2005 Connecticut Huskies Basketball Preview
2005 Connecticut Huskies Team Preview
Over the past six years coach Jim Calhoun has turned out consistently competitive teams and this season should be no different. Despite the fact that top players Charlie Villanueva and Andrew Bynum decided to enter the NBA draft instead of returning for another season with the Huskies, Connecticut is still a big time contender. Why? There are a few reasons.
One is Calhoun, who certainly knows how to create a winning attitude that translates into results (a 703-310 record over 33 years and National Championships in 1999 and 2004). Calhoun has an ability to recognize and attain talented, athletic players.
Rudy Gay and Josh Boone will both be in the frontcourt as starters this season, which means the Huskies should repeat as the top team in the nation in blocked shots and rebounding. Gay and Boone, both of whom should be first-round 2006 NBA draftees, can create havoc on the court.
Boone, who started in 68 of the team’s last 69 games, was last year’s Big East Defensive Player of the Year. With 11 double-doubles Boone, now entering his junior year, effectively used his 6’10”, 237-pound frame with authority. He can also score, averaging 12.4 points per game and dropping in 60% of his shots last season.
Gay, at 6’9” and 220 pounds, was Big East Co-Rookie of the Year for the 2004-05 season, hitting 46.7% of his 3-pointers and averaging 11.8 points a contest. The small forward is explosive and he can hit from inside and out. His one knock last year was his inconsistency during parts of the season, including the playoffs.
One major concern for the Huskies is its backcourt. Junior guard Marcus Williams and freshman guard A.J. Price were arrested this summer for allegedly being part of a stolen laptop computer ring. Price was suspended for the entire year and Williams will not be allowed to play until December. That means senior guard Rashad Anderson will find himself starting with one of two freshmen at the other guard position. Both Craig Austrie and Rob Garrison have potential but no college experience.
Despite their backcourt dilemma, the Huskies may still finish first in the Big East and in the top five in the nation; if anyone can make that happen through their leadership, Jim Calhoun certainly can.
For more info on the 2005 Huskies check out the official Connecticut athletic site.