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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im going to give tidbits on each time for now until the season gets closer to starting.

Uconn:
Ncaa championship winning coach Jim Calhoun is back at it again. He will be without the services of the great Caron Butler. However shot-blocker extraoirdinare Emeka Okafor will give coach Calhoun plenty to smile about. The only other key loss is the very active on the boards and in the paint Johnny Selvie. Hopefull for the Huskies 7-foot senior Justin Brown can turn himself into a player. If so, he and Okafor will be an intimidating frontcourt. Uconn is loaded in the backcourt with NYC pg Taliek Brown who if he adds a jumpshot could be one of the top PG's in the nation. Tony Robertson is a solid pg/sg type who always puts up at least 10 pts 3 or 4 assists a game. But the main man who is going to become the go-to guy with Butler gone will be Ben Gordon. The sophomore averaged over 12 pts a game as a freshman and will improve on those numbers to the tune of 20 points a game I am predicting. Depth is provided by Scott Hazelton 6-8 and Mike Hayes 6-8. Two freshman who may contribute nicely is 6-4 swingman Rashad Anderson and 6-5 Denhamn Brown.
with this guy:

Ben Gordon.

and this guy:

Emeka Okafor.

Uconn should challenge for the Big East title...

next update in a day or two will be Syracuse.
 

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so fordy how good do you think uconn will be? i really like them even without butler. gordon showed flashes and in just the few times i saw him okafor became one of my favorite players in college. he kind of reminds me of olajuwon. i think this team is capable of getting to the final four but i've been laughed at for saying that. so what do you think?
 

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UCONN has so much talent in the backcourt, that Calhoun will have a hard time finding time for all of them. Clearly Taliek Brown and Ben Gorden should be the starters, but they also have Tony Robertson who is a stellar vet, and 2 great incoming freshman in Denham Brown and Rashad Anderson. I think that since Brown is 6-5 he could possibly start at SF in a 3-guard set. I think that would give UCONN its best players on the court with Taliek Brown, Gorden, Denham Brown, Emeka Okafor, and Justin Brown.
 

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Emeka reminds you off who? He's still pretty raw offensively to get that comparision.
 

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Emeka reminds you off who? He's still pretty raw offensively to get that comparision.
yes i said he reminds me of olajuwon. hakeem is my favorite player of all time. with okafor's shot blocking and rebounding abilities are similar to olajuwon's. he definately isn't as good on offense but he still has some time to improve. he is good enough to be a double digit scorer and can get the job done. he has tons of talent. i didn't say as good as olajuwon though. i just said reminds me of. there will never be another dream.
 

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There are four things that need to happen in order for UConn to play at the highest level that they are capable of:

1. Okafor must improve his offensive skills. He is such a great team player, he forgets that he can be such a huge asset to the offensive side of the ball. Due to his size and strength, Okafor can really be a huge force. He'll need to incorporate the following into his offensive game: a nice drop step move, a baby hook and great establishment of his body on the block. That all come froms dedication. He's an intelligent kid, so that shouldn't be that big of a deal.

2. Denham Brown will be a star. He steps right into a starting spot with the loss of Caron Butler. And he'll play up to the challenge. Brown isn't nearly as versatile or gritty as Butler was, but Brown creates more offensive oppurtunties for himself. Instant offense is what Brown brings to the table. He's an underrated player only because he wasn't an American high school star. But not anymore.

3. Taliek Brown has to come into his own this season. To say he's disappointed, is a pretty fair statement. He did a better job of protecting the ball and seeing teammates in the offense. As a freshman, he tried to do too much. Last year he improved quite a bit. With Ben Gordon around, Brown may be able to score a little more because of the high double teams on his backcourt mate. Brown will also need to become the outspoken and emotional leader.

4. And finally, the Big East will be perhaps the most competitive conference in America...again. Notre Dame is young and vibrant. Georgetown is led by the most underrated player in the nation (Mike Sweetney). Pitt is looking to keep their magic alive (but won't, I'll elaborate later). St. Johns is well...St. Johns. They'll always compete. BC is stronger and led by upperclassmen. Villanova on the other hand is young but loaded. Miami is still around. Etc, etc, etc. To say the least, the Huskies will be challenged. They'll grow quite a bit in conference play. That will pay dividends in March.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Originally posted by <b>rocketeer</b>!
so fordy how good do you think uconn will be? i really like them even without butler. gordon showed flashes and in just the few times i saw him okafor became one of my favorite players in college. he kind of reminds me of olajuwon. i think this team is capable of getting to the final four but i've been laughed at for saying that. so what do you think?
Rocketeer: Justin Young summed it up pretty good. I think when you have good guard play and a dominating big man and decent depth you can get to the final four so people shouldnt laugh at you because Uconn has the good guard play and center and that combination is the key to success. Plus they have a great coach in Calhoun who has proven he has the goods to get it done. I think how much they get out of Young and the newcomers could be the differences in making the final four or not. I think your emeka-Olajuwon comparison isnt that far off. But eMEKA needs to work on the offensive end a little bit but hey he is only a sophomore he has time to improve.
 

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It's very premature to call Okafor the next Olajuwon or even compare the two. Hakeem is perhaps one of the five greatest centers who have ever played the game and we are comparing a sophomore in college. I think Okafor is a great player but not a hall of famer...yet.

Also, on another note. Okafor will be moving to PF full time this year. With that in mind, he may not be blocking as many shots as he did last year but scoring more.
 

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"Okafor will be moving to PF full time this year"

Why are you so sure of this?
 

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I talked to Tom Moore, a UConn assistant over the summer at one of the prep tourney's about this. He said Justin Brown will be starting at center this year. So we'll see.
 

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2. Denham Brown will be a star. He steps right into a starting spot with the loss of Caron Butler. And he'll play up to the challenge. Brown isn't nearly as versatile or gritty as Butler was, but Brown creates more offensive oppurtunties for himself. Instant offense is what Brown brings to the table. He's an underrated player only because he wasn't an American high school star. But not anymore.
In a country that has produced players to the likes of Steve Nash, Tod Macolough, Jamal Maggloire, Rick Fox .No one has had as much hype has Denham Brown North of the border. I am 100% confident that he will be a star for Uconn.

Coach Calhoun has already compared him to Ray Allen and Rip

"Denham has separated himself physically from everybody," Calhoun said. "He can take you off the dribble on a dunk, or he can hit the 3-pointer. He reminds of Eddie Jones. He's 6-5, long, springy and quick. The last kid that was like that here was Ray (Allen), but he can pull up and shoot like Richard (Hamilton). (Assistant coach) George Blaney has worked with him a lot in the individual instruction and the word he uses for him is special. He is special."

Watch out for this kid to turn ALOT of heads even as a freshman.
 

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Originally posted by <b>rocketeer</b>!
with okafor's shot blocking and rebounding abilities are similar to olajuwon's.
I think his blocking and rebounding abilities are similar to Ben Wallace'. That's the player he is most comparable to. They have equal heights (6'9"), weight (240 lbs.) and (almost equal) collegiate stats (bw: 12.5p/10.5r/3.7b - eo: 7.9p/9.0r/4.1b).
 
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