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UConn men’s basketball ranked No. 25 in AP Top 25

Senior Tyler Polley earned the Big East Player of the Week after two blazing hot shooting nights.

UConn Men’s Basketball head coach Dan Hurley Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

For the first time since 2016, UConn men’s basketball is back in the AP Top 25. The Huskies moved into the No. 25 spot in the AP Top 25, garnering 181 points.

UConn was last ranked in the Top 25 in the 2016-17 preseason poll, put quickly dropped out after a home loss to Wagner. The Huskies have not been ranked in the AP Poll in the regular season since the 2015-16 season.

For reference, the last time they were ranked Christian Vital and Alterique Gilbert were freshmen. Now, Vital and Gilbert are gone but they have a team featuring potential NBA lottery pick James Bouknight alongside a strong rotation that goes nine or 10 deep and are officially back as one of the best programs in the nation.

Senior Tyler Polley also got the Big East Player of the Week nod following two lights out shooting nights off the bench against Marquette and Butler. The forward dropped 42 total points on 13-22 shooting and 10-16 from 3-point range. He had four rebounds and an assist in the Marquette game as well.

UConn (6-1, 3-1 Big East) has the No. 24 ranked defense and No. 29 offense in the country, according to KenPom, putting them No. 22 overall on the site.

The Huskies’ defense is in the top 50 in the nation in 3-point% allowed (28.1), block% (13.2%) and assist rate allowed (43.9).

They are also the second-best offensive rebounding team in the nation, behind Cal St. Bakersfield, grabbing 41% of opportunities. Bouknight is No. 14 in the country in offensive rating (112.8), despite scoring just six points in his last appearance due to an injured elbow.

UConn has shown they can win without relying on Bouknight in recent games, playing its last three halves without a single point from the shooting guard. They have flown up the KenPom rankings as a result.

Their only loss so far this season has been to No. 9 Creighton, who they nearly beat in regulation but squandered in double overtime. They have only played seven games to this point due to a pair of COVID-19 pauses.