Suspended Adams sits out UConn season opener

Storrs — The first sign that junior Jalen Adams would continue to serve his suspension and sit out UConn's season opener came about an hour before tipoff.

There was no sign of Adams, the team's top returning scorer, on the Gampel Pavilion court while his fellow Huskies went through their warm-up routine.

UConn issued official word about Adams about 15 minutes before introductions. Adams wasn't in uniform and watched from the bench as the Huskies defeated Colgate 70-58.

Graduate transfer Antwoine Anderson replaced Adams in the starting lineup, joining redshirt junior Terry Larrier, redshirt freshman Alterique Gilbert, junior Eric Cobb and freshman Tyler Polley.

Coach Kevin Ollie suspended Adams from practice on Thursday for conduct detrimental to the team. Adams, a starting guard, was issued a misdemeanor summons for evading responsibility for leaving the scene of his scooter accident on Wednesday night. He's due to appear in Rockville Superior Court on Nov. 21.

Ollie stated after practice Thursday that Adams' status will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

The Huskies certainly are accustomed to playing shorthanded. They lost three players to season-ending injuries last season, contributing to a dismal 16-17 finish. Larrier and Gilbert played a combined seven games last season while Mamadou Diarra sat out the entire season. They are all healthy now.

"I'm just happy for those guys," Ollie said Thursday. "They had their season taken away from them unfortunately last year. .... Hopefully, they have a lot of spirit, a chip on their shoulder, that they're going to come out and not take any day for granted."

As expected, graduate transfer David Onuorah was unavailable for the season opener. He's still recovering from a hip injury that kept him out of all three exhibition game. Ollie hopes that Onuorah will be back for Stony Brook game on Tuesday.

Ollie on incoming recruits

• Now that UConn has received official national letters of intent from guard James Akinjo, forward Emmitt Matthews and forward Lukas Kisunas, Ollie can officially talk about his future Huskies who'll enroll year.

Akinjo, a 6-foot point guard from Richmond, Calif., attends Salesian College Prep. He was named the most valuable player of the Peach Jam Tournament in July on the AAU circuit, averaging 18.8 points, 6.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds.

"James is a point guard, a leader, and just a winner," Ollie said. "His toughness came through at the Peach Jam, when he led his team to the championship, but he's always had that winning mentality."

Matthews, an athletic 6-7 forward from Tacoma, Wash., averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds last season at Woodrow Wilson High School.

"Emmitt is a tremendous athlete, who can really run the court," Ollie said. "We want him to be able to play defense on four different positions. He's a nice shooter who can make the three and also has outstanding skills as a facilitator. ... He's another versatile guy who can play multiple positions to add to our roster."

Kisunas, a 6-10, 250-pound big man, plays for Brewster Academy, the national prep school champion last season. He also has national team experience for his native Lituania. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and shot 52.3 percent in the European Championships last summer.

"Lukas is a tough big man who really understands the game," Ollie said. "He's an exceptional passer, a player you can run the offense through. ... Lukas is a great screener, a pick-and-roll guy, and he has a great skill set as a big. I think he'll be a great addition."

g.keefe@theday.com

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