Let the Fun Begin

The Connecticut men open Big East Conference play against Marquette Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

It's a time-honored tradition in the Big East that veterans talk to rookies in order to prepare them for the change that takes place when conference play begins. But let the record show that there's nothing like the personal experience.

In other words, no one can really understand it without the personal experience.

The 2012-13 Connecticut Huskies get their first taste Tuesday night in Milwaukee (8 p.m., ESPNU) against Marquette (9-3).

"You can tell them bits and pieces but you can't really explain the Big East," sophomore Ryan Boatright said. "You've got to get your own taste of it. With the new guys, we just try to let them know what we can in order to get them as well prepared as we can.

"We just tell them it's extremely physical and there ain't going to be that many fouls called. Every game is tough, from the top of the Big East to the bottom of the Big East. You've got to be prepared. . . You can go from 9-2 overall to 9-9 real fast. Real fast."

Of course, Boatright said, that's not the plan.

Marquette, led by guard Vander Blue (13.4 ppg) will be without coach Buzz Williams Tuesday at the Bradley Center. Williams is serving a university ordered 48-hour suspension that began New Year's Eve. He is allowed no contact with his team during this period.

Marquette is punishing Williams for recruiting violations that were self-reported to the NCAA before the season. According to the Milwaukee Journal, athletic director Larry Williams said there was "no indication the coach was aware of the violations, which included giving a recruit rides and team apparel.

Assistant Scott Monarch was fired after the school's investigation, part of the tighter rein administration is holding on the athletic department and men's basketball after earlier problems led to changes at the top."

Williams hasn't said who will coach in his absence. Marquette assistants Jerry Wainwright and Jeff Reynolds are former Division I head coaches.

Williams did tell reporters over the weekend that he is concerned with UConn's quickness, which he termed "racetrack" style.

"They pressure you defensively, put pressure on you offensively because of their speed," he said. "We'll have our hands full, but we cant make it into a track meet because we'll lose. We have to handle their speed. We have to make them guard us inside, have a presence in the paint."

Let the Big East fun and games begin.

CardinalAuthority.com Recommended Stories

  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next

Connecticut opened the Big East Conference season Tuesday night with a heartbreaking overtime loss…