Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Five Keys to a Successful UConn Huskies 2013-2014 Season

1. Rebounding:  It is no surprise that this was UConn’s biggest deficiency last season.  Olander massively underachieved, Wolf had some bright spots and some very low ones, and Nolan showed promise but still has a ton of work still to do.  They will get some much needed size in Brimah but Ollie can not expect the freshman to come out and contribute much right away.  So UConn will have to lean heavily on the wings and guards to help out which was what they had to do last year and that didn’t turn out that well.

2. Outside shooting:  This is going to have to be the strength of this team.  Napier and Calhoun were consistent though streaky from deep for much of the season and will have to shoulder the load again.  The improvement needs to come from Daniels and Boatright though.  When they were knocking down jumpers, UConn usually won games.  With little post presence, UConn will have to rely on knocking down jumpers against the zone and open up driving lanes against man-to-man defenses.

3. Turnovers:  This is the X-factor for this team heading into next season.  They will need to limit their turnovers because teams will more than likely have more shot attempts at the goal then UConn will simply by the rebounding discrepancy alone.  So they can not compound that by turning the ball over more than 10 times a game.  On the flip side, this team is built for the fast break.  They have fast guards and wing players that can finish.  A lot of their runs last season were a direct result of turning teams over.  So winning the turnover battle each game is a priority.

4. Pick and Roll Defense:  UConn had a tough time last year dealing with the pick and roll, mainly the roll. UConn’s big men had a hard time staying with their defender while also hedging the ball carrier.  It often led to easy looks and needless fouls.  They'll need to fight through screens better and the help defense needs to show quicker.

5. Expectations:  UConn has had a history of not dealing well with high expectations.  They weren’t expected to do much last year and surprised everyone, but this year the expectations are high.  They’ll have an experienced team and a conference lacking the same top to bottom fire power.  It will be important for UConn to come out of the gate with a high level of urgency and a killer instinct and not underestimate this new conference.

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