With Terps gone, UConn could be candidate for ACC

With Terps gone, UConn could be candidate for ACC

STORRS, Conn. (AP) The latest round of conference musical chairs has left Connecticut once again looking for a seat.

The Big Ten's recruitment of Rutgers from the Big East and Maryland from the Atlantic Coast Conference has led to renewed speculation the Huskies might jump to the ACC to replace the Terrapins.

Connecticut, like Rutgers, has been looking for a landing spot since Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their departures from the Big East last year. UConn president Susan Herbst has long hinted that an invitation to join that ACC is something the school would welcome. She and athletic director Warde Manuel have said that while they are committed to working with the Big East, they will do what is in the best interests of the university.

But Manuel told reporters Monday that it was too soon to comment on the latest moves, and neither he nor Herbst responded Tuesday to repeated messages seeking comment. Manuel is in the Virgin Islands this week, where the men's basketball team just competed in the Paradise Jam, and the women will begin to play the same tournament on Thursday.

Football coach Paul Pasqualoni, who also coached at Syracuse, said he has become resigned to the idea that change in life is inevitable. He was asked Tuesday if he would welcome a move that would renew regional rivalries with Syracuse and Boston College.

``I want what's best for the University of Connecticut and the state of Connecticut,'' he said. ``I want the same thing that everybody else in Connecticut wants, really. I think the people in the state of Connecticut, they can rest assured that the people in charge will do what's best.''

There have been stumbling blocks to any possible UConn move to the ACC in the past. Gene DeFilippo, Boston College's former athletic director, last year acknowledged that he blocked a planned invitation for the Huskies.

``We didn't want them in,'' DeFilippo told the Boston Globe last October. ``It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team.''

That type of animosity is nothing new between the schools. The state of Connecticut, in fact, led a 2003 lawsuit over the departure of Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami to the ACC from the Big East.

But DeFilippo has been replaced at Boston College by Brad Bates, a man Manuel says is a close and longtime friend. Both played football at Michigan and were athletic directors in the Mid-American Conference before taking their respective jobs in the last year. Even before Bates was hired, Boston College this summer welcomed UConn as the newest member of the region's premier hockey conference, Hockey East.

But that doesn't mean UConn is a no-brainer to join BC in the ACC. Louisville - and to a lesser extent South Florida - have also been mentioned as potential targets for the league, and there has been no indication that the conference will act quickly to replace Maryland.

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma put it this way to reporters in Texas on Sunday, after the Huskies beat Texas A&M.

``You can desire to get invited to a lot of parties in Connecticut, but if you don't get an invite, you ain't going,'' he said. ``I think everybody knows right now that every school in the country, every league in the country - you go to meetings, you look each other in the eye, you tell each other the truth and you go on from there with the understanding that it could change tomorrow.''

As for the student-athletes, a lot of this won't affect them long term. They're going to play where they are told to play. But senior tight end Ryan Griffin is into it, regardless, and said they are watching the shuffle intently. They are concerned about the future of the program they have helped build. They don't want to be left behind in a fading Big East.

``With all this movement, it's kind of up in the air right now, with the conferences and stuff,'' he said. ``Hopefully I can come back here as an alumni and enjoy some football games - Big 10, ACC, the Big East in San Diego, who knows.''

Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Winners of two straight, Richmond plays host to Oral Roberts to try and get a third consecutive victory.

The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, have lost three in a row and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they visit the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

Oral Roberts at Richmond How to Watch

What: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Richmond Spiders
Where: Robins Center, Richmond, Va.
When: 4 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Oral Roberts at Richmond Preview

Conference: Summit League (Oral Roberts), A-10 (Richmond)
Record: 3-9 (Oral Roberts), 4-5 (Richmond)
Last Game: 80-64 loss at Missouri 12/7 (Oral Roberts), 82-47 win vs. Coppin State, 12/5 (Richmond)
Leading Scorers: Emmanuel Nzekwesi, 15.1 ppg (Oral Roberts), Grant Golden, 19.9 ppg (Richmond)

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

The Orioles have finally found their man.

After entering the Winter Meetings without having yet hired their new manager, a rarity in this era of baseball, the Orioles announced Friday that they had hired Brandon Hyde to fill the role.

Hyde joins the organization after spending half a decade in Chicago under Joe Maddon, and many years prior with the Marlins. He has a long background in player development, something that was important to new Orioles GM Mike Elias, which makes sense considering the state of the organization and their upcoming rebuilding process.

Hyde is 45, so he’ll have the opportunity to stick in Baltimore for a long time if he finds success, however, Elias defines it, in the next few seasons. Many times, the manager leading a team as it embarks on an organizational rebuild is not the same one who leads them back into contention, but the Orioles front office will certainly hope Hyde is up to both tasks.
“After conducting an intensive search, I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball,” said Mike Elias, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, in a statement released Friday.

“Brandon’s deep background in player development and Major League coaching, most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a World Champion, has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process. I look forward to introducing him to our fans next week and to working together with him to build the next great Orioles team.”

Elias was thought to have preferred someone with Major League experience, so as to avoid saddling an up-and-coming manager with multiple 90-plus loss seasons inevitably on the horizon in Baltimore. Hyde technically has experience coaching in the big leagues, though it comes in the form of a single game. The Marlins lost his one game as acting manager 2-1 to the Rays, and Jack McKeon was named interim manager the next day.

Maddon has developed a reputation as a stellar communicator and somebody open to analytics, and it stands to reason that Hyde would follow a similar style of leadership, especially considering how critical those traits are in the eyes of Elias.

Hyde replaces Buck Showalter, a beloved figure in Baltimore after his 8 ½ seasons at the helm brought winning baseball back to a city desperate for relevancy. Showalter’s contract was not renewed at the end of this past season, an understandable decision given his age and how long it will be until the franchise is ready to compete again.

Reports swirled about Hyde being named the 20th manager in franchise history as early as Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, though Elias and the front office were quick to emphasize that nothing was official at the time. In the end, Hyde does end up accepting the job, and he’ll be introduced at a press conference Monday.

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was, along with Hyde, one of six finalists who interviewed for the position, so the Nats won’t be losing a valuable piece of their staff.

The Orioles are in the honeymoon phase of the rebuild, where hope springs eternal and the losses to come haven’t set in yet. Hyde checks all the boxes for what Elias was looking for, and despite his relative inexperience, he’s someone who should excite, if not necessarily inspire, the fanbase in Charm City.

Orioles fans won’t have many exciting acquisitions to cheer on in the near future, but they may have just made one of their most impactful. The O’s finally have their GM-Manager combination set for the foreseeable future, and they’ll hope to experience as much success and more as the previous regime.