#24 UConn Huskies: College Basketball 111 in 111


uconn huskies cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The UConn Huskies return all five starters as they take their maiden voyage into the American Athletic Conference.  UConn was ineligible for postseason play a year ago but led by their talented guard play, should easily make their return to the NCAA Tournament.

Last Season: T-9th, 10-8 in Big East, 20-10 overall
Predicted AAC Finish: 3rd

Projected Depth Chart
C: Tyler Olander (Sr)/Enosch Wolf (Sr)/Amida Brimah (Fr)
F: DeAndre Daniels (Jr)/Phillip Nolan (So)/Kentan Facey (Fr)/Leon Tolksdorf (So)
SG: Omar Calhoun (So)/Niels Giffey (Sr)
G: Shabazz Napier (Sr)/Lasan Kromah (Sr)/Terrence Samuel (Fr)
PG: Ryan Boatright (Jr)

Gone: G/F-R.J. Evans

2013-2014 Outlook:
Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright are once again the engine of this UConn team.  Each guy will log heavy minutes and is capable of running the point, creating offense, and have proven to be dangerous all around scorers.  They are interchangeable at the one or two and easily one of the most talented and experienced backcourts in the country.

The third member of Kevin Ollie’s three-guard look is Omar Calhoun.  He put together a solid freshman campaign as a complimentary scoring option but needs to improve as an outside shooter this season.  There is quality depth on the wing with glue guy Niels Giffey and George Washington transfer Lasan Kromah.  Both guys can play bigger and act as the power forward on the floor when Ollie chooses to utilize a four guard look.

Another weapon for the Huskies is athletic combo forward DeAndre Daniels who had a breakout sophomore year.  He is an inside/outside threat who excels above the rim.  Sophomore Phillip Nolan, top 100 recriut Kentan Facey, and seldom used sophomore Leon Tolksdorf will all compete for minutes behind Daniels.

Starting center Tyler Olander was suspended during the off-season but drunken driving charges against him were dropped and he is back with the team.  The lefty is nothing more than a role player who eats up some space in the middle and can kind of guard opposing big men.  Ollie has options behind Olander in 7-1 Enosch Wolf or even being able to play Nolan at the five.  7-0 freshman Amida Brimah is another big but will need a year or two before he is ready to become a role player.

Ollie also picked up a key transfer in N.C. State shooting guard Rodney Purvis.  He is talented scorer who experienced his share of ups and downs during his freshman year with the Wolfpack.  Purvis must sit out this season but will help the Huskies replace Shabazz Napier in 2014-15.

With their top seven scorers returning and the switch from the Big East to the less competitive AAC, the UConn Huskies should rack up their share of wins this season.  Expect them and Memphis to fight for second place in the conference with defending national champs Louisville being the favorites to win the first ever league title.

Player to Watch: Rybazz Boatpier
Having these two guys on your roster is like having Peyton Manning as your quarterback; you are never out of a game until the clock reads zeros.  Last season, Napier and Boatright combined to average 32.5 points, nine assists, seven-plus rebounds, and 3.5 steals per game.  As they go, the Huskies will go.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/8 vs. Maryland (in Brooklyn)
11/21 vs. Boston College (2K Sports Classic)
11/22 vs. Indiana/Washington (2K Sports Classic)
12/2 vs. Florida
12/18 vs. Stanford
12/22 vs. Washington (in Seattle)
1/8 vs. Harvard

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#25 Indiana
#26 Colorado
#27 Tennessee
#28 Baylor
#29 St. John’s
#30 Harvard
#31 UCLA
#32 Iowa
#33 Boise State
#34 Villanova
#35 Oregon
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#39 Stanford
#40 Arizona State
#41 BYU
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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