Ranked No. 17 in the nation and carrying a 11-1 record into American Athletic Conference play, the Connecticut Huskies were poised to have a big season. With their lone non-conference loss coming against Stanford, the Huskies have been impressive, especially in pulling out close games which is an important ability to possess. In fact, they’ve had three one-point victories and one two-point victory in non-conference action. They lost their first AAC game on Tuesday, however, falling to the Houston Cougars, and now sit at 11-2 overall.
The Huskies feature an unmatched backcourt tandem of Shabazz Napier, a candidate for the Wooden Award, and Ryan Boatright. No other team in the AAC has a similar duo, and these two creative, speedy guards will be a matchup nightmare for pretty much every team. Their versatile “four-man” DeAndre Daniels poses a threat on the perimeter and has the ability to drive to the basket. Sharpshooting German forward Niels Giffey has been the best perimeter shooter in the country up to this point.
UConn’s weakness lies in the rebounding category, especially on the defensive boards where they have allowed astounding offensive rebounding numbers to unworthy opponents. They might struggle against teams with big, strong guys down low who will post huge rebounding numbers against the Huskies.
Here are my predictions for the Huskies in AAC play.
Following their loss Tuesday against Houston, they will also lose at SMU, at Memphis, at Cincinnati, and at Louisville.
Overall, they will be 13-5 in the AAC and have a 25-6 record after a non-conference win against Harvard in the middle of conference play. Kevin Ollie will once again establish the Huskies as one of the premier teams in the country by season’s end, but the team might not be built for a deep run due to its lack of frontcourt production.
Don’t miss out on league play! You can buy UConn basketball tickets today for any regular season game this year at the XL Center or Gampel Pavillion.