Huskies Thin at Guard

STORRS – Shabazz Napier played 35 minutes and Jeremy Lamb logged 31 in Connecticut's exhibition opener against American International College Wednesday night. Sunday, in the exhibition finale against C.W. Post, they may be needed even more.

The Huskies are running a bit thin in the guard department these days. UConn announced Saturday that sophomore swingman Niels Giffey suffered a hyperextended right knee in the AIC game. Giffey did not practice the past two days and his availability for Sunday's game will be a game time decision.

And the Huskies once again will be without freshman guard Ryan Boatright, as UConn and the NCAA continue their review of his eligibility. UConnPlaybook.com reported Wednesday that the review is related to a matter involving Boatright's former AAU team and a possible illegal benefit. Other reports have indicated the review centers on the purchase of a plane ticket while Boatright was playing with the D-Rose All-Stars, an AAU team run by Derrick Rose's brother Reggie.

Just a week ago, UConn coach Jim Calhoun was worried about his depth along the frontline with Michael Bradley out until early December, Enosch Wolf sidelined with a groin injury and Andre Drummond suffering a broken nose and a concussion in practice.

Exactly how long UConn will have to wait for a ruling on Boatright's eligibility isn't known. Beyond that, if there is a problem, Boatright might be told to sit out two to six games, based on similar NCAA cases in the past.

Boatright is missing valuable time during the exhibition season. UConn coach Jim Calhoun was not pleased with the offensive flow against AIC and is eager to give Boatright a try at point guard. Boatright is expected to spell Napier and provide a change of pace at the point.

During the AIC game, UConn used Lamb at point guard for a few minutes. Giffey played 18 minutes and scored seven points.

"It was an offensive struggle for us," Calhoun said. "We only had one guy [Napier] – and he didn't do that until the second half – put the ball on the deck and create situations for us. Certainly our wings are going to have to do a better job getting free.

"Shabazz was just banging the ball into the ground [in the first half] – and driving me crazy. Jeremy made a couple decent plays, but he didn't look quick handling the ball or going by people. One guy who eventually did that was Shabazz. We have to do a much better job with that. We're going to play a team that really runs and puts up points, and that'll be C.W. Post on Sunday. And we have to be able to score a lot more points ourselves."

The Aurora, Ill., Beacon-News reports that Boatright's father, Mike McAllister, has been questioned by the NCAA. McAllister coached his son's AAU teams from the time he was in fourth grade through sophomore year of high school.

"It was a surprise to me, but I talked to them," McAllister told the paper on Friday. "I suppose somebody made an allegation and they have to investigate.

"They asked me about our team. We didn't have sponsors. We had $10 uniforms, everybody wore their own shoes their parents bought and we didn't fly anywhere. We usually traveled to tournaments in a 15-passenger van. Even when we went to nationals in Florida we drove."


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