Dan Hurley is taking a brand new strategy to the beginning of this yr’s summer season exercise program. The UConn coach has discovered from the errors of final yr and he’s determined to make the primary session about one factor: Health.
Final season Hurley felt an excessive amount of was thrown on the gamers in the beginning.
“I believe we felt final summer season we’d’ve pushed a little bit too arduous in [the first session],” he mentioned. “Perhaps late within the yr [we didn’t have] the life to complete the season the best way we needed.
“Our strategy has been extra, get the place you need to be bodily with the power coach. Let’s work on particular person abilities. Work in participant improvement in Summer time One. In Summer time Two we’ll push extra of the workforce factor.”
A slower strategy could also be much more vital this yr due to the various new faces. Hurley spoke with media members on Wednesday in regards to the first session of exercises that runs by means of the tip of June. The second session begins on July 1. Listed below are the largest takeaways:
It’s been well-documented that UConn has had fairly a little bit of roster turnover this offseason. The Huskies had eight gamers go away from final yr’s workforce. Forwards Isaiah Whaley and Tyler Polley exhausted their enjoying eligibility whereas guards R.J. Cole and Tyrese Martin turned professional.
UConn additionally had 4 gamers enter the NCAA switch portal: ahead Akok Akok transferred to Georgetown, guard Rahsool Diggins to UMass, guard Jalen Gaffney left for Florida Atlantic and guard Corey Floyd Jr. joined Windfall.
The Huskies have introduced in 4 transfers to reload. This week, San Diego switch guard Joey Calcaterra joined earlier arrivals Nahiem Alleyne, Hassan Diarra and Tristen Newton.
The roster sits at 11 with two scholarship spots open.
“We will likely be at 12 (gamers) by Summer time Two,” Hurley mentioned. “There’s an opportunity we get to 13 if there are some gamers which have excessive upside and we are able to herald right here. We wish some youthful guys and developmental guys.”
Heart Donovan Clingan is UConn’s solely true freshman this upcoming season. Hurley has been impressed by his play and general health. Clingan has prioritized stepping into form, dropping 20 kilos over 4 months and now weighs 265 kilos.
“We’re in all probability going to pat ourselves on the again and take a variety of credit score for the form he’s in proper now,” Hurley mentioned. “He despatched me an image from an award that he acquired at a dinner in Bristol. I assumed it may need been from his sophomore or freshman yr of highschool. He regarded so lean. He’s leaned out.”
Hurley additionally didn’t anticipate Clingan’s talent degree being this excessive.
“I’ve simply been impressed together with his offensive talent degree,” Hurley mentioned. “On the defensive finish of the courtroom and the power, he performs sturdy as a result of he has a lot mass as a human being.”
Hurley expects Clingan to again up star ahead Adama Sanogo with the objective to maintain Sanogo more energizing because the season progresses.
Hurley believes rising sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins is able to take an enormous leap ahead. Final yr he averaged 5.8 factors and a couple of.0 rebounds in 14 minutes per sport, incomes Massive East all-freshman honors.
“I believe he’s a man that’s simply going to take it to the following degree,” Hurley mentioned.“We’re betting closely on that. He seems to be like a man that’s primed to do huge issues.”
Hawkins has additionally bulked up, including 20 kilos to his freshman enjoying weight of 170.
“He seems to be nice bodily,” Hurley mentioned. “He’s had an excellent summer season. He has an excellent mentality. He is aware of the second and the profession the place he’s at. He seems to be nice. He was arising final yr earlier than the concussion. The pure development for him is to grow to be a starter and crush it.”
Shreyas Laddha may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @shre98 on Twitter.