Guard Prince Ali, who gave UConn an oral commitment last November, has changed his mind.
"After talking it over with my family," Ali saidon Twitter Thursday, "I have decided to re-open my recruitment! I still love UConn and I am still considering UConn!"
Ali, a 6-foot-3 guard in the Class of 2015, who led Sagemont School in Weston, Fla., to a state championship this past season, did not give a reason. UConn cannot comment on recruits.
Ryan Boatright, a senior, will be gone by 2015, but Terrence Samuel, who completed his freshman season, and Rodney Purvis figure to be around. UConn has two guards coming in 2014, Sam Cassell Jr., a point guard, and Daniel Hamilton, a guard/wing. Will "Turtle" Jackson, another 2015 guard, committed to UConn in February, and the coaches have been looking at other '15 guards, such as Malik Newman, a highly rated guard from Jackson, Miss., who told SNY's Adam Zagoria last week that he and Diamond Stone, a highly regarded center from Milwaukee, are "100 percent" determined to be a package deal in choosing a college. UConn coaches had in-home visits with both Newman and Stone during April.
Sunday Title Game?
The American Athletic Conference made a play for TV exposure when it shifted its men's basketball tournament to the Thursday-Sunday format. The move could hurt the league's bid for NCAA selection credibility.
The AAC tournament, which will be at the XL Center March 12-15, will involve all 11 teams. Three first-round games, involving the Nos. 6-11 seeds, will play Thursday, then four quarterfinal games Friday, semis Saturday and the championship game Sunday at 3 p.m.
As commissioner Mike Aresco pointed out, the 3 p.m. Sunday start will give the final a better position for ESPN coverage and, he said, a slot that traditionally produces better TV ratings. But it also bumps the game closer to the NCAA Selection Show. Committee minds could be made up before the American champion is determined. The late-afternoon start will complicate things for the selection committee as it considers a league that hopes to get multiple at-large bids.
However, the selection committee does develop contingency plans, pending the outcomes of Sunday games, so the impact of playing Sunday might not be all that detrimental to the AAC.
The power conferences, such as the Big Ten and ACC, have been moving toward Wednesday-Saturday formats, so chances are The American went this way because that's the slot TV offered. Last season, AAC champion Louisville was seeded No. 4 by the NCAA, UConn No. 7 and Southern Methodist missed out, the American seemed saddled with second-tier status.
"I think it's a good move for the league because everybody else, specifically the ACC, is abandoning Sunday," said Seth Davis, CBS college basketball analyst. "It's great exposure at a time when there are a lot of eyeballs."
Mark Your Calendars
The UConn alumni event at Mohegan Sun Arena is scheduled for Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to go on sale in mid June. The Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game will have a different format this year, with former UConn players going against an all-star team of retired NBA players from other schools, particularly Big East rivals. The game is awaiting approval/sanctioning from the NBA, but that is usually a formality. … Calhoun will be at the Marriott in downtown Hartford on June 27, where he will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Arthritis Foundation of New England. Joe D'Ambrosio will emcee the event, which includes a live charity auction. Call 860-781-7776 for details. ... Kevin Ollie and UHart women's basketball coach Jen Rizzotti are co-chairs for the Miracle League of Connecticut Celebrity Golf Classic on June 3 at Wampanoag CC in West Hartford. Proceeds go to maintain the cushioned, wheelchair accessible baseball field and playground at Trout Brook and Asylum avenues. More info at http://www.miracleleaguect.org. … Ollie's Charity Golf Classic, which benefits the Tolland Fund, is set for Aug. 4 at Glastonbury Hills CC. The Tolland Fund raises awareness and money to create opportunities for athletes with disabilities. More info is available at http://www.TollandFund.org. … Ollie and retired Sacred Heart coach Dave Bike will be honored at the Franciscan Sports Banquet at the Aqua Turf in Southington on June 10. The event benefits the Franciscan Life Center, Franciscan Home and Hospice Care. For more information, call 203-237-8084 or go to http://www.flcenter.org. … The first session of UConn's summer classes, when incoming freshmen usually begin their time in Storrs, starts Monday.