#28 UConn Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

UConn Huskies
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #2 Big East
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Connecticut had an up and down 2020-2021 season. The campaign got off to a slow start due to some injuries and Covid related delays, but overall Coach Dan Hurley led the Huskies to a successful return to the Big East. The end of the year did not go as well though, with tough losses to Creighton in the Big East Tournament and Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Now UConn must move on without the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. James Bouknight led the team with 18.7 points per game and losing him hurts, but Coach Hurley returns four starters and more than enough talent to make up for the loss of Bouknight.
2020-21 Record: 15-8, 11-6
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dan Hurley
Coach Record: 50-37 at Connecticut, 201-142 overall
Key Departed Players:
James Bouknight, Guard, 18.7 ppg
Brendan Adams, Guard, 4.5 ppg
Josh Carlton, Forward/Center, 3.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
R.J. Cole, Senior, Guard, 12.2 ppg
Tyrese Martin, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg
Isaiah Whaley, Senior, Forward, 8.0 ppg
Tyler Polley, Senior, Forward, 7.5 ppg
Adama Sanogo, Sophomore, Forward, 7.3 ppg
Jalen Gaffney, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg
Andre Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Akok Akok, Junior, Forward, 1.3 ppg
Richie Springs, Sophomore, Forward, 1.0 ppg
Andrew Hurley, Sophomore, Guard, 0.8 ppg
Matt Garry, Senior, Guard, dnp last season
Key New Players:
Rahsool Diggins, Freshman, Guard
Corey Floyd Jr, Freshman, Guard
Jordan Hawkins, Freshman, Guard
Samson Johnson, Freshman, Forward
R.J. Cole figures to step into more of a starring role after averaging 12.2 points per game and leading the team in assists and three-point field goals made. The Huskies saw just how important Cole was to this team last year when he missed the end of the Creighton game and was limited in the NCAA Tournament. Tyrese Martin was a regular starter on the wing last year and averaged 10.3 points per game. The expectations are high for sophomore Andre Jackson. He showed flashes in limited playing time and could be the player who steps into the starting lineup for Bouknight. On a team that plays great defense all across the court, it starts with Isaiah Whaley’s shot blocking ability in the paint. Whaley started beside Adama Sanogo last season. Sanogo had a very good freshman campaign, averaging 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds. Tyler Polley is the forward who can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability and a healthy Akok Akok would give the Huskies an extremely dynamic, tough and versatile frontcourt. Throw in a very good recruiting class with four four-star recruits and Connecticut has the depth they need to finish right near the top of what should be a very competitive Big East.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.7 (156th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.6 (40, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (204, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (63, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (227, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.5 (179, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (124, 6)
Rebound Margin: 5.1 (38, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (191, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (67, 5)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#39 Adama Sonogo
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#48 Jordan Hawkins
#49 Samson Johnson
#52 Rahsool Diggins