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UConn Men's Basketball: Our Official Predictions for 2014-'15

Check back in April to see how wrong we were.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Madigan

W-L record (regular season): 25-5

AAC Finish: First

AAC Top four: 1. UConn 2. SMU 3. Memphis 4. Cincinnati

Highest upset potential: Tonight versus Bryant

Fresh off of two mediocre performances in their exhibition games, the Huskies open up the season with only eight scholarship players available to take on the Bulldogs. Without Purvis or Calhoun, any foul trouble could become a serious issue, and UConn will need young players like Terrance Samuel, Daniel Hamilton, and Kentan Facey  to step up right away in order to prevent the upset

Best win of the season: 3/1/15 vs SMU @ XL

There's a very good chance this game determines first place in the AAC. UConn has yet to beat the Mustangs, but a home win against SMU would give the Huskies a great chance at capturing the AAC regular season title.

Breakout player: Omar Calhoun

As arguably the biggest Omar Calhoun fan on the planet, I expect Calhoun to return to his freshman form and help the Huskies significantly this season. His size and shooting ability will provide UConn with another legitimate three point threat alongside Sam Cassell Jr. and Ryan Boatright.

MVP: Ryan Boatright

This is easy. Boatright is the heart and soul of this team. His on ball defending as well as his ability to create shots will be crucial to the Huskies' success this season. This is finally Boat's time to shine, and I fully expect him to make the most of it.

Bold Prediction: undefeated at home

If the Huskies get by Texas at Gampel on November 30, there's no reason to think that going undefeated at home is impossible. Two of this year's tougher games (Florida and Duke) are on the road or at a neutral site. The Huskies should be able to handle Memphis andf SMU at home and prevent UConn fans from seeing a loss in Connecticut this season.

NCAA Tournament seeding and finish: 6 seed, Sweet Sixteen

Should UConn win the AAC Tournament, there's a good chance this team could even squeak out a four or five seed, but being in a conference with teams like Tulane and East Carolina will hurt the RPI too much to land a higher seed. Nonetheless, the team has the talent and experience to make another deep run. Reaching the Sweet Sixteen is very doable for this year's squad, and depending on the rest of their region shakes out, the Elite Eight could be very attainable as well.

Mac Cerullo

W-L record: 24-6
AAC Finish: First
AAC Top four: UConnMemphisSMUCincinnati
Highest upset potential: Temple at home
Best win of the season: Duke
Breakout player: Daniel Hamilton
MVP: Rodney Purvis
Bold Prediction: Amida Brimah will finish in the top three in the country in blocks.
NCAA Tournament seeding and finish: No. 3, Elite Eight

Aman

W-L record: 24-6

The non-conference schedule is tough and this team still has a ways to go before finding its identify. That said, I predict a strong finish, especially in conference play leading to a really good record at the end of the regular season.


AAC Finish: 1st


AAC Top four: UConn, SMU, Memphis, Cincinnati

I don't think anyone comes close to UConn in the American this year. SMU would have had a shot with Emmanuel Mudlay but I think we have them beat this year. This may sound like a really bold statement considering the Mustangs handily beat the Huskies twice last year, but this year's UConn team is much bigger and arguably more talented. The American takes a bit of a step back with the departure of Louisville and losses to graduation for Memphis and Cincinnati, but the middle does get a little better with Temple getting better and the addition of Tulsa, who is decent.


Highest upset potential: at Tulsa, January 13th

Sandwiched by a home game against Cincinnati and a road match-up with Stanford, this game early in the conference slate could catch the Huskies off guard against an experienced Tulsa team.

Best win of the season: We could go undefeated in the American and no one would care, so I hope beating Texas holds up across the season to be the highest quality win on our schedule on the off-chance we don't beat Duke.


Breakout player: Danny Hamilton - this guy is really, really good at basketball. I think he'll start to take over games, it's just a matter of when.



MVP: Ryan Boatright - come on.


Bold Prediction: The three guard line-up with Sam Cassell Jr., Boat, Purv, Hamilton and Brimah will be the best one we have, and will absolutely destroy fools in March.


NCAA Tournament seeding and finish: Oh how badly I want to re-create the magic of last year and predict the national championship. I had a special feeling about last year's team but while I do have a particular love for this team and the assembled talent, repeating as national champions would require a great degree of luck in addition to skill-- just like it did last year. While I don't doubt for one second that this team can win it all, I don't think they do it this year.

That said, I see us having a really good season, earning a 4-seed (still disrespected for being in the American) and bowing out in the Elite Eight on a night where foul trouble and cold shooting hurt the cause.

Matt Stypulkoski

Win/Loss Record: 22-8

AAC Finish: 2nd

AAC Top Four: SMU, UConn, Memphis, Cincy

Highest upset potential: Well, there's no New Years game this year, so that's good. But I'll go with at Houston, in a horror show repeat of last year.

Best win of the season: Duke, because Duke.

Breakout player: I'm thinking maybe Rakim Lubin becomes more useful and gets more minutes than people expect, which helps provide some solid (and desperately needed) frontcourt depth.

MVP: This is a tough one. I'm tempted to go with the stock answer of Boatright, but...eh, screw it, I'm going with Boatright

Bold prediction: Let me preface this by saying I hope my preseason feelings are very, very, very wrong. Unfortunately, I'm an eternal pessimist and am terrified of a 2011-12 repeat, which is why my prediction is going to be an underwhelming season that sees UConn get into the tournament but struggle mightily with consistency and chemistry all year. Those issues cost them in a first-round NCAA loss.

NCAA Tournament seed and finish: No. 9 seed, first-round loss to some middle-of-the-road Big 12 team.


Mark Corey

W-L: 25-5

AAC Finish: 1st

AAC Top 4: UConn, SMU, Memphis, Tulsa

Highest Upset Potential: At Houston

Best Win of the season: Duke

Breakout Player: Sam Cassell Jr.

MVP: Ryan Boatright

Bold Prediction: Omar Calhoun ends the year as 6th man

NCAA Tournament seeding and finish: 4-seed, Elite 8 finish

Matt Gionfriddo

W-L: 26-4

AAC Finish: 1st

AAC Top 4: UConn, Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati

Highest Upset Potential: At Tulsa

Best Win of the season: Home SMU

Breakout Player: Terrance Samuel

MVP: Ryan Boatright

Bold Prediction: Boatright is the best defender in the nation

NCAA Tournament seeding and finish: 3-seed, Final Four finish

Ben Cantor

W-L: 24-6

AAC Finish: 2nd

AAC Top 4: SMU, UConn, Memphis, Cincinnati

Highest upset potential: At Tulsa, January 13

Best Win of the Season: At Florida

Breakout Player: Daniel Hamilton

MVP: Amida Brimah - Brimah changes the game when he is on the floor more than any player on our team. With an expanded offensive game, he gives UConn an inside presence we haven't seen in a few years.

Bold prediction: Daniel Hamilton leads the team in scoring

NCAA tournament seeding and finish: 5-seed, Elite Eight finish