Prior to last week's game between the Bearcats and Huskies, New Haven Register reporter Dave Borges published a story detailing Cane Broome's interaction with UConn and Kevin Ollie prior to his eventual transfer to Cincinnati.
Did I read the article? Yes. Did I understand the article? I don't think so.
[UPDATE: To be clear on this, the blame here lies with me, not with Borges or his story. He had it right, I just tried to read between the lines and misinterpreted things.]
On last night's podcast, I brought up the fact that Ollie told Broome--a player who wanted to play for UConn, like any kid from Hartford--that he didn't have any roster spots left. Given UConn's recent struggles on the court, it's easy to make fun of Ollie turning down talented players from his own backyard. And that's what he did, technically.
After listening to the podcast, Cane's father, Sam Broome, reached out to OhVarsity! clear the air and set the record straight.
"At the very beginning of Cane's transfer, UConn had no open roster spots," Broome told OhVarsity. "Daniel Hamilton was undecided about leaving for the NBA and they had just signed Alterique Gilbert."
Ollie is a personal friend of the Broome family, and wanted to do what he could, despite not having room on his roster at the time. The Broome family shared with Ollie the list of programs they were considering for Cane.
"[Ollie] said out of our choices, he thought Cincy would be great for Cane because he believes in Cronin," says Broome. "Only a true friend would tell you what’s right and help a kid reach his or her dreams."
So yes, technically Ollie turned down Cane Broome. However, I think we misunderstood the tone of that interaction. This wasn't a coach mismanaging a roster or failing to see talent when it's right in front of him. It's a coach advising a friend on what's best for his son, even if that means sending a talented Hartford native to a conference rival.
"Coach Ollie deserves better treatment than what he’s been getting," says Broome. "He’s really a great guy and you can ask Cronin that and he’ll agree."