Criminal Cyber-Intrusion Infects UConn Engineering Servers

The UConn Engineering department recently acknowledged a “criminal cyber intrusion” in their servers. The data breach, suspected to have originated from China, may have exposed personal information, but officials have not reached consensus on the extent of exploited information.

The first data breach, traced back to September 2013, went undetected and “opened the door” for malware to be inserted into the UConn Engineering computer network said Tom Breen, a spokesperson for the UConn Engineering Department.

“These types of things have become more and more common,” Breen said, “universities have to be vigilant and proactive to protect our resources from harmful intruders.

UConn IT professionals, working with outside specialists, deduced that the attacks originated in China based off of the type of malware. Officials said that personally identifiable information might have been compromised, but cannot say decisively either way.

“We noticed the malware in March of this year,” Breen continued, “Part of the challenge of going back is that we don’t have all of the information before a certain point.”

“We don’t have any direct knowledge that any data was taken out at all, but we’re assuming that it was, and we’re taking steps to up our security to be on the safe side.”

The F.B.I. and State Attorney general were notified in response to the cyber attacks.

UConn is “taking steps to further secure our systems,” said Vice-Provost and Chief Information Officer at UConn, Michael Mundrane, in a public statement.

The vulnerable point in the servers was patched, all passwords were reset, and all servers that were compromised were decommissioned and rebuilt.

“Hopefully we can come up with some new policies that will make us stronger and better prepared for cyber attacks like this in the future,” Breen said.

New policies will likely university-wide and will likely take effect during the 2015-2016 academic year.

DC Quick Hits – August 3, 2015

Here are some of the latest happenings in UConn sports:

Larin Ties MLS Rookie Scoring Record

Cyle Larin scored twice to lead Orlando City to a 5-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday. Larin now has 11 goals in his rookie season. With two goals, Larin tied former UConn star Damani Ralph for the MLS rookie-scoring record. Ralph set the record in 25 games in 2003. Larin tied the record in just 15 games and is currently fourth in the MLS in scoring.

Men’s Hockey Releases 2015-16 Schedule

The UConn men’s hockey team announced their full 2015-16 schedule this past week as they begin their second season in Hockey East. The Huskies open the season Oct. 9 with an away series at Alabama-Huntsville and play their first home game Oct. 19 at the XL Center against Arizona State.

Adams and Knappe To Represent UConn At American Summer Kickoff

On Tuesday, the American Athletic Conference football media day for the upcoming 2015 season will be held in Newport, Rhode Island. Among those attending for UConn will be head coach Bob Diaco, redshirt senior safety Andrew Adams and redshirt junior offensive tackle Andreas Knappe.

KML Learning What WNBA Game Is About

Since being selected by the Seattle Storm with the No. 3 pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has struggled to adjust to WNBA competition. The NCAA career leader in 3-pointers has shot just 28.6 percent from three and is averaging 2.9 points per game in her rookie season with the Storm.

Jakob Nerwinski Invited to USMNT U-23 Training Camp

Last Tuesday, it was announced that UConn junior Jake Nerwinski was invited to attend the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team training camp in Carson, California from August 5-8. Nerwinski will join 28 other players that will vie for a spot for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in October. Nerwinski will be a captain for the UConn team hoping to get back to the NCAA tournament in 2015.

 

NBA Finals Preview: Long Live the King

At last check, Las Vegas has the Golden State Warriors as roughly 2-to-1 favorites (-205, 67 percent chance) to win the NBA Finals.

While betting lines aren’t comprehensive, this seems like steep odds against the best player in the world until you consider the following:

A) Golden State hasn’t just been the clear-cut best team this season, they’ve statistically been one of the best teams any of us have ever watched.

The Warriors ranked first in the league in defensive efficiency every day of the regular season and ranked first in offensive efficiency for the majority of the season, before narrowly being edged by the Clippers in the final days of the regular season — 109.8 vs. 109.7.

(For what it’s worth, FiveThirtyEight.com just placed the Warriors as, statistically, the fourth best single-season team ever… which I’m sure is making your grandpa roll over in his grave while wearing chucks.)

B) By almost any measure, this is the worst version of LeBron we’ve seen in the past five postseasons. In 14 playoff games, he’s shooting 43 percent from the field and 18 percent from three.  His last four postseasons in Miami, he averaged 50 percent from the field and 35 percent from three.

(This thanks in large part to a heavy reliance on inefficient isolation basketball with no other offensive options to lean on. LeBron leads all players in isolation plays with 192 this postseason, which is more than every other team except Houston, according to NBA.com’s SportVU player tracking data.)

C) Barring an unprecedented recovery by Kyrie Irving (who has already conceded he will not be 100 percent for Game 1), the Warriors will have as many as seven of the eight best players in this series.

(JR Smith, Tristan Thompson, and Dellahobo putting up inflated stats while playing inflated minutes with the best player in the league doesn’t mask their actual value.)

D) LeBron has had to drag his worst supporting cast since 2007 to the NBA Finals against: a Celtics team that had no business in the postseason, a Bulls team that just wanted their season over, and a hobbled Hawks team playing Kent Bazemore, Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack a combined 103 minutes in an overtime playoff loss.

This team isn’t exactly tested.

E) LeBron’s right-hand man for much of the series will likely be JR Smith. I cannot overstate this.

Taking into account the objective measurements and subjective eye test, this is one of the more uneven Finals matchups of the past decade.

While regular season supremacy isn’t always capped with championship hardware, even in a best-of-seven series, I have to imagine the Warriors would be much heavier favorites and considerably less doubted publicly if they had the “championship pedigree” of, say, the Spurs.

A quick scan through this week’s sports talk show lineup will provide a sample of the narrative and argument some are constructing around the almighty intangible of experience.

