2016-2017 Season Review
To say it was a disappointing season for UConn would be an understatement. The Huskies began the season ranked #18. They would start the season by losing to Wagner and Northeastern at home and things just fell apart from there. Their 16-17 record was the worst UConn basketball season since 1986-1987. Injuries did play a factor in the brutal year, but Huskies were just flat out bad. Kevin Ollie's needs his squad to bounce back big time this season.
Rodney Purvis is gone after averaging 13.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 2.5 APG during his senior season. He also hit a team high 77 three pointers. 6'9 Kentan Facey also graduated after a senior season in which he averaged 8.5 PPG and a team high 7.1 RPG. VanceJackson was named to the American's All Rookie team after averaging 8.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG and hitting 50 threes, but he decided to transfer to New Mexico. 7 foot center AmidaBrimah graduated following a senior that saw him average 7.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 2.6 BPG, which was 11th in the country. After a sophomore season in which he played 12.1 MPG, averaging 3.4 PPG and 2.3 RPG, 6'11 Steven Enoch decided to transfer to Louisville for his final two years of eligibility, while 6'11 Juwan Durham, who played 8.3 MPG as a freshman, transferred to Notre Dame.
The Huskies bring back American First Team selection Jalen Adams. The 6'3 junior-to-be led the team in scoring with 14.4 PPG and assists with 6.1 per game. He also grabbed 4.3 RPG. After tearing his ACL just four games into the season last year, 6'8 Terry Larrier should be ready to go this season. In the four games he played in he averaged 13.5 PPG and 5.0 RPG. AlteriqueGilbert was also sidelined almost the entire season. The 6'0 freshman played just three games before injuring his shoulder. He averaged 10.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.0 APG and 2.3 SPG in those three games. 6'2 sophomore Christian Vital hit 52 threes for the Huskies and averaged 9.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG as a freshman.
Kevin Ollie brings in three incoming freshman and two JUCO recruits as part of his 2017 recruiting class. Tyler Polley, a 6'8 four star SF, is a long player that can shoot the ball from both the mid-range and beyond the arc. 6'9 Josh Carlton is a four star big man that is best at rebounding and protecting the rim. Isaiah Whaley is a 6'9 three star forward. Whaley is a long, active player that defends well, but needs to bulk up. Eric Cobb is a 6'9, 296 pound big man out of Chipola College that has two years of eligibility remaining. He averaged 10.9 PPG and 8.2 RPG at Chipola last season. 6'7 Kwintin Williams also has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Williams played at Pima Community College in 2015-2016, where he averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He has a 43 inch vertical and received interest from schools like TCU, Pitt and Oregon as well. Kevin Ollie also will have Cornell graduate transfer David Onuorah. The 6'9 big man averaged 5.0 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 2015-2016 at Cornell.
Kevin Ollie has a really good core in Adams, Larrier, Gilbert and Vital, but after that there are tons of question marks. That core is a NCAA Tournament caliber foursome, but they'll need to get some help. There's no proven big man on the team and very little depth. If the newcomers can contribute, this UConn team has a chance to be dancing. If not, it could be another shaky season in Storrs.