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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Ray Allen shares 1 reason UConn has been so successful

Ray Allen at a press conference

Mar 31, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; Former basketball player Ray Allen speaks during the NBA Hall of Fame press conference at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

UConn has secured its status as one of the top basketball programs in the country, and Hall of Fame alumnus Ray Allen thinks the school’s location has a lot to do with the success.

Allen was in Houston on Monday night to watch his alma mater dominate yet another opponent — this time San Diego State — en route to a national championship. The title was the fifth overall for UConn, all of which have come since 1999. Allen, who was a star for the Huskies from 1993-1996, spoke with reporters after the game about what makes UConn a “basketball kingdom.”

“I want to be focused on this right here because I’m trying to get somewhere with this. That is the environment that promotes higher learning and better basketball,” Allen said. “I can walk down the street and get in the gym and shoot without any distractions along the way. That’s what I implore every child to think about when they’re picking their school. Pick somewhere that doesn’t provide excess that keeps you distracted.”

In other words, Allen thinks it is a good thing that the UConn campus is in the middle of nowhere. There is not a whole lot to do in or near Storrs, Conn. The closest “major” city is Hartford, which is not exactly known for its nightlife. Aside from the usual college shenanigans, there is not much “excess,” as Allen phrased it, at the University of Connecticut to tempt student-athletes.

Some of those things put UConn at a disadvantage in recruiting, as many top players want to play near a big city with bright lights and a big media presence. Those who commit to UConn know there is very little to do there besides play basketball. Allen thinks that is a good thing, and the hardware supports that theory.

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