Our review of the 2014-15 UConn Huskies continues with Kentan Facey, who saw a significant increase in playing time during his sophomore season.
Coming into the season, little was expected from the 6-foot-9-inch forward from New York. Having appeared in just 24 games, for only a total of 123 minutes, Facey had a typical season for a freshman project player. It was a little surprising to see him inserted into the starting lineup after such a season. He had flashes of excellence on both sides of the floor, but those flashes were few and far between.
Over the first two months of the season, Facey emerged as UConn's best rebounder. He opened the season by grabbing 11 boards against Bryant and would go on to grab at least eight boards in five of UConn's next 10 games. Facey was a fixture in the starting lineup, playing an average of 28 minutes per game. Defensively, despite being undersized, Facey could hold his own. But in no area was he spectacular. Across the season, he saw his playing time dwindle.
This past season, Facey was the odd man out in the forward rotation. He's not the defensive presence that Amida Brimah is, or the selfless hustling defender that Phil Nolan is, or the versatile scorer that Daniel Hamilton is. He even lost some time to freshman Rakim Lubin. The major problem in Facey's game lies on the offensive end. For all the effort he puts on the glass and on defense, he is a spacing nightmare on the offensive end.
Facey is not a traditional forward who you can throw the ball into with his back to the basket. Now, if that's the case, then the forward is usually relied upon to do one of two things: be a knockdown jump shooter or be able to finish on pick and roll. Facey struggles with both. Being undersized and a notch below elite athletically, Facey is often at a loss offensively.
As the season went along, teams that scouted the Huskies realized that you could play off Facey from the elbows and force him to take a jumper. Most nights, he wouldn't even attempt. He attempted seven of more shots in just five games this season, two of which were against Coppin State and Central Connecticut.
Despite the flaws in his game, Facey has a clear role this coming season. UConn's roster has changed a bit, with Rakim Lubin leaving and Cornell transfer Shonn Miller joining the team. This leaves Facey, now a junior, in a solid backup role which should fit him well.
With his nose for the ball on the glass, Facey brings some very valuable skills to the table. A long summer in the gym working on his offense could earn him some more playing time. He'll need to beat out Phil Nolan to be the top frontcourt option off the bench.
Expect Facey to put up something close to 14 minutes per game, 3.6 points per game, 4.5 rebounds and close to a block a game. Of course, if his minutes increase, his counting stats will as well.