STORRS — There seemed to be a little more electricity inside and outside Gampel Pavilion as the place filled for First Night.

Maybe the weather was part of it, or a new idea, a men's-women's mixed scrimmage, drew a few more fans out. Or, most likely, it was the expectations surrounding the men's program, as well as the women's.

"I know fans are expecting great things from us," coach Kevin Ollie said, "and the women's program as well, with nearly all of our players coming back. But our expectations are higher than anybody's."

A year ago, the Huskies were staring into a season without postseason eligibility, with Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun retired and a roster that lacked depth. There were transfers and defections. It's all different now. The Huskies overachieved and finished 20-10 and as Ollie goes into year two, he has an experienced cast. The Huskies were ranked 19th in the USA Today coaches poll and second in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll this week.

"I'm excited about every season," Ollie said. "I'm looking forward to the team coming out and showing everybody we deserve to be ranked where we're ranked."

When the introductions started, Ollie told the crowd how excited he was for the season, and the building erupted.

Still On The Rebound

Ollie has emphasized rebounding in practice, attacking UConn's major weakness last season. "If guys rebound, they play," Ollie said. … Though Kentan Facey's eligibility is still being reviewed by the NCAA, and Rodney Purvis, the transfer student, has to sit out this season, both were allowed to participate in First Night, which was considered a practice, like any other practice. … In the scrimmage, the larger basketball used in the men's game was in play.

Recruits On Hand

UConn had four recruits in the house, all from the Class of 2015: Jalen Adams, a 6-2 guard from Wilbraham and Monson; Malachi Richardson, a 6-6 forward from Hamilton, N.J.; Jessie Govan, a 6-10 center from Manhasset, N.Y.; Willie Jackson, a 6-3 guard from Athens, Ga. Needless to say, Govan, the big man, stood out in the crowd. UConn is probably done recruiting from the Class of 2014 unless someone special comes along. The Huskies are working on 2015 and 2016 recruits. ... Most of the men did not dance on the way out to the floor, playing it cool instead. Freshman Amida Brimah, who is 7-1, did show some nifty, lengthy moves. Shabazz Napier, who came out last, did a little move. "I had a great time," Napier said after the scrimmage. "It's my senior year and I want to have fun." One highlight of the scrimmage: Napier dished to Bria Hartley, who passed it back for a baseline layup.

Gamesmanship

Team Geno came from a 22-7 deficit to beat Team Kevin. 51-49. Not a lot of defense played, of course. Purvis had 11 points and Facey 10 for Ollie's blue team. For Auriemma's white-clad squad, Napier scored 11 and Omar Calhoun 10, DeAndre Daniels and Niels Giffey eight. Giffey hit a three-pointer to put them ahead late in the game. Breanna Stewart scored five, and Bria Hartley three for Team Geno.

"We just want to make sure nobody gets hurt," Ollie said before the game. "And put on a great show. I love the women's team here; they're not only great on the court, they win national championships, but they're great people. It shows you what kind of families they come from and the environment Geno creates. There's no rivalry, we're all UConn. When [any of our teams win], it builds the brand." ... Ollie and Joe D'Ambrosio will have a radio show this fall on WTIC-AM 1080, WILI-AM 1400 and WAVZ 1300-AM beginning on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. The shows will be broadcast from Rooftop 120 in Glastonbury. ... Former Huskies Meghan Culmo and Donny Marshall were emcees. … As Team Kevin opened a big lead, one fan called out, "Geno, we need a timeout." We believe he was joking. … Will the dunk contest ever come back? "It doesn't matter to me," Ollie said, "as long as the kids enjoy it and the fans enjoy it. This is something different, and people always like something different. The dunk contest two years ago with Andre Drummond here, people enjoyed it, last year it wasn't so good. It's hit or miss with that." … Omar Calhoun, who had surgery on both hips last spring, and Tyler Olander, recovering from a broken left foot, are continuing to practice without setbacks. … Facey's eligibility uncertainty involves when he graduated from Jamaica's high school system and how much eligibility he should have after three years of high school in the U.S.