BROOKLYN, NY - On Friday evening, Brooklyn natives would have their college season opening.
It would not be so much about the win or points scored but about the location of the Barclay Center which was a homecoming for some of the UConn Huskies.
The Huskies held off the Maryland Terrapins by one, 78-77 while their former head coach, Jim Calhoun was in attendance watching from up above. This season marks the second year for current coach Kevin Ollie. Last season the Huskies went 20-10, but unfortunately did not qualify for the NCAA tournament due to penalties resulting from academic issues.
During the game, there was a noticeable absent of freshman Kentan Facey in the game. The NCAA clearinghouse had been reviewing Facey's eligibility since July, under the delayed enrollment rule. Facey began his high school studies in his country of Jamaica West Indies and continued in the United States at L.I. Lutheran HS (Brookville, NY).
After the game, NYCHoops.net spoke with Coach Ollie for some clarification. "There was a delay enrollment. [The NCAA] gave [Facey] a waiver so now he able to play, "said the coach.
As to why there was a delay in Facey's enrollment, Ollie responded, "They thought in Jamaica, he took too many years of high school but when he came back, I think the high school had a situation where they misplaced him in a grade. The NCAA [ruled] in our favor and our compliance did a great job of pleading our case and I'm glad they gave him the opportunity to play." While Facey was on the bench, he didn't play; other New Yorkers however did get a chance to play.
The evening game gave promising freshman point guard and Brooklynite Terrence Samuel a chance to see some minutes. Coach Ollie spoke of Samuel's progress thus far. "He's real good and he's going to be good. With a little coaching he's going to very good. I like him," Coach Ollie said. Samuel played 7 minutes scoring 2 points (1-1) to go with 1 steal and 2 rebounds. He only committed 1 turnover.
Ollie also spoke about another Brooklyn native, sophomore guard Omar Calhoun saying, "He's going to be solid. We just got to keep him aggressive and keep his confidence up and hopefully he continues to play [well]." Calhoun scored 10 points (4 of 9) to go with 3 rebounds. He didn't turn the ball over in 20 minutes of play.
With one win under their belt, the Huskies now face Yale in a home game this upcoming Monday.