Men's Basketball Non-Conference Preview: UConn

Published by Cordelia F Mendez on November 12, 2012 at 10:11PM

While most Harvard students are locked in Lamont for reading period on Dec. 7, the Harvard men’s basketball team will travel to Storrs, Conn. to face the University of Connecticut.

The last outing for the two teams saw the then-No. 25 Crimson, playing its first game as a ranked team, lose to the Huskies, 67-53. Connecticut used an aggressive defense to stifle Harvard in the paint in the low-scoring affair. Huskies guard Jeremy Lamb led the night in scoring with 18 points. Center Andre Drummond tallied 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting that included an explosive five dunks. The Crimson was propelled by then-junior Kyle Casey’s 12 points and was able to come in at the half just trailing by two points, 30-28. The second half of the game saw Connecticut go on a 17-3 run to seal their victory.

The Juskies went on to go 20-14 overall and 8-10 in the Big East. The reigning national champions fell, 64-77, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Iowa State.

With Lamb and Drummond now pursuing NBA careers, legendary head coach Jim Calhoun now retired and the team in academic hot water and already banned from postseason play, this season may be a rebuilding one for Connecticut.

Kevin Ollie has stepped into Calhoun’s shoes as head coach, and the program recruited 6’5” guard Omar Calhoun as well as two forwards, Phillip Nolan and Leon Tolksdorf. Calhoun, who hails from Brooklyn, played for the New York Gauchos—the same AAU team which Kemba Walker was once a part of—and will be a scoring threat.

The Huskies backcourt is dominated by the duo of veteran guard sophomore Ryan Boatright and junior Shabazz Napier. Napier and Boatright were the second and fourth highest scorers per game last season, with 13 and 10.4 points per game each, respectively.

Forwards DeAndre Daniels, Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander will round out the starting five. At 6’8”, 6’7”, and 6’9”, respectively, the trio may challenge the Crimson in the post.