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UConn men’s basketball using summer workouts to prepare for intensity and pressure of Big East

STORRS — The intensity is beginning to ramp up for Dan Hurley and the UConn men’s basketball team as they continue summer workouts.

The main focus, especially with the four new transfers and the one true freshman in Donovan Clingan, is building the toughness required in what is expected to be a strong Big East Conference.


“These last two weeks we’re sending a message about what it’s going to be like when we’re back here late August into September as we prepare for what’s going to be an unbelievable conference year,” Hurley said.

The current summer session ends at the end of next week when the players will get a 10-day break before the intensity is turned up more when they return.


At this point in the offseason, practice plans have been critical for Hurley to prepare the new faces and refresh the returners on the challenge of playing Big East basketball at the level that UConn is accustomed to playing.

“There’s a lot of intense coaching and demanding of players to compete a certain way. So just preparing these guys for that environment. Try to make the game as easy for them as possible by making practices as hard as possible,” Hurley said.

Clingan, who has lost weight and feels much lighter on the court, added, “It fits me well, I love (Hurley’s) intensity. I love the way he coaches, you know, he wants to win and I want to win and that’s what it’s all about.”

For next week, Hurley plans for his one-hour practices to run similar to how they’d normally be in October. He hopes to make clear the mindset players are expected to have when they return following their short break later this month.

“Summertime, postseason – it’s about individual improvement,” Hurley said. “We’re transitioning now to building our team and being about establishing roles and responsibilities, and hopefully playing at a championship level.”