Connecticut Huskies men's basketball
|University||University of Connecticut|
|All-time record||1,567-877 (.641)|
|Conference||American Athletic Conference|
|Head coach||Kevin Ollie (2nd year)|
|Arena||Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, XL Center
(Capacity: 10,167, 16,294)
National Flag Blue, White, and Crimson
|NCAA Tournament champions|
|1999, 2004, 2011|
|NCAA Tournament Final Four|
|1999, 2004, 2009, 2011|
|NCAA Tournament Elite Eight|
|1964, 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011|
|NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen|
|1956, 1964, 1976, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011|
|NCAA Tournament appearances|
|1951, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1976, 1979, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012|
|Conference tournament champions|
|1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2011|
|Conference regular season champions|
|1941, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1970, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006|
The Huskies have won 3 NCAA Tournament Championships (1999, 2004 and 2011), which ties the program for sixth-most all-time. The Huskies have also won seven Big East Tournament Championships and ten Big East regular season titles. Numerous players have gone on to achieve professional success after their time at UConn, including Ray Allen and Rudy Gay. The Huskies have participated in 4 NCAA Final Fours and appeared in the NCAA tournament 31 times. The team has been a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament 5 times, most recently in 2009.
Men's basketball at UConn began in 1901 with a single game played by Connecticut Agricultural College against Windham High School in January of that year. The college team won, and by 1903 basketball was a varsity sport.
Hugh Greer Era
After graduating from the Connecticut Agricultural College, former player Hugh Greer returned to his alma mater as a freshman coach. He was later named head coach of the Huskies six games into the 1946–47 season. Greer led Connecticut to a perfect 12–0 mark for the remainder of his first season. Posting a record of 16–2, this was the best single season finish in school history to that point. UConn won twelve Yankee Conference titles under Greer in 16 completed seasons, including ten consecutive titles from 1951–60. Greer also led UConn to its first seven NCAA berths and one NIT appearance while compiling an overall head coaching record of 286–112. Greer died of a heart attack in 1963, ten games into the 1962–63 season. He was replaced by George Wigton who led them to the NCAA tournament. UConn men's basketball was a regional power under Greer, winning eighteen Yankee Conference championships between 1947 and 1975—when the Yankee Conference dropped support of basketball—including twelve by Greer.
Jim Calhoun Era
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Connecticut remained a regional power and earned multiple NCAA tournament berths. In 1979, UConn became one of the seven founding schools of the Big East Conference, which was created to focus on basketball.
Prior to the 1986–87 season UConn hired Northeastern head coach Jim Calhoun to take over the program. Calhoun's first team finished the season with a record of 9–19. In 1988, the team showed significant improvement and gained a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. UConn went on a run in the tournament and defeated Ohio State 72–67 at Madison Square Garden to win the NIT, the school's first national basketball title.
The 1990 "Dream Season" would bring UConn basketball back to the national stage. Led by Chris Smith, Nadav Henefeld, Scott Burrell, Tate George, and John Gwynn, UConn went from unranked in the preseason to winning the Big East Regular Season and Tournament Championships, both for the first time. 1990 also marked the opening of Gampel Pavilion, the program's new on-campus home. In the NCAA Tournament the Huskies garnered a #1 seed in the East Region, but trailed Clemson 70–69 with 1 second remaining in the Sweet 16. Burrell's full-court pass found Tate George on the far baseline. George spun, fired, and hit a buzzer-beater that is known in Connecticut simply as "The Shot". They would be eliminated on a buzzer-beater 2 days later by Duke, losing in overtime 79–78.
UConn continued to rise as a national program throughout the 1990s, winning five more Big East Regular Season and three more Big East Tournament Championships, as well as reaching several regional finals. The Final Four still eluded Calhoun and the program until the 1999 NCAA Tournament. With Richard "Rip" Hamilton leading the way, they claimed the program's first national title that same year. Calhoun's teams would go on to win two more national championships during his tenure at UConn.
Calhoun was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, and officially announced his retirement in September 2012.
1999 NCAA Title
The Huskies were the top seed in the West region, and a win over Gonzaga in the regional final sent UConn to Tropicana Field for the program's first Final Four appearance. They defeated Ohio State 64–58 in the semi-final to face off against Duke in the final. Despite having been ranked #1 for half of the year, the Huskies entered the national championship game as 9-point underdogs.
