Why UConn could contend for a Big East title
I loved the Dan Hurley hire when it happened and like most, I think UConn knocked it out of the park with that one. With Hurley starting to bring in some really talented players, UConn should be a force to be reckoned with this season, so let’s look at their roster heading into next season.
PG- James Bouknight: Bouknight is an incredible player, he missed the first couple games of last season due to a car crash that took place. Bouknight was a four-star recruit that UConn was able to snag. During his Freshman season he averaged 13 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, on 46% shooting from the field and 34% from three. Bouknight started off slow but really picked it up late. He has some real upside and he has a chance to be one of the best players in the Big East next season.
SG- R.J. Cole- Playing alongside Bouknight, RJ Cole can be interchangeable at the 1 and 2, but most likely he plays at the 2 on most possessions. Anyways, R.J. Cole transferred last year from Howard and sat out. At Howard, he had 21 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds per game in 2018-19, while those numbers are great, it was only on 38% shooting from the floor. He also averaged 23 PPG in 2017-18. Obviously these numbers will likely drop due to the level of talent being better around him but he should still be a good piece.
SF- Tyler Polley: Polley is a senior now tore his ACL last season in a practice. Polley has been a 38% shooter from three in all three of his seasons as a Husky. Polley is also a solid rebounder and defender but the shooting ability is why he’s here.
PF- Akok Akok: After a strong Freshman Campaign, Akok tore his Achilles last season, which is the worst injury for a Basketball player. To me Akok is the X-Factor for this team, if he comes back healthy I think UConn will have a great season, if not they will still probably be a good team but not great. Akok is 6’9″ and 193 pounds, which probably means he tries to bulk up a bit, but he plays way bigger than 6’9″ averaging 2.6 blocks a game while having 5 points and 5 rebounds per game. The shooting ability isn’t quite there, he’s only 26% from 3 but he’ll get there but his defense is elite and it’s what UConn needs.
C- Josh Carlton: Carlton struggles to stay on the floor due to being in constant foul trouble, but he’s a solid presence down low when on the floor. He averaged 7 points and 6 rebounds per game. He’s a bad free-throw shooter, only 50% last season but he’s a really good piece.
Bench: Jalen Gaffney, Brendan Adams, Isaiah Whaley, Andre Jackson (A Top 60 recruit), Adama Sanogo (A top 60 recruit), Javonte Brown-Ferguson a 6’11” center. Tyrese Martin, a Rhode Island Transfer will likely sit out this season.
This is a deep team with a star player in James Bouknight. They have size, defense, speed, and coaching. The Huskies have every ingredient to be a really good team. They will likely be underrated in the Preseason, but that won’t last long if they get off to a good start.