When the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils took the court to open the 2017-18 men’s basketball season this past Friday night, playing the University of Hartford Hawks, not a single player on either team’s roster was a Connecticut native. The 14-man roster for CCSU’s Division l men’s basketball team includes student-athletes from Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Arizona, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, California, and Puerto Rico, as well as three from Pennsylvania and one from the island of St. Maarten. The team, which plays in the Northeast Conference, is coached by former UConn and NBA star Donyell Marshall.
CCSU is one of four regional state universities, part of the Connecticut State College and University (CSCU) system. The largest of four comprehensive universities within the system, CCSU serves nearly 11,800 students--9,800 undergraduates, and 2,000 graduate students. Southern Connecticut has 7,526 undergraduates and 2,193 graduate students. Eastern and Western each have an undergraduate student population of just over 5,000.
The University of Connecticut, which also plays Division 1 and has won multiple NCAA national championships, is governed separately. The Huskies 16-man roster for the current academic year includes two student athletes from Connecticut. UConn has more than 23,000 undergraduate students, including just over 19,000 at the main campus in Storrs.
On the Southern Connecticut State University Owls, a Division ll men’s basketball team, five Connecticut student- athletes have made their way onto the 13 player roster. Those students hail from New Haven, North Haven, West Haven, Middlebury, and Stratford. The team plays in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, led by head basketball coach - former UConn and NBA player - Scott Burrell, a Hamden native.
That’s a total of about one-sixth of the roster slots - seven Connecticut student-athletes on the men’s basketball teams out of 43 places on the three rosters.
The state’s two Division III universities reflect a very different story.
Fourteen of the 16 student athletes on the roster of the Western Connecticut State University Colonials are from Connecticut. The only two attending the Danbury-based school who aren’t from Connecticut hail from Georgia and New York.
At Eastern Connecticut State University, which plays in the Little East Conference, the Warriors men’s basketball roster includes 13 students from Connecticut, two from neighboring Massachusetts, and one from New York City.