Former New London star Dunn is still on the mend for Providence

New York - Providence College freshman Kris Dunn continues heading down the road to recovery, but it has been a bumpy ride for the former New London High School standout.

Dunn, who underwent surgery on his right shoulder in July, has struggled at times dealing with being on the sidelines, according to coach Ed Cooley, who updated his promising guard's status Wednesday at Big East basketball media day.

Prior to his injury, which he suffered during his senior season at New London High School, Dunn was projected to be a vital member of the Friar rotation.

"It's been really frustrating for him," Cooley said. "He's a young man who has never not played. He's a kid who came in here with the highest credentials of anyone at Providence College in recent history. We've been just dealing with him more emotionally. And he's getting better, but he's not there yet.

"Until he gets back into practice, he's still going to struggle a little bit."

There is no firm timetable for Dunn's return, but Cooley is hoping that Dunn will be healthy to play by late December.

"We won't rush him back until he's ready to go 100 percent, because I don't want to jeopardize his future for a short-term gain for Providence College," Cooley said.

They meet again

UConn's Kevin Ollie experienced his first media day as a head coach.

"It's another fraternity that I belong to," Ollie said. "Everybody has been giving me well-wishes. But I know at the end of the day they want to beat me. I'm never going to take my guard off."

Ollie certainly isn't a stranger to some Big East coaches.

Take Louisville's Rick Pitino.

After his UConn playing days, Ollie tried out for the Celtics when Pitino was in charge. Pitino left Kentucky to serve as Celtics coach from 1997 to 2001.

"He cut me for Wayne Turner," Ollie said. "Wayne Turner was from Kentucky. ... But I got over it."

Backcourt buddies

UConn sophomore Ryan Boatright and Louisville senior Peyton Siva crossed paths on the summer camp circuit.

They played with and against each other at the Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp and also at adidas Nation.

"It was just fun playing with him," Siva said. "He's a great player and he can score with the best of them. He's the quickest player that you'll see. He's just a great person overall."

Siva was named the preseason Big East player of the year and the Cardinals were the unanimous choice to win the league in the coaches' poll.

Napier all about team

Junior Shabazz Napier was UConn's lone selection to the preseason All-Big East teams. He made second team.

Not that it mattered to Napier.

"That doesn't mean anything," he said. "I really don't care about individual recognition. I'm all about my team."

News and notes

It is the last Big East season for Syracuse and Pittsburgh, which are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim doesn't plan on using it as motivation with his team. "We thought we'd be gone last year," he said. "We didn't think about it at all and we didn't talk about it and we got a good result. We're going to try to do the same thing this year." Pitino says he will greatly miss coaching against Jim Calhoun. "He's such a character that you miss him." Cooley was "very shocked" that the Friars were picked to finish last. ... New Big East commissioner Mike Aresco made some brief remarks.


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