When UConn men’s basketball tips off in its only public exhibition game against Southern Connecticut, they already know they won’t have Sid Wilson due to suspension. However, they may be without star guard Jalen Adams as well. Head coach Dan Hurley said Adams is a “game-time decision” because of a violation of team rules that also kept him out of the secret scrimmage against Harvard.
“If I let the best player on the team cut corners, and just do the things he wants to do, we’re going to have a really soft, weak, losing team,” Hurley said. “You get held to an even greater standard when you’re the best player because you set the pace for the pack, you have to do everything right. It’s great to be the best player because you get all the attention, but you get held to a higher standard because everyone’s watching you.”
Hurley: “Our culture isn’t where it needs to be overall. When you win 30 games in two years, it’s not just a talent issue.”— Gavin Keefe (@GavinKeefe) November 1, 2018
Hurley also noted that Adams’ situation is separate from Wilson’s.
High Hopes for Gilbert
If the Huskies are without Adams on Friday, they’ll be reliant on redshirt sophomore Alterique Gilbert. Despite missing the last two seasons due to shoulder issues, Gilbert was the team’s best player against Harvard, scoring 29 points on 4-of-7 from three. His health will go a long way in determining how well UConn does in Hurley’s first season.
“You see Al’s talent, speed, quickness everyday,” Hurley said. “You see his health looking great and you see a guy who has the qualities you can building a winning or high-level program with. His work ethic, his passion, his commitment.
“Al’s a building block player for a program that has high aspirations.”
Yakwe Working Back
Speaking of injuries, graduate transfer Kassoum Yakwe is back on the court for the Huskies after dealing with a foot injury for most of the preseason. He still isn’t a full participant in drills, instead limited to half-court, non-live work. But Hurley is hoping to have him back for the season opener on Nov. 8 against Morehead State.
“He’s doing some live things for the first time, we think he’ll be ready to give us some minutes next week in the opener,” the coach said. “Hopefully by next week he’s ready to go full.”