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A Disappointing Season for Kevin Ollie, UConn Men’s Basketball

Miles Klotz, Sports Editor

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It was expected that the UConn Huskies men’s basketball team would take a step back following a magical season in which Kevin Ollie’s team won the national championship as a bubble team prior to the tournament and as a 7 seed, but not many predicted just how big of a step back they would take.

A loss to West Virginia in the championship of the Puerto Rico Tip-off in San Juan was really a bad one, as the Mountaineers are now ranked 21st in the country. A buzzer-beating home loss to Texas, who was ranked 7th at the time, wasn’t necessarily bad either, despite the Longhorns’ recent struggles. But just under a week later was when the downfall started.

Prior to December 5, 2014, the Huskies had won 68 straight games against teams in the state of Connecticut, with the last loss coming in 1986 – the first year of former head coach Jim Calhoun’s tenure. On that day, however, the Huskies would lose to Yale, a team that is currently 16-7 and ranked 89th in Ken Pomeroy’s statistical analysis of the 351 Division I men’s basketball teams (UConn is 67th in those same rankings).

The bleeding didn’t stop there. A New Year’s Eve home loss in overtime to Temple to start American Athletic Conference play, then a road loss to AAC newcomer Tulsa on January 13th. Then it was a road loss to Stanford in which the team looked deflated.

 

Two home wins over UCF and USF, a pair of weak Florida schools, seemed to raise morale, but it quickly dropped as the Huskies lost two road games – one to Cincinnati, which is respectable, but the second to Houston, a team that was 0-8 in conference play prior to the game.

Currently, the Huskies have won two straight against bottom feeders East Carolina and Tulane headed into their February 12 matchup with Tulsa. The Huskies still have two games to play against SMU, ranked 25th in the nation. Right now, the Huskies are on the outside looking in on the tournament bubble.

People forget that last season, UConn was a fringe Top 25 team all season that got hot at the right time. But this isn’t last year. Ryan Boatright isn’t Shabazz Napier, and Amida Brimah isn’t DeAndre Daniels. There has been a lot to go wrong with UConn this year, and it’s hard just to pinpoint one problem. But there will need to be improvement next year, or head coach Kevin Ollie could see some pressure from the fans and media.

Head coach Kevin Ollie has had plenty to be upset about this season

Head coach Kevin Ollie has had plenty to be upset about this season

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The student news of Weston High School
A Disappointing Season for Kevin Ollie, UConn Men’s Basketball