With two tough losses to start the AAC conference season and a hard-nosed win over Harvard, UConn finds itself 12-3. Over the past two months, Connecticut fans have learned that this team will go as far as star point guard Shabazz Napier takes them. Dating back to his time as a freshman playing backup to Kemba Walker, Napier has blossomed into a star for the Huskies. With a team that still has problems with rebounding, it is crucial that Napier is consistent and productive for an NCAA tournament run.
With Kevin Ollie at helm, the Huskies will be at the top of college basketball recruiting for many years. Ollie has a plethora of reasons of why he is the perfect head coach. For starters, Ollie was a career journeyman & backup point guard in the NBA. Because of this, Ollie has friends in many places. Also, he has seen almost every offense and every defense you could think of.
As of late, Ollie’s Huskies are reeling. But, UConn must find a way to take care of UCF before they play back-to-back top 25 teams in Memphis & Louisville. Despite moving to much worse conference, UConn has to treat each team seriously. Besides Memphis & Louisville, UConn still has to play a good team in Temple. In fact, the Huskies have to play all three of those teams twice. SMU & Houston will take visits to Connecticut later this season as well.
UConn’s biggest problem in 2013 has been to have a consistent 2nd scorer. Napier will get at least 15-18 points on any given night. But, DeAndre Daniels or Ryan Boatright have to step up for this team to crawl
back in to the top 25. Daniels has a future in the NBA as a stretch four. His slender body is the reason he sometimes cannot grab a ton of boards. In the last 4 games of the 2013 season, Daniels averaged around 21 points per game and 9 rebounds per game. Daniels has the ability to become a playmaker for the Huskies.
On the other hand, Huskies have to be upset with point guard Ryan Boatright. Boatright plays the point guard position along with Napier. In his junior season, Boatright was supposed to make a ton of strides this year. But, he has looked as inconsistent as last year. In 2013, Boatright shined against Syracuse, Cincinnati, and Providence. In those three games, Boatright had at least 17 points. If you look at Napier & Kemba Walker’s junior years, their production was extremely better than their sophomore seasons.
For UConn to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament, the Huskies must find a consistent secondary scorer. Regardless of who it is, that player must takes some pressure off of Shabazz Napier. Despite all of his clutch performances in Storrs, Shabazz Napier cannot do it all.