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UConn’s Castle (knee) targeting a Dec. 1 return

NEW YORK — UConn star freshman Stephon Castle is targeting the Huskies’ Dec. 1 game at Kansas to return from his knee injury, he told ESPN’s Myron Medcalf on Monday.

He also said his rehab has gone “quicker than expected.”

Castle hasn’t played since UConn’s win over Stonehill on Nov. 11, with coach Dan Hurley saying he underwent a minor procedure and would miss a few weeks.

Following Monday’s 81-71 win in the Empire Classic championship game over Texas, UConn (5-0) heads home for two games against Manhattan and New Hampshire before facing Kansas on the road and returning to New York for the Jimmy V Classic against North Carolina on Dec. 5. The Huskies also travel to Seattle for a game against Gonzaga on Dec. 15 before Big East play.

“Phenomenal talents and incredible athletes, they do recover faster,” Hurley said after Monday night’s win. “He was moving around pretty good today. So I think that’s a good thing.”

A 6-foot-6 guard from Covington, Georgia, Castle was ranked No. 12 in the ESPN 100 coming out of high school and is No. 9 ESPN’s 2024 NBA draft rankings.

He had 12 points and five rebounds against Northern Arizona in the season opener and followed that up with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists against Stonehill.

In Castle’s place, UConn has inserted fellow freshman Solomon Ball into the starting lineup. He averaged 9.5 points in his two starts, before finishing with 7 points and 3 rebounds vs. the Longhorns.

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