UConn coach Dan Hurley breaks down the list

ROCKY HILL — UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley used his annual appearance at the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce breakfast to break down his roster and provide an overview of his team.

On Friday morning, Hurley said three starters were set: Adama Sanogo, Andre Jackson and Jordan Hawkins. He also noted that the starting point goalkeeper position is up for grabs as transfers occur. Tristen Newton and Hassan Diarra are vying for the role.

He had a lot more to say about the rest of his list.

Hurley said Sanogo is the best player in the league and the 6-foot-9 forward who led the Big East in rebounding last season will step his game out of the perimeter a bit this season.

“We want Adama to shoot 3s this year,” the coach said. “Adama can shoot 3s.”

Hurley noted that Freshman center 7-2 Donovan Clingan has lost almost 40 pounds since last season at Bristol Central and will combine with Sanogo as one of the best center combinations in the country.

Redshirt freshman Alex Karaban will have a “huge impact” this season, Hurley noted, and sophomore Samson Johnson “Perhaps the most talented athlete I’ve coached, next to Andre…it’s all about putting it all together, the nuances of basketball.”

Joey Calcaterrathe San Diego graduate transfer, looks better than he looked on film and, apparently, has a new nickname.

“Joey California will set you on fire, if you’re not on point,” Hurley warned.

Underused Richie Springs had a great practice Thursday that would have put him “in our top nine rotation” had the Huskies played a game Friday night.

“If Richie was brutal today,” added Hurley, “he would fall for it.”

Apostolos Roumogloua freshman from Greece, could eventually earn a role as third guard or small forward if he keeps working hard, while the Israeli freshman Yarin Hassonwho is only 17 years old, must continue to grow and strengthen.

Hurley also took the opportunity to address the many business owners in the Friday morning crowd.

“UConn athletes are elite, they are champions,” he said. “They are some of the hardest workers in all of collegiate athletics, they represent the university in an incredible way. This truly is a school for all sports. I would never make the arrogant mistake of saying that this is just a basketball school.”

“And they are doing it in the right way. They are exceptional young people who could represent your brands in an exceptional way. We urge you to create opportunities for them.”

[email protected] @DaveBorges

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