UConn won their first national title with a 77–74 victory. Hamilton was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
2004 NCAA Title
In 2004, the Huskies returned to the Final Four. Once again they faced Duke, this time in the National Semifinal, and used a late run to beat the Blue Devils 79–78. Two nights later, led by Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, Connecticut won their second national title with an 82–73 victory over Georgia Tech. Okafor was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
One day later the UConn women's basketball team also won a national title, making UConn the first school in NCAA Division I history to have its men's and women's basketball programs win a national championship in the same season.
2011 NCAA Title
The 2011 Huskies won eleven straight games in postseason play, the final six of which resulted in the program's third national championship. On April 4, 2011, they defeated the Butler Bulldogs, 53-41. UConn junior Kemba Walker was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Many consider UConn's win in the Championship Game to be a great defensive performance, as the Huskies held Butler to only 18.8% shooting from the field (a record for field goal percentage defense in a championship game) and tied a title game record with ten blocked shots. An analysis by Sports Illustrated columnist Luke Winn credited the Huskies' defense by demonstrating, for instance, that they blocked or altered a staggering 26.6% of Butler's shots - compared to just 3.8 percent by Pittsburgh and 12.1 percent by VCU in earlier rounds. The 53 points scored by Connecticut was, in turn, the lowest point total by a winning team in a championship game since 1949.
Huskies of Honor
On December 26, 2006, UConn announced the inaugural inductees into the "Huskies of Honor" recognition program. The class comprised 13 players and 3 coaches. The "Huskies of Honor" class was officially unveiled at a halftime ceremony during a game between UConn and Syracuse on February 5, 2007. Former athletic director John Toner was inducted on February 28, 2009. On April 5, 2011, Kemba Walker was the first men's basketball player to be added to the Huskies of Honor since the inaugural inductees after leading the team to a national championship.
The Huskies of Honor are each notarized by a four by five foot panel which displays his name, jersey number and years of service, and a plaque which summarizes each's career accomplishments. Both the panels and the plaques are on permanent display at Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, CT.
- Ray Allen 1993–96
- Wes Bialosuknia 1964–67
- Bill Corley 1965-68
- Walt Dropo 1942–47
- Rudy Gay 2004-06
- Richard Hamilton 1996–99
- Tony Hanson 1973–77
- Toby Kimball 1961-65
- Donyell Marshall 1991–94
- Emeka Okafor 2001–04
- Art Quimby 1951-55
- Clifford Robinson 1985–89
- Chris Smith 1988–92
- Corny Thompson 1978-82
- Kemba Walker 2008-11
- Vin Yokabaskas 1948-52
Coaches and administrators
- Jim Calhoun, Head Coach, 1986–2012
- Hugh Greer, Head Coach, 1946–63
- Dee Rowe, Head Coach, 1969–77
- John Toner, Athletic Director, 1969–87
- Kevin Ollie Head Coach, 2012–present
- February 27, 1954 - Worthy Patterson's buzzer-beater at Holy Cross gave UConn an upset of the then-powerhouse Crusaders, 78-77.
- March 14, 1964 - UConn upset Princeton and star forward Bill Bradley 52–50 in the Sweet 16. The victory was sealed when Dom Perno stole the ball from Bradley with 19 seconds to play. Perno would later become UConn's coach.
- February 28, 1970 ("The Slowdown Game") - With four players unavailable and a share of the Yankee Conference Regular-Season Championship on the line, UConn beat Rhode Island 35–32 at the Field House. Played before the shot clock-era, UConn dribbled endlessly for 38 minutes to make up for the limited roster.
- March 30, 1988 - UConn defeated Ohio State 72–67 at Madison Square Garden to win the NIT.
- January 27, 1990 - UConn beat #15 St. John's 72–58 in the first game played at Gampel Pavilion.
- March 11, 1990 - UConn beat Syracuse 78–75 at Madison Square Garden to win its first Big East Tournament Championship.
- March 22, 1990 ("The Shot") - Tate George made a shot at the buzzer to beat Clemson 71–70 in the 1990 Sweet 16 at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
- March 9, 1996 - With 4 minutes remaining, UConn trailed Georgetown 74–63. The Huskies closed the game with a 12–0 run and won the Big East Championship 75–74 on an off-balance floater from All-American Ray Allen at Madison Square Garden.
- March 20, 1998 (Hamilton "Rips" Washington’s heart out) - Down 74-73 in the sweet sixteen to the eleventh seeded Washington Huskies with fifteen seconds remaining, two seeded Uconn gets three shots off on its final possession including Hamilton's buzzer beating jumper as time expired to lift Uconn 75-74 to advance to the Elite Eight.
