Ryan Boatright has shown as much growth as any player to ever wear a UConn uniform. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, Boatright was a small, flashy, and risky guard, frequently turning the ball over or throwing up an air ball while finishing a highlight-reel alley pop or a pretty no look pass and the subsequent possession. Over the course of his Junior year, Boatright turned his attention to the defense end, played mistake-free basketball, and was arguably the most important player second to Shabazz Napier during the tournament, getting big stops and hitting bigger shots.
With Boatright's decision to return for his Senior year, he has proved that he is ready to lead what will be a fairly talented Husky team to a back-back championship. With this decision, he has acknowledged that NBA teams have not seen enough to trust him with a draft pick, a realization that takes patience, maturity, and intelligence. With the decision, Boatright solidifies what will be, once again, one of the best back courts in the country.
Joining Boatright, who averaged 12 points and 3.5 assists per game, is rising sophomore Terrance Samuel, Sophomore transfer Rodney "Joy Ride" Purvis, a vengeful Omar Calhoun, and highly touted incomers Sam Cassell, Jr. and Daniel Hamilton. UConn won the National Championship on the backs of its guards, and the truth is that Husky fans could be in for some deja vu.
Deandre Daniels is forgoing his Senior year for the NBA in a decision that was very sensible, as I think his game should translate relatively smoothly to the professional level. Boatright broke a promise he had with Daniels that both would leave UConn together after being roommates for each of the last three years, but strongly believe neither party will regret their respective decisions. This is Ryan Boatright's team right now, and though many would have been weary of this just 3 months ago, I believe it is safe to say that UConn fans are in good hands.
Cannot wait for November.