Thursday, September 26, 2013

UConn "optimistic" OT Kevin Friend can play

Not too much has changed in the injury department although on a conference call with the media today UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said he was optimistic starting right offensive tackle Kevin Friend will be able to play against Buffalo. Pasqualoni considers cornerback Taylor Mack, linebacker Graham Stewart and receiver Shakim Phillips questionable for the game. He said all four players have been able to practice this week as has receiver Kamal Abrams, who was hurt warming up before the season opener against Towson.

"He (Abrams) is one of the guys practicing this week and we are very close on him so we will see how he does today," Pasqualoni said. "I’ve got him in the questionable category but he has practiced all week. He practiced on Sunday."

Pasqualoni quickly shot down the notion that he might hold out one or more of the injured players since UConn is off next week before the Huskies head into conference play.

"If they are healthy they are playing. If they can play they are playing. This is an important game."

Pasqualoni also spoke for the first time since the news broke that freshman defensive end Sha-ki Holines left UConn and is now at UMass.

"Sha-ki was a great kid, we would have loved to have him stay," Pasqualoni said. "There were some personal issues that he wanted to be even closer to home than he was here. I would have liked to have him develop, I think he could have developed over time but we wish him good luck."

On a lighter note, Pasqualoni was infomed that UConn was staying in a different hotel than the Huskies did two years ago when Pasqualoni had a mishap of being trapped in an elevator.

"The first thing I asked today in the staff meeting was if we were staying in the same hotel and I was told we are not so I am not worried about the elevators this time," Pasqualoni said.


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