fascinating time at UConn though as this year’s team, complete with newcomers Crystal Dangerfield, Kyla Irwin and Molly Bent look to establish their own identity as the rest of the nation looks to knock off the top dog in the land.

 

NO

Last Name

NAME

Height

HEIGHT

POSITION

eligibility

CL/ELG

HOMETOWN

10

Bent

Molly

69

5-9

Guard

1

FR/FR

Centerville, Mass.

51

Butler

Natalie

77

6-5

Center

7

SR/JR

Fairfax Station, Va.

32

Camara

Batouly

74

6-2

Forward

3

SO/SO

New York, N.Y.

12

Chong

Saniya

68

5-8

Guard

7

SR/SR

Ossining, N.Y.

24

Collier

Napheesa

73

6-1

Forward

3

SO/SO

O'Fallon, Missouri

5

Dangerfield

Crystal

65

5-5

Guard

1

FR/FR

Murfreesboro, Tenn.

25

Irwin

Kyla

74

6-2

Forward

1

FR/FR

State College, Penn.

20

Lawlor

Tierney

67

5-7

Guard

7

SR/SR

Ansonia, Conn.

11

Nurse

Kia

72

6-0

Guard

5

JR/JR

Hamilton, Ontario

33

Samuelson

Katie Lou

75

6-3

Guard/Forward

3

SO/SO

Huntington Beach, Calif.

23

Stevens

Azurá

78

6-6

Forward/Guard

5

JR/JR

Raleigh, N.C.

15

Williams

Gabby

71

5-11

Guard

5

JR/JR

Sparks, Nev.

 

….It is just as fascinating on the men’s side for head coach Kevin Ollie as he welcomes in newcomers and tries to fill the shoes left by the early departure the likes of Daniel Hamilton who was at times the Huskies best player a season ago.

Back though is a team that found their moxie in the NCAA Tournament and showed they were not a one man band.

Sure, UConn will miss Hamilton and his all-around game but sophomore Jalen Adams found his game as the season wore on, as did fellow second year player Steven Enoch.

Rodney Purvis stayed and is joined by fellow seniors Amida Brimah and Kentan Facey who will be counted on for the bulk of the board work this year.

Ollie continues to garner top recruits and brought in freshman Alterique Gilbert, Mamadou Diarra, Vance Johnson and Christian Vital.    

UConn kicks off the 2016/2017 campaign with their annual First Night Celebration on Friday, October 14 at Gampel Pavilion.

NO

Last Name

NAME

Height

HT/WT

POSITION

eligibility

YR/CLASS

HOMETOWN

2

Adams

Jalen

75

6-3/195

Guard

3

SO

Roxbury, Mass.

35

Brimah

Amida

84

7-0/230

Center

7

SR

Accra, Ghana

21

Diarra

Mamadou

80

6-8/215

Forward

1

FR

Queens, N.Y.

23

Durham

Juwan

83

6-11/207

Forward

1

FR

Tampa, Fla.

13

Enoch

Steven

83

6-11/258

Forward

3

SO

Norwalk, Conn.

12

Facey

Kentan

82

6-10/227

Forward

7

SR

Trelawny, Jamaica

24

Foxen

Christian

80

6-8/227

Forward

5

JR

Rocky Hill, Conn.

3

Gilbert

Alterique

72

6-0/175

Guard

1

FR

Richmond, Va.

5

Jackson

Vance

80

6-8/229

Forward

1

FR

Los Angeles, Calif.

22

Larrier

Terry

80

6-8/192

Guard/Forward

4

RS SO

Bronx, N.Y.

31

Noyes

Michael

72

6-0/186

Guard

7

SR

Granby, Conn.

15

Purvis

Rodney

76

6-4/205

Guard

8

RS SR

Raleigh. N.C.

1

Vital

Christian

74

6-2/178

Guard

1

FR

Queens Village, N.Y.

 

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