The younger Warriors, none of whom have ever played a game at this stage, are about to get a lesson in championship basketball from the two-time champion himself, LeBron.

Yeah, and Noah hadn’t built a damn ark either.

Nevermind that the Warriors have been historically great for seven months.  Do they have the heart of a champion? Have they earned it.

LeBron can win a championship. We know because we’ve watched him do it twice.

Can the Warriors win a championship? Have they earned it? How can we know?

Why do fans, especially in this sport, have a hard time believing a team can win a championship before they actually win one.

What kind of analysis is this?

The league’s history of “rites of passage” and “torch passing” between great teams helps breed this dogma.

Experience advantage.
Experience advantage, folks.

NBA folklore — as told by sports writers — will tell you that teams didn’t just win their first championship because they were the best team in a given year. They had to earn it and learn how to be champions first by suffering failure and heartbreak.

“LeBron only won his first title in 2012 because he was humbled the year prior vs. Dallas. Jordan couldn’t win his first until he finally took enough hard fouls and losses from the Bad Boy Pistons. And Wilt Chamberlain didn’t win his first until he lost to Bill Russell five times in seven postseasons.”

… or so the story goes.

(Nevermind that both Tim Duncan and Magic Johnson won Finals MVP’s in their first seasons in the league. Apparently they got an adversity discount from the Basketball Gods.)

Fans want to believe a team’s championship is something larger than a simple resolution for which team is better at a given time because they want their sports to be more than that.

They want plotlines.

They want heroes and villains and hard work and adversity and fairy tales and flying unicorns.

They want a damn Nike commercial.

These narratives exude everything that make people, myself included, gravitate to sports – heart, determination, overcoming challenges. Without these abstractions, sports writing would largely be reduced to relaying a box score and some quotes on deadline.

However, while I wouldn’t discredit the intuitive benefits of failures and experience while attempting a task over, any argument predominantly constructed upon LeBron’s “experience advantage” is empty, bullshit analysis.

No measure of “experience” will salvage a Cavs championship after JR Smith misses his 11th shot in the third quarter of game four before scanning the crowd for the Instagram model he DM’ed before the game.

Ask the 2004 Lakers how many games experience ever won.

There would be no sports fairy tale more fit for a Nike commercial than LeBron returning to his hometown to carry this overmatched team to a championship in his first season.

I’d enjoy seeing it; you’d enjoy seeing it; we’d all enjoy seeing it.

If it happens, it will be because the best player in the world tangibly outplayed the best team in the world four times.

Phil Knight shouldn’t hold his breathe.

Warriors in 5.

Four-star junior recruit Mamadou Diarra chooses UConn

Four-star junior recruit Mamadou Diarra announced Friday in press conference that he will be joining the UConn men’s basketball team in 2016.

The 6-foot-8-inch center is currently finishing up classes at Putnam Science Academy and will spend the 2015-2016 as a postgraduate at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut.

Diarra chose the Huskies over Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Queens, New York native is known for his explosiveness near the rim and the ability to rebound on both ends of the court. Diarra is currently averaging eight points and eight rebounds with his AAU team, the New York Jayhawks, including a 12-point, 14-rebound performance against the Illinois Wolves on April 26.

 

Diarra’s commitment marks Kevin Ollie’s first signing for the Class of 2016 and marks yet another spring signing season commitment for the Huskies. After signing Jalen Adams and Steven Enoch in the fall for the 2015-2016 season, Ollie has also brought in two immediate-impact graduate transfers in Shonn Miller and Sterling Gibbs.

 

Terrence Samuel to transfer from UConn

Sophomore Terrence Samuel is transferring from UConn, the school confirmed on Thursday evening.

“Terrence has been a player who has always given his best on the court and in the classroom,” UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said in a statement. “We thank him for his contributions to the program and wish him good luck and much success in all his future endeavors.”

Samuel also confirmed that he was transferring in an email.

The 6-foot-4 guard played in all 35 games last season and averaged 3.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Byron Jones selected No. 27 by Dallas Cowboys in 2015 NFL Draft

By Elan-Paolo DeCarlo and Dan Madigan, Staff Writers

Former UConn cornerback Byron Jones was selected with the No. 27 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

A redshirt senior from New Britain, Connecticut, Jones made 37 starts in 43 career games as a Husky, finishing his career with eight interceptions and 18 passes defended.

Jones’ senior season was marred by injury. He started the first seven games at cornerback left the game against East Carolina on Oct. 23 with a shoulder, causing him to miss the remainder of the season.

Jones shot up draft boards after his performance at the NFL Combine, where he broke the broad jump world record with a 12 foot, 3 inch lead.

Jones joins Donald Brown (2009) as the only UConn player to be taken in the first round. Both were selected with the 27th pick in their respective draft.

The OOze to flow again this weekend, OOzeball returns to UConn for 31st year

What do you get when you mix mud, volleyball and UConn students? A wonderful tradition that was rated number 33 on Sports Illustrated’s list of “Top 100 Things to Do Before You Graduate”. With 400 teams competing, and nearly 3,000 students, alumni and spectators involved, the tournament is truly a major highlight of Spring Weekend.

OOzeball is a single-elimination volleyball tournament played in eight inches of thick, sticky mud. The mud forces players to trudge and strain instead running around; because it is quite literally, physically impossible to do anything other than lean and lunge in the direction of the ball.

The UConn Student Alumni Association started OOzeball in 1984 and many other colleges and universities around the country have adapted the game and turned it into their own. But there is a reason OOzeball at UConn was chosen in 2004 as the Best Mud Volleyball event by Sports Illustrated.

With eight inches of mud and thousands of students the event will be, as it always has been, a spectacular event to witness and participate in.