First Night jitters

The UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams at UConn are getting ready to hit the floor here at Gampel Pavilion to open the college basketball season.

A couple of notes before the hoopla:

— UConn made Ricky Moore’s homecoming official earlier Friday, hiring the former UConn guard (and co-captain of the 1999 NCAA championship team) as its new assistant director of basketball administration.

Moore, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Dartmouth, moves into the role vacated by his former teammate Kevin Freeman. Freeman is now the director of administration.

“Ecstatic to be back,” Moore said Friday night. “It’s a great feeling coming in at this time. It’s a sad time because coach (Jim Calhoun) is leaving but everybody’s taking it as the legacy has to live on.”

Moore won’t technically be coaching at UConn. He can’t recruit or assist on the court. Still, he’s not too upset with taking a small step back.

“You want to be on the court coaching and having that interaction with the kids,” Moore said. “But at the same time it’s a great opportunity for me to sit back and learn some more things.”

Moore is excited to work alongside Kevin Ollie.

“I get the feeling when coach Ollie is speaking to the kids that it’s going to be a good situation,” Moore said. “I think he has the respect of each and every guy on the team. I think they’re going to compete and play as hard as they can for him.”

— The Huskies hosted a couple of recruits during the festivities.

Winston Morgan, a 5-foot-11 point guard from East Catholic High in Manchester, and Khadeem Carrington, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard from Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn, were on hand. Both are Class of 2014 prospects.

Two players who have already committed to join the Huskies in 2013 were also expected to arrive soon: Big man Kentan Facey and guard Terrance Samuel, who are AAU teammates with the New York Rens.

Noah Vonleh, the 6-foot-8 PF from New Hampton, N.H., was rumored to be headed here earlier in the week but is not on campus. Vonleh is apparently at Syracuse for its version of Midnight Madness.

In other 2013 news, UConn is expected to host small forward Brandon Austin next weekend for a visit. Austin, a 6-foot-6 standout at the Imhotep Institute in Philadelphia, is also considering LaSalle, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and Xavier.

Neill

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About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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