- March 29, 1999 - UConn won its first National Championship, defeating Duke 77–74 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- April 5, 2004 - UConn wons its second National Championship, defeating Georgia Tech 82–73 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
- March 12, 2009 ("The game that wouldn't end") - In the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, the Huskies played a six-overtime game against Syracuse. This was the longest game in Big East history, and the second longest game in NCAA history. UConn never trailed in the first five overtime periods, but Syracuse won 127–117.
- March 12, 2011 - In the finals of the Big East Tournament, the Huskies defeated Louisville by a score of 69-66 to claim their seventh Big East Championship. The victory capped an unprecedented run wherein the Huskies won five tournament games in five consecutive days. Four of those wins came against top-25 opponents. Junior All-American guard Kemba Walker scored a tournament-record 130 points in the five-game run, and was named tournament MVP.
- April 4, 2011 - The Huskies defeated Butler 53-41 to claim the National Championship in Houston's Reliant Stadium.
- November 9, 2012 - In Kevin Ollie’s first game as Connecticut head coach the Huskies beat the #14 Michigan State Spartans 66-62 in Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
- February 13, 2013—In the final conference game against rival Syracuse the Huskies defeat the #6 Orange 66-58, at the XL Center.
Impact on the NBA
Since the 1990s, UConn has been recognized as being a consistent pipeline for players to enter the National Basketball Association. During the 2006–2007 season, there were an NBA-high 14 former Huskies on active rosters. During the 2008-2009 season that number was 13, with three current UConn players expected to be taken during the 2009 NBA draft.
- The 2006 Draft class was notable for tying the record of most first-round picks from one school, with four. With five players drafted in the two rounds, UConn tied for the second-most ever taken in an NBA draft.
- Two players (Clifford Robinson, 1992–93, and Ben Gordon, 2004–05) have been winners of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
- Emeka Okafor was the winner of the 2004–05 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
- Ray Allen was the winner of the 2002–03 NBA Sportsmanship Award, and is the NBA all-time leader in 3-point field goals made.
- Five players (Scott Burrell, 1997–98, Travis Knight, 1999–2000, Richard Hamilton, 2003–04, Ray Allen, 2007–08, and Caron Butler, 2010–11) have won NBA championships.
NBA Players Past and Present
- Adrien, Jeff 2010–Present
- Aleksinas, Chuck 1984-1984
- Allen, Ray 1996–Present
- Armstrong, Hilton 2006–2011
- Bialosuknia, Wes 1967-1967
- Boone, Josh 2006–2010
- Burrell, Scott 1993-2000
- Butler, Caron 2002–Present
- Drummond, Andre 2012–Present
- Dyson, Jerome 2012
- El-Amin, Khalid 2000-2002
- Foster, Jimmy 1974-1975
- Gay, Rudy 2006–Present
- George, Tate 1990-1994
- Gordon, Ben 2004–Present
- Hamilton, Richard 1999–Present
- Kimball, Toby 1966-1974
- Knight, Travis 1996-2002
- Kuczenski, Bruce 1983-1984
- Lamb, Jeremy 2012–Present
- Marshall, Donny 1995-2002
- Marshall, Donyell 1994-2009
- Okafor, Emeka 2004–Present
- Ollie, Kevin 1997–2010
- Patterson, Worthy 1957
- Price, A.J. 2009–Present
- Robinson, Clifford 1989-2006
- Smith, Chris 1992-1994
- Thabeet, Hasheem 2009–Present
- Thompson, Corny 1982-1983
- Villanueva, Charlie 2005–Present
- Voskuhl, Jake 2000–2009
- Walker, Kemba 2011–Present
- Williams, Marcus 2006–2010
- 2012–13 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 2011–12 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 2010–11 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 2009–10 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 2008–09 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 2007–08 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 2003–04 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- 1998–99 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team
- "Connecticut wins third national title thanks to Butler's woeful shooting". Retrieved April 5, 2011.
- Winn, Luke (April 13, 2011). "The last word on defense: A comprehensive title-game study". CNN.
- Men's Basketball Huskies of Honor Announced UConnHuskies.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-29
- John Toner Inducted into Huskies of Honor UConnHuskies.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-29
- "WikiAnswers - What college or university has the most players in the NBA". Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- "UConn ties draft record with four first-round picks". espn.com. 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2009-03-21.