1. The Backcourt Starting Talent. It is no secret that the backcourt is the most important element for NCAA success and UConn is loaded there. Dyson is in his last year and should be primed to take over as the leader of this team. The opportunity is there for him to showcase his skills. Most of the offense will be funneled through him and he needs to make the most of it. Walker looked seasoned in his freshman year and that leaves UConn fans salivating at what he has in store for this upcoming campaign. The Dyson/Walker combo could be the best in the country.
2. The small forward question. For the past three years, Calhoun had tried to figure out this position with Marcus Johnson and Stanley Robinson fighting for the job. Robinson ultimately won the spot but hardly solidified the position. He would play fantastic in spurts but disappear in crucial stretches. Upon his return last year, he finally played consistent ball and with the likes of Majok, fingers crossed on eligibility, and Jaamal Coombs-McDaniels, this position is as packed with talent as it has been since the Rudy Gay brief era.
3. Depth. Unlike last year where only three players consistently came off the bench, this season has solid role players for each position other than at center. The starters last season ran out of gas towards the end of the year and the minutes began to pile up, but with the depth at Calhoun’s disposal, he should be able to keep the minutes reasonable and have the starters fresh towards the end of the season.
4. A good mix of youth and experience. Unlike last years team, which was loaded with established roles, this team will have a good competition for several slots. Will Gavin start over Okwandu or Oriakhi? Will Majok win the job over Jaamal? Will Beverly hold the spot over Smith? This healthy competition should keep the practices heated and ready for the real games.
5. Under the radar. While this team is ranked anywhere from 10th to 25th in polls, they are flying under the radar. UConn seems to play better when the target isn’t squarely on their shoulders and it won’t with Villanova and West Virginia garnering most of the spotlight for Big East supremacy. That falls right into Calhoun’s lap. He can rile up his troops with the disrespect card and send them out foaming at the mouth.