Connecticut Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Connecticut Huskies
American (26-8, 12-6)


After being ineligible from postseason play a season ago for educational standards violations, the Connecticut Huskies are back in the tournament picture. Led by second-year head coach Kevin Ollie, UConn is a hard team to plan for and a tough team to beat. If it wasn't for Ollie's constantly pained expression on the sidelines, with his scrunched-up forehead and wide eyes, Connecticut may even be thought of as a fun team to watch and follow.

Big Wins: 12/2 Florida (65-64), 1/16 at Memphis (83-73), 3/1 Cincinnati (51-45)
Bad Losses: 12/31 at Houston (71-75), 1/18 Louisville (64-76), 2/23 SMU (55-64)
Coach: Kevin Ollie (2 seasons at Connecticut)

Why They Can Surprise:
Connecticut is led by one of the best backcourt combinations in the country. Shabazz Napier, UConn's starting point guard and senior leader, is one of the best overall players around. He should be a consideration for the Naismith Award with the likes of Doug McDermott at Creighton. For much of the season, Napier led the Huskies in...everything. He was the team's top scorer, rebounder and passer. Joining Napier in the backcourt for UConn every game is junior Ryan Boatright. As announcers so kindly point out on a daily basis during Huskies's games, if it wasn't for Napier overshadowing him, Boatright would be considered a top guard in the conference each and every season. The two, combined with transfer Lasan Kromah, give UConn one of the most experienced and most talented group of guards in the country. Any of the three can create their own shot or a shot for a teammate on any possession. Their ability to get to the basket is unparalleled, as is the team's overall excellence from three. Connecticut has one of the best combinations of shooting skill from the foul line and from the three-point line in the entire nation. If that wasn't enough, this team also defends well and collects blocked shots at a very high rate thanks to raw freshman center Amida Brimah.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Although Brimah and company are having a block party in many games, the overall frontcourt of the UConn Huskies is a concern. They are very guard-heavy as a unit. Even starting power forward DeAndre Daniels plays like a small. He shoots threes (very well) and slashes to the basket. He has little to no post-up game. No one on the roster attacks out of the post with any success. Thus, the Huskies can be taken down or upset two simple ways: if their threes are not falling or if the opponent has a huge front line. Connecticut ranked averagely in rebound margin on the season because their guards rebound so well for their positions. SMU though is a perfect example of a team who gives UConn fits. The good defense and effective rebounding numbers of SMU thwarted the Huskies on two occasions during the regular season.

Probable Starters:
Shabazz Napier, Senior, Guard, 17.4 ppg, 4.9 apg, 5.9 rpg
Ryan Boatright, Junior, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 3.5 apg
Lasan Kromah, Senior, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 1.2 apg
DeAndre Daniels, Junior, Forward, 12.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Amida Brimah, Freshman, Center, 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Niels Giffey, Senior, Forward, 8.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Phillip Nolan, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Omar Calhoun, Sophomore, Guard, 4.1 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (127th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.4 (34, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.6 (156, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.1 (11, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (86, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.4 (38, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.3 (8, 1)
Rebound Margin: 0.6 (171, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (181, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (84, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to Iowa State    
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Bucknell    
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Cincinnati    
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over San Diego State    
2011    NCAA    Regional Final win over Arizona    
2011    NCAA    National Semifinal win over Kentucky    
2011    NCAA    National Final win over Butler    
2010    NIT        First Round win over Northeastern    
2010    NIT        Second Round loss to Virginia Tech    
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga
2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Texas A&M    
2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Purdue    
2009    NCAA    Regional Final win over Missouri    
2009    NCAA    National Semifinal loss to Michigan State    
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to San Diego    
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Albany    
2006    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Kentucky    
2006    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Washington    
2006    NCAA    Regional Final loss to George Mason    

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules