Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Family Affair

Former UConn assistant coach Tom Moore’s first game against his old team isn’t the only subplot surrounding Sunday’s Quinnipiac-UConn game at the Hartford Civic Center. There will be a bit of family rivalry at play, as well.

Quinnipiac’s Baker brothers (junior Jeremy and freshman Evann) are second cousins of UConn sophomore guard Jerome Dyson. Jeremy Baker, a transfer from Garden City Community College, has yet to pass NCAA clearinghouse standards and likely won’t be playing on Sunday. But Evann Baker, a 6-foot-3 guard, could very well end up guarding his cousin at times throughout the contest.

“It’s just another game to me,” Evann insisted.

Evann and Jeremy grew up in Washington, D.C. while Dyson was in nearby Rockville, Md. Evann said Jeremy knew Dyson better, since the two played against each other in AAU a lot.

“We got real, real close when we were going into 10th grade,” Evann recalled. “Then, he left to go to Proctor Academy.”

Evann was a four-year letterwinner at D.C.’s Archbishop Carroll High before attending Maine Central Institute prep school for a year. Dyson’s AAU coach was instrumental in hooking up coach Moore with the Baker brothers.

Since enrolling at Quinnipiac, Evann hasn’t had the chance to meet up with his second cousin (on his mother Sheryl’s side), but has talked to Dyson a few times.

“I sent him an IM (on Tuesday) over the computer,” Evann said. “He didn’t respond yet.”

Baker wouldn’t say if he has or intends to do any trash-talking with Dyson, and he stopped short of predicting a big upset on Sunday for his Bobcats.

“I’m not going to say that,” he said, “but it’s going to be fine.”

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