Tuesday, May 08, 2007


May 8, 2007

Head Coach: Jim Calhoun
2006-2007 Record: 16-14 (6-10 Big East)

Returning Players:
Marcus Johnson, Junior (Forward/Guard)
Jeff Adrien, Junior (Power Forward)
AJ Price, Junior (Point Guard)
Craig Austrie, Junior (Guard)
Doug Wiggins, Sophomore (Guard)
Jerome Dyson, Sophomore (Guard)
Curtis Kelly, Sophomore (Forward)
Stanley Robinson, Sophomre (Forward)
Jonathan Mandeldove, Sophomore (Center)
Gavin Edwards, Sophomore (Forward/Center)
Hasheem Thabeet, Sophomore (Center)

Incoming Players:
Donnell Bevery (Point Guard)

Transferred Out:
Ben Eaves
Robert Garrison

Open Items/Issues:
When the season concluded Jim Calhoun talked openly about changes to the roster that would prevent another season like the Huskies endured in 2006-2007 where they barely made the Big East Tournament and were not invited to either the NIT or NCAA Tournaments. Shortly after the season Ben Eaves and Robert Garrison made it known that they would not be coming back to the program next season. More rumors persisted and Calhoun even mentioned an unknown player in academic difficulty. However, with Hasheem Thabeet's announcement that he would return for his sophomore season, no additional roster changes have taken place since the end of the season other than a commitment from Donnell Beverly, a California point guard.

Last season it was well documented that Connecticut had a roster of 13 freshmen and sophomore and their lack of experience and maturity showed. Individually, the players had elite-level talent, but they were unable to pull together when faced with adversity and would endure painfully long stretches where they could not score the ball and watched the opponent put them away. Athletically, UConn was very gifted and would often make late runs to get back into games when desperation set in, but they had no cohesiveness in the halfcourt game.

Many of last year's issues will be helped by maturity and experience. However, many questions will remain as this team still looks to lack perimeter shooting and strength in the paint. Hasheem Thabeet should show plenty of improvement from his freshman to sophomore season and the 7'3 Center will have a large impact on every game, but he is still raw. Jeff Adrien is a warrior in the paint, but often times had little help as the small forward spot was an area of constant inconsistency that saw Marcus Johnson and Stanley Robinson shuttle in and out of the game. Robinson is probably the player that will key next year's success because he has all the tools to be an elite player in the Big East. The guards also need to show more maturity in managing the game and make sure the Huskies have good possessions when faced with adversity. That was missing from their game last season.

If AJ Price finds his comfort zone and teams with Jerome Dyson, they will be a top-level backcourt that has exciting depth with Doug Wiggins and Craig Austrie. Robinson has the potential to be an all-league performer and Adrien will put up a double-double every night. The frontcourt depth will be a year stronger and Thabeet will be an NBA lottery pick after next season most likely. So, the talent is there and the Huskies should definitely rebound next season and be back in the race for one of the top four spots in the Big East. Don't expect Jim Calhoun to allow any of the Huskies to rest this offseason, there is too much talent on this team and Calhoun has too much pride (ego) to have another subpar season.


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