2007 Connecticut Huskies Basketball Preview
The Connecticut Huskies (17- 14 overall, 6- 10 Big East) found themselves in the doghouse last season as a massive rebuilding year and a mere 17 wins kept them out of the March Madness odds and the NIT. This year coach Jim Calhoun (502- 191 in 21 years at Connecticut, 750- 328 overall in 35 years) should be better as everyone returns. With talent, experience and depth the Huskies should make their 28th NCAA appearance.
Although Calhoun was breaking in a lot of new guys, the team still managed to play solid defense and grab their share of rebounds and our college basketball predictions. UConn’s scoring “D” was third in the Big East, allowing 62.5 PPG, while their rebounding margin was first at plus-6.6. But the team was 10th in scoring (70.4 PPG), 12th in assists (12.9 APG) and 14th in turnovers (15.0 TPG). That last stat was the most disturbing; yet it made sense considering Connecticut’s lack of experience.
The Huskies will have 7’3” center Hasheem Thabeet (6.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 55.4 FG%) back for a second season. Thabeet proved to be an impressive defensive force and will affect our analysis when we bet on college hoops. This season he needs to develop his offensive skills. Junior Jeff Adrien (13.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 49.7 FG%) is a tough, undersized power forward who led the Big East in double-doubles last year with 15. Small forward is up for grabs; it’ll be between junior Marcus Johnson (5.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 47.9 FG%), a fine defensive player who lacks scoring chops, and sophomore Stanley Robinson (5.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 37.4 FG%), who’s got talent but needs to develop more drive and desire.
In the backcourt, the Huskies have talent, speed and depth and influences the college basketball point spreads. Sophomore Jerome Dyson (13.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 36.1 FG%), who earned All Big East Rookie honors, is one of the finest shooting guards in the nation. Sophomore Doug Wiggins (6.8 PPG, 1.6 APG, 38.8 FG%) is tough on defense and fast bringing the ball up court.
The Huskies 12th place Big East finish in 2006- 2007 was expected. No one thought they would be very competitive. But this year Connecticut should be back in the thick of it. How deep will they go into the tournament? In all probability, it will be two games and out. Then again, you never know with a class program like Connecticut’s.