Welcome to Day 5 of the 2011 college basketball preview
- Day 1 – North Carolina 2011-12 outlook
- Day 2 – Butler 2011-12 outlook
- Day 3 – VCU Rams 2011-12 outlook
- Day 4 –Kansas Jayhawks 2011-12 outlook
The NCAA college basketball season tips off on November 7 and lodeplus.com has you covered. With Examiners all over the nation covering every team from the Big Ten to the Missouri Valley Conference, Examiner has every top team covered. In 2011, lodeplus.com had a reporter covering the Final Four in Houston live and we will continue to provide the best coverage for the upcoming season as well.
Over the week, Examiners from all over the nation will tackle some of the tough questions heading into the latest college basketball season and it will all culminate with the official lodeplus.com Top 25 preseason poll on Sunday, November 6.
Early talk is that the UConn Huskies will be even better in 2011-12 then they were when they won the national championship in 2010-11. Even with the loss of Kemba Walker, who was their best player last season, UConn comes into the year with DeAndre Daniels, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Alex Oriakhi and Shabazz Napier. Will UConn have a chance to repeat at national champions even without Walker?
Steve Flinn, Pittsburgh Panthers Examiner – Drummond is a monster, and they have tournament experience, but Walker was one of a kind, like a Dwayne Wade for example. I don’t think they repeat.
Ari Bluestein, Drexel Dragons Examiner – It may be true that UConn may overall be better this season, but I don’t think they can repeat as champions without Kemba Walker. Walker carried that team on his back for 11 straight wins to end the season in the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. But, with that being said, Jeremy Lamb slowly started to show what he can do and he will be the star on this year’s team. Napier is one of the top point guards in the country and Oriakhi, when healthy, is dominant down low. Add in the freshmen – the athletic DeAndre Daniels and big man Andre Drummond – and you have the makings of a great team. I foresee UConn making it to the Final Four again this year, but I don’t know if they can win the whole thing without Kemba.
Joe Book, Missouri Valley Basketball Examiner – A chance? Yes. Will they? Hard to say. Jeremy Lamb could lead the Big East in scoring, and they also added freshman Ryan Boatright, who should be able to score at will off the bench. Their depth in the frontcourt is scary good, and that will get the Huskies through Big East play and prepare them for the tournament. If Lamb and Napier stay healthy, UConn could find themselves in the Final Four again.
Mike Lee, Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore Basketball Examiner – The UConn Huskies have reloaded in hopes of repeating as national champions this year. However, with youth comes many questions. While last year’s championship team was young, it benefitted from the veteran leadership of Final Four MOP, Kemba Walker. Last year’s young team gained valuable experience from last year’s Big East and NCAA Tournament runs. Can someone step into the role vacated by Kemba Walker and lead this young team to another national championship.
Kevin Kline, Big Ten Examiner – UConn definitely has a chance to repeat this year, but I don’t think they will. They will be a very good team and they do have lots of good players. But nobody on their team is as good as Kemba Walker was last March, as least nobody will be this season. If the young talent on the team lives up to the hype they will be one of the most talented teams in college basketball. But that doesn’t always translate into team championships, only time well tell if it does for UConn.
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