Adams charged after scooter ac­ci­dent

Huskies open 2017-18 sea­son against Col­gate

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By David Borges

STORRS — After a hugely dis­ap­point­ing 2016-17 sea­son, this wasn’t ex­actly the way UConn wanted to kick off its new cam­paign.

Jalen Adams, the ju­nior guard who led the team in scor­ing last sea­son, was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent while rac­ing a mo­tor­ized scooter on cam­pus Wed­nes­day night and was charged with “evad­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity” after leav­ing the scene.

Adams was re­leased on $500 non-surety bond and is due to ap­pear in Rockville Su­pe­rior Court on Nov. 21.

He was also sus­pended from the Huskies’ prac­tice on Thurs­day, and his sta­tus for Fri­day’s sea­son-opener against Col­gate (7 p.m., SNY) at Gam­pel Pavil­ion is still up in the air.

“It’s a dis­trac­tion,” coach Kevin Ol­lie ad­mit­ted after Thurs­day’s prac­tice. “But, guys are gonna step up, play hard, play ag­gres­sive, and we’ll see about to­mor­row.”

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice re­port, four men were trav­el­ing south­bound on Hill­side Road on four sep­a­rate scoot­ers on Wed­nes­day evening. Adams crashed his scooter and got onto the back of one of the three re­main­ing scoot­ers be­fore all four left the scene.

Of­fi­cers soon lo­cated the four men and three scoot­ers, and Adams ad­mit­ted to en­gag­ing in a race with three other driv­ers be­fore crash­ing the scooter and leav­ing the scene. He was is­sued a mis­de­meanor sum­mons.

Adams sus­tained no se­ri­ous in­juries.

The in­ci­dent comes at about the worst time for the Huskies, who are try­ing to kick off this sea­son on a high note after drop­ping their first two games — to Wag­ner and North­east­ern, both at home — a year ago.

The Adams sit­u­a­tion aside, the Huskies be­lieve they are a more to­gether and pre­pared unit

than they were at the be­gin­ning of last sea­son.

“I think we’re kind of ex­ceed­ing our ex­pec­ta­tions, as far as be­ing to­gether off the court,” said red­shirt fresh­man Al­terique Gil­bert. “I think we had a lot more ta­lent last year, but I re­ally be­lieve in this group and we all be­lieve in each other.”

Sopho­more guard Chris­tian Vi­tal be­lieves that los­ing two home games to low-ma­jors last Novem­ber has ac­tu­ally helped the team’s fo­cus this time around.

“I think ev­ery­one’s aware of the sit­u­a­tion,” he said. “We’ve played well our three ex­hi­bi­tion games, we had a good 1 1/2 weeks of prac­tice. We’re in a good state of mind right now, and ev­ery­body’s pre­pared go­ing into (Fri­day).”

Of course, soon after those open­ing losses last sea­son, Gil­bert and tal­ented swing­man Terry Lar­rier were lost for the sea­son due to in­jury.

“After those two games, the ad­ver­sity didn’t stop,” Ol­lie noted. “It kept go­ing, and we kept learn­ing from it. I kept learn­ing from it.”

Now, ad­ver­sity hits again in the form of Adams’ in­ci­dent. Play­ers didn’t com­ment on their team­mate’s sit­u­a­tion, but they’re ready to go with or without last year’s lead­ing scorer.

“I’m ready,” Vi­tal promised after Thurs­day’s prac­tice. “I wish our game was tonight.”

RIM RATTLINGS

Ol­lie didn’t say much about the Adams sit­u­a­tion, but noted he ad­dressed the team on how to han­dle sit­u­a­tions dif­fer­ently. Sev­eral play­ers have been seen buzzing around cam­pus on scoot­ers this fall, but he wouldn’t say whether he’d banned them from rid­ing scoot­ers after the Adams in­ci­dent.

“It’s se­ri­ous, and they’ve got to un­der­stand that crashes hap­pen, you need to wear hel­mets,” Ol­lie said. “That could be some­thing dan­ger­ous. Hope­fully, all our play­ers learn from it.”

UConn still hasn’t heard from the NCAA on the sta­tus of fresh­man wing Sid­ney Wil­son, who trans­ferred this sum­mer after tak­ing cour­ses at St. John’s. He must sit out this sea­son un­less the NCAA grants him a waiver.

“The NCAA is deal­ing with a lot of stuff right now,” Ol­lie said with a smile, “so I don’t think Sid­ney is on the top.”

Adams

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