2007-2008 UConn Huskies Preview
2006-2007 Record: 17-14 (6-10), 12th
Postseason Games: NA
|Starting Lineup:||Key Stat:|
|C||Hasheem Thabeet||7’3||So.||121 shots taken, blocked 118 shots|
|PF||Jeff Adrien||6’7||Jr.||Made 5.0 shots/game (1st on team)|
|Wing||Marcus Johnson||6’6||Jr.||Made 5 FT’s in conference play|
|SG||Jerome Dyson||6’3||So.||Led team in steals 18 times|
|PG||A.J. Price||6’2||Jr.||Fewer min/game (24) than Thabeet|
Key Player Loss: None.
Tough Question: Can the Huskies score in the halfcourt?
Hopefully the offensive shortcomings can be attributed to inexperience. Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson have some offensive panache.
Thabeet might mature along the Emeka Okafor timeline. Jeff Adrien is a warrior with little hope of acquiring an offensive game. In a game of 21, Marcus Johnson would every time. Even so, he struggles within the confines of a halfcourt set.
The rotation for Coach Calhoun will be interesting. He has 12 top tier players. Typically Calhoun runs 9-10 bodies out there in the interest of keeping players fresh. He prefers an up-tempo game.
The rotation will be smaller than usual this year though, as Calhoun acknowledged the offense seemed directionless last year. He attributed this to a point guard position in flux. Coach Calhoun wants a 30-35 minute PG this season.
Feelings will be hurt. Emerging with a bench free of contempt would be miraculous.
Too Much PT: Marcus Johnson.
MJ has excellent athleticism and little tangible skill. He passes poorly and possesses questionable range. Johnson is a quality slasher, but UConn does not clear the lane well for the penetrating wings. With two space-eaters patrolling the paint, driving lanes are hare to find.
Get Him on the Floor: Doug Wiggins. The recruitment of Dougie was curious to say the least. He verballed to Rutgers the spring of his junior year and was locked in. During the summer his stock blew up and the big boys came calling. Wiggins backed off his commitment. UConn snagged him causing a big local riff between the northeast schools.
It seems like Lil’ Dougie will have to prove himself all over again though. Currently the 4th guard on a team that will play the point guard constantly, Wiggins will struggle to find minutes. He knows it and Calhoun has admitted as much.
The reason Wiggins needs to play is to energize the Huskies. The latest brand of UConn basketball is often lackluster predominantly because the youngsters are seeking their roles. The same unease and fear of looking stupid you felt as a freshman in high school, these small pups experienced on the court last year.
Wiggins plays without fear and darts around the floor with an inspiring energy.
Impact Newcomer: None. Donnell Beverly is the only freshman. He is good but will not play a significant minute in this loaded backcourt.
Final Word: A year older. A year better?