Friday, September 12, 2008

The Freshmen

Kemba Walker: He is as talented and accomplished a player to come to UConn. He looks and plays the part of a big time point guard. He’s excelled on every team he has played for in the past year. Coaches rave about his leadership skills, and he has the rare ability to be able to be a big time scorer while thinking pass first. There is huge hype and anticipation riding his freshman year, but he is entering a great situation. A.J. Price and Craig Austrie provide senior leadership in the back court and he won’t be expected to bare any of the scoring burden. He’ll be an integral part of the starting rotation by the end of league play.

Ater Majok: While he will miss the first half of the season, he will be asked to battle for the small forward position. It might be better if he red shirted the year. Its tough to miss that much of the season as a freshman and be able to learn on the fly. At that point of the season, Calhoun doesn’t allow costly mistakes on the court. He has all the tools to be the next Rudy Gay. He has tremendous athletic ability and body length to battle in the paint.

Nate Miles: He made it. Nate will be battling Scottie for the same role on the team. He’ll need to be a sharp shooter and be able to rebound. Nate looks to be a bit more athletic and quicker than Haralson, and brings a different game to that position.

Scottie Haralson: Scottie’s job is to hit the outside shot. If he can come in and hit jumpers, then he’ll find minutes. He has the upper body to play a post game and should be able to battle for rebounds, which UConn will need without Stanley Robinson. He has the body type of Denham and Rashad, and Calhoun hopes that he plays the same role.

Charles Okwandu: He’s a raw talent but a big and strong player. He has more girth than Thabeet or Mandeldove, but lacks the fundamentals at this point. There is a tremendous upside with him and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is the next big man, after Thabeet, to leave Storrs with a high draft pick. While Mandeldove should have the edge with experience, once Okwandu gets his feet wet, he should secure that backup spot at center.

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