Dan Hurley, Kimani Young return to sidelines at UConn on Sunday

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Dan Hurley will return to the sidelines on Sunday.Kimani Young too.

After the Huskies’ home loss to St. John’s on January 15, Hurley hinted that he would make some changes to get the team out of the funk. Find the “spark”.

A few days later, he tested positive for COVID-19 and did not travel to Newark, NJ for the UConn game with Seton Hall. missed and took over the duties of head coach. The Huskies trailed the Pirates exactly in the game by eight seconds, but at 67-66 he was on a three-game losing streak.

If UConn were to make any major changes (starting lineups, rotations, offensive/defensive schemes) that wouldn’t happen as Harley would be sick and Murray and Moore would be in control. Now that they’re back, the Huskies could shake things up a bit as they try to break out of the skein of losing three straight and five in their last six games.

As of Saturday afternoon, No. 15 UConn (15-5, Big East 4-5) appeared to have a healthy roster ready for Sunday’s game. That includes Samson Johnson, a 6-foot-11 sophomore who has been out of action since UConn’s season opener on November 7 with a stress reaction in his right leg.

Johnson was in the uniform for Wednesday night’s game at Seton Hall, so he could have dealt with an absolute emergency. But Hurley said last week that Johnson could be a “game time decision” by this time.

With or without Johnson, the Huskies will have to overcome the problems that led to this nightmare skid.UConn hasn’t gotten a good play from the point guard position. The Huskies have not shown the toughness and connection that marked his incredible 14-0 start to the season.

UConn beat Butler 68-46 at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse on December 17 in both teams’ Big East season opener. The Huskies cut their 13-point lead to 4 points midway through that second half. Incredibly, it was UConn’s closest opponent, except when Alabama tied with the Huskies with eight minutes left in the eventual UConn win by 15 points.

But Adama Sanogo took a three-pointer out of a timeout, and UConn went the rest of the way when Sanogo finished with a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds.

For some reason, the Huskies have only gone 3-5 since. Butler, on the other hand, has played better, including recent home wins over Villanova and wins over DePaul and Georgetown. At 11-9 overall and 3-6 in the Big East, the Bulldogs are just one game behind UConn in the conference standings.

Still, if UConn’s loss to Seton Hall after leading nearly the entire game on “The Rock” really rocked the bottom for the Huskies this season, then Sunday’s loss to Thad Matta’s crew was a no-brainer. Much worse. @DaveBorges


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