clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reports indicate UConn is on the cusp of rejoining the Big East

Tired of languishing in a mid-major conference, the Huskies seem poised to jump back to the big time. Should we be as excited about it as they are?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Buffalo vs UConn
I chose this picture because it was the first one that came up.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

As first reported by something called Digital Sports Desk and then later confirmed by reputable outlets everywhere:

The Connecticut program rose to prominence as a member of the Big East, being a perennial power under former coach Jim Calhoun. They've been something of a mixed bag since his departure, riding Shabazz Napier to a national championship, but also downgrading conference affiliations and sputtering in the last years of Kevin Ollie's tenure.

Now they have the coach they're hoping will right the ship in Danny Hurley and - maybe - their ticket back to high-major basketball. This obviously isn't an official announcement, but a lot of respected sources are reporting it.

This is obviously a boon for UConn, but should the rest of the Big East be as excited? The program has been down recently, with an average finish of 124th in the KenPom over the past three years. That's DePaul range. Their separation from Ollie was messy (to say the least), and they've won one tournament game in the past five seasons.


Dan (are we calling him Danny or Dan? KenPom has Dan, but I've always thought of him as a Danny) Hurley had URI in the top 100 of the KenPom for four straight seasons and won 2 tournament games there. 24/7 has their 2019 recruit class at 21st in the nation, and that's recruiting for a team that plays most of its games on a streaming service rather than real TV. UConn is a legitimate brand with strong connections to the Big East.

If you believe Dan(ny) Hurley is the coach to take them to the mountaintop and you believe that the Big East will stop at 11 teams to preserve the round robin and you believe that the league and the school can work out some stable arrangement regarding the football team, then this is a good move for the Big East (assuming it happens). If you think any one of those or any of the other moving parts involved represents a fatal fault in the move, then you're right to be skeptical. For the moment, I'm talking myself into being guardedly optimistic.