Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crowded Backcourt

With Kemba Walker’s recent torrent through the U-18 USA Basketball tournament, being named MVP of the whole thing, but coming up short at the finals, it will be interesting to see where he fits in with the old crop of guards at UConn. Will Dyson break out of his disastrous last season and can the All-American Price bounce back without a glitch with his knee injury? There is no denying that Kemba is coming into this season playing some great basketball. He excelled in his final tournament while in high school and outshined every other player in the world in the under-18 tournament.

The interesting thing to watch will be how Calhoun plays with the roster. Imagine this lineup: Price, Dyson, Kemba, Adrien, and Thabeet. Without Robinson, it leaves the team with no veteran small forward. Calhoun will miss his tenacity and athleticism around the rim. But it leaves the door wide open for the three guard attack. Bigger teams will crash the boards and Calhoun will need Ater and Miles to battle around the rim.

Who knows how long UConn will have Walker on this team? Some say one or two years and with Price leaving after this season, the window for a championship will be now. So Calhoun will need to figure out the rotation quickly and have them playing solidly at the end of the season instead of coming out flat in both tournaments. With success depending on your backcourt, there is no team as stacked as UConn in this department. It will boil down to how Kemba can meld into this unit and remain the leader he is. Time will only tell and for Price, Adrien, Thabeet, and Austrie time is running out.

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