ARLINGTON, Texas – Ryan Boatright fielded a number of questions about the NBA on Friday.
He wasn't ready to announce a decision, but it sounds as though he is leaning toward coming back for his senior season at UConn.
"It's a lifetime dream to get to the NBA, so when I came to college, that was the goal and it is still my goal," Boatright said. "But you've got to understand that patience is a virtue. There are a lot of kids that try to make the jump too early and a lot of times it doesn't work out for them. They get stuck in Europe or the D-League and once you get to those places it can be really tough to get back to the NBA.
"If you want to get to the NBA, the best place to make the jump is from college. I'm just trying to become the best player I can be."
If Boatright returns to UConn, he would take over for Shabazz Napier as the top point guard. He would work with a deep corps of guards that would include Rodney Purvis, who transferred from N.C. State and will be eligible next year, Sam Cassell Jr., who is coming from junior college, and Terrence Samuel, who has gained valuable experience as a freshman.
"When you're in high school, scoring 50, 60 points, averaging 33, you think you know it all," Boatright said. "When I got to this level I was coachable, but I always had something to say back. I started listening more and knowing I didn't know it all. I wasn't as good as I thought I was. So Coach Ollie said, 'open your heart and your ears so you can get better,' and I just started doing that."
Said Ollie: "That's how Ryan is going to get to the next level, to embrace his teammates and make everybody better."
UConn has proposed a men's-women's doubleheader to New York arenas, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center in particular, in hopes of getting a game there next season. The schedule already includes games at Florida and Stanford and at home against Texas, to continue or complete home-and-home agreements.
There are other marquee games under discussion. One is a game against Duke in the New York area, which would not be part of that doubleheader proposal. The Huskies are also interested in continuing their relationship with Florida beyond next year, which is under discussion.
Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky played at Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., which was undefeated going into the postseason of 2011. There in the section semifinals, Kaminsky's team was upset by East Aurora High. Boatright scored 28 for East Aurora.
"I was really upset when we lost that game in high school," Kaminsky said. "We were undefeated that season. He really stepped up to beat us and it was kind of a sour taste. He's had a great college career so far and now he's in same position I'm in, the Final Four. I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't be nice to match up against him in the final game."
DeAndre Daniels, whose draft stock might be rising, said he is "not even thinking" about the NBA and will address it after the Huskies are finished.
UConn Has The Floor
All four teams staged an open workout on the floor of AT&T Stadium. Ollie, interviewed by Jim Nantz after the Huskies workout, told the crowd "this is UConn country." … Everyone participated in UConn's practice, there appears to be no health issues. … Kentucky freshman Julius Randle will likely be among the top picks in the NBA draft, if he declares. But coach John Calipari said no decision has been made and, in fact, Randle's NBA future isn't a popular subject. "It's never come up," Calipari said. "He's a college player and that's what he wants to be. When the season's over, he'll sit down and look at decisions he has to make." Randle is a Dallas native, which may add pressure when he takes the floor against Wisconsin.
"It will be my job to calm him down," Calipari said. Former Husky Roscoe Smith, who transferred to UNLV, will enter the NBA draft. "I am ready to take the next step in my career," Smith said in a statement. Smith, who had to sit a year after transferring and has another year of eligibility, averaged 11.1 points and 10.9 rebounds. … Chris Obekpa, 6-foot-9 forward, is transferring from St. John's, CBSSports.com reported. UConn had heavily recruited him before he went there. ... Doug McDermott of Creighton won the Oscar Robertson Trophy.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun