Connecticut Basketball: Early 2015-16 Outlook
When you take a look at the Connecticut Huskies‘ roster heading into the 2015-16 college basketball season, the first thing that jumps out is the loss of Ryan Boatright. Boatright led UConn in scoring with 17.6 points per game, 5.8 more than the second leading scorer, and his loss will seemingly immediately stunt Kevin Ollie’s offense which was already ranked No. 259 in points per game.
Because of this, many people have the Huskies written off as contenders in the American Athletic Conference. However, UConn boasts far more talent than many realize, and their borderline elite defense will remain just as stout as it was last season.
Rodney Purvis, Daniel Hamilton and Amida Brimah must take a major step forward at the offensive end. All of these players averaged 9.1 or more points per game last season and were the bulk of the offense, but this season they will have to be more than that. If UConn wants to compete in the defense-heavy AAC, they will need two of these players to average 13-plus PPG, something that Hamilton and Purvis look more than capable of achieving.
As if the return of these three core players doesn’t make UConn dangerous enough, the Huskies receive two extremely talented transfers who are eligible immediately. Sterling Gibbs comes in from the Seton Hall Pirates, where he averaged 16.3 points and 3.8 assists per game, and Shonn Miller arrives from Cornell, where he averaged 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. These two players should make an immediate impact, especially in conference play where several AAC teams are without elite scorers.
Opponents who sleep on Connecticut do so at their own risk, because this team is a defensive juggernaut that looks to be much improved on offense headed into 2015-16. The will be one of the most underrated and dangerous teams in college basketball.