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Destroyed tendon anniversary survived, UConn starts AAC play and more...Ramblings from the desk of Mr. Gaff.

POSTED December 27, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Well, I didn’t need bubble wrap and I got through December 26 unscathed this year, a far cry from what happened a year ago.

On December 26, 2013, I ripped my quad tendon nearly off just above my left knee when I slipped going down our backyard.

It’s been a running joke that on the anniversary of the injury, I was ordered by my family to sit on the couch all day to avoid injury. I made it and while the knee is not 100 percent, it’s a heck of lot better than when it was hanging like a thread a year ago.

----The UConn women’s basketball team begins American East Conference play when they take on SMU at the XL Center in Hartford today at 1 p.m. Rick Wilson will be on hand.

Not sure how much (if any) competition the Mustangs or the league in general will give the Huskies after they ran through it to the tune of an 18-0 mark a year ago, but here goes.

“We’re not as good as we were last year,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma told us a week ago after they beat up on UCLA by 36.

Still seems like the Huskies should not have much trouble getting by.

Sure is fun watching the development of freshman (in grade only) Kia Nurse who plays at least two grades up from her first year status thanks to her National team play with Canada. She is a player who makes you notice her when she’s on the court.

The second best story on the Huskies has got to be Morgan Tuck who, after missing much of last year to injury, is healthy and playing some terrific basketball at this moment.

It can’t be good for teams that face UConn that I haven’t even mentioned Breanna Stewart of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis yet.

After SMU, the Huskies host #10 Duke on Monday night before traveling on New Year’s Eve to face ECU.

UConn starts 2015 in New York at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 4 when they take on St John’s in the Maggie Dixon Tournament.

----The UConn men are home on Sunday at the XL Center to tackle Central Connecticut at 1 p.m. Patrick Tiscia will have the game for us.

At the start of the year, one may have looked at this game and put it in the win column without too much hesitation but this is not a normal year so far for head coach Kevin Ollie and his team who come in with a 5-4 record.

Losses to Yale and a struggle for most of their win over Columbia on December 22 have the Huskies glad they are not playing any more Ivy League teams this year.

The emergence of Rodney Purvis (21 points) and the continued development of freshman Daniel Hamilton are key to the Huskies making some hay during AAC play. Winning the league may be the only way the Huskies make the NCAA Tournament come March.

The Blue Devils, coached by former UConn assistant coach Howie Dickenman, are off to a slow start at 2-9.

Connecticut faces a bigger challenge when they open AAC play on New Year’s Eve against a Temple team that beat then #10 Kansas a week ago.

That game takes place at the XL Center on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

----Good job by a couple of our local high school girls teams for signing up to play some terrific teams over the next three days.

The Class S defending champions from Thomaston are not looking for easy wins to pad the win column. On the contrary. By taking part in the Notre Dame Christmas Tournament, the Golden Bears will be looking at New London and Notre Dame, two power teams in the state.

New London is the defending Class M champ and off to a 6-0 start while host Notre Dame is in Class S with the Bears and off to a 3-0 start.

Throw in LL power Trumbull and the bar has been set high for all the teams.

Thomaston will take on New London tonight at 6 p.m.

In Torrington on Monday, the Raiders (3-1) host Weaver, a top five team in the state at the moment.

After losing their opener, Weaver is on a four game winning streak and is a force in Class L.

Great tests for both teams.

----Tough year to be a fan of New York sports teams. Mets and Yankees had bad years, as have the Jet’s and Giants. Forget about the Knicks, almost everybody else has.

Rex Ryan should get his walking papers on Monday as the Jet’s season comes to a merciful end.

It’s tough to even say what the franchise needs to do to get better, they are down so low.

1969 seems like 100 years off, doesn’t it?

Will I see another?

Mets are supposed to be better this year with a young pitching staff but we’ve heard that story before.

It is a shame to have some of the biggest market teams in the country right in our back yard all being down at the same time.

Hope everybody had a great Christmas and will have a safe and Happy New Year.

See you out there!

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