Connecticut opened the Kevin Ollie era with former coach Jim Calhoun watching from a seat on the baseline.
Calhoun, who retired in September, slipped into Gampel Pavilion just before the tip of UConn's exhibition game with American International College on Thursday night, chatted with referee John Cahill and then took a seat on press row along the baseline
His successor walked on the court a few minutes later to a loud ovation from the students and a less-than full arena.
Freshman Omar Calhoun scored 24 points and Ryan Boatright added 14 to lead UConn to a 78-63 win.
But it was a slow start. UConn fell behind early and didn't lead until the second half.
Ricky Hudson had 18 points for AIC.
Ollie called his first timeout after Division II AIC, Jim Calhoun's alma mater, took a 10-2 lead, part of a 10-0 run. He handled those differently from his predecessor, pulling the team onto the court, where he and the starters sat on stools going over things. There was no screaming.