UConn Huskies: College Basketball 2014 Season Preview, Prediction, Projection
2014 College Basketball Preview
The Line: See the Latest Odds
Last season, the UConn Huskies won their second national championship in four years and the first-year of eligibility under head coach Kevin Ollie. This year, UConn is once again playing an underdog role and looking to replace on of the best players in program history. It should once again be an interesting year for those Hungry Huskies.
Here is your 2014 UConn Huskies basketball preview.
No Longer On The Roster: Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels, Niels Giffey, Tyler Olander, Leon Tolksdorf and Tor Watts
The New Guys: Daniel Hamilton, Rakim Lubin and Rodney Purvis
Likely Starting Lineup: Amida Brimah, Daniel Hamilton, Ryan Boatright, Kentan Facey and Rodney Purvis
Projection: First it was Kemba Walker, then it was Shabazz Napier, if Ryan Boatright can be the next dominant guard who can lead the UConn Huskies, you’re looking at a team that has a punchers chance to repeat as national champs. Boatright has spent the entire offseason becoming more vocal and following in Napier’s footsteps to become the new voice of the team and somebody who can take over when needed. Boatright’s elite defense and playmaking ability makes him a solid player to build a championship team around.
While many players left Connecticut, Rodney Purvis is a former high school superstar and somebody who showed promise at times before transferring from North Carolina State. If Purvis can keep his head on straight, the Huskies will have one of the better backcourts in the country. In fact, it will be deeper than a year ago. Also, Daniel Hamilton was a Top 50 recruit most places, giving UConn another solid scoring threat and taking a ton of pressure off Boatright and others.
The real deciding factor in if UConn can make another championship run is the development of Amida Brimah. Brimah was extremely raw last season, but he averaged 2.3 blocks and started to gain confidence as the season played out. If Brimah can learn to defend without fouling and can improve just a little bit offensively, the Huskies have their X-factor and somebody who could do damage in the paint.
While it may seem like the sky is falling with Napier now on the Miami Heat, there’s still plenty of talent on the UConn Huskies. Kevin Ollie is a fabulous coach, Boatright is a winner and the Huskies are always in the conversation come tournament time.
There’s no question UConn will punch its ticket to March Madness. And while they’re not the favorites to defend their title, don’t be surprised if the Huskies are making another deep run come March.