Basketball: After dual wins, UConn looks to repeat
The 2013-2014 basketball season was a special year for the UConn men's and women's basketball teams. However, next season both teams will face different circumstances when it comes to defending their championship titles. It is time to take a look at what each team will have to do in order to repeat as champions next season.
The men's team will have the daunting task of replacing Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels and Neils Giffey, all key pieces of the championship run. However, the Huskies will return Ryan Boatright, who was arguably the most important player on the team during the post-season. Boatright's stifling defense was huge as he was able to frustrate marquee guards all tournament long. Next season Boatright will be the leader of the team and the Huskies will have to take on his us against the world attitude. Nobody will be picking UConn to win it all once again but it will be up to Boatright to inspire his teammates into believing.
Joining Boatright in the backcourt will be newcomers Rodney Purvis, Sam Cassell Jr., and Daniel Hamilton along with returners Terrence Samuel and Omar Calhoun. The UConn guards have the ability to matchup with anybody in the country and will have to take over games with their quickness and defensive intensity.
The x-factor of next year's team will be Kentan Facey. Facey did not see much time as a freshman but he will have to contribute to next season's team in the post. If Facey is able to provide a consistent post presence on the offensive end for the Huskies next season they will become much more versatile. Everyone knows what UConn's guards will be like, but if Facey steps up for the Huskies, the sky is the limit.
The women's team on the other hand will be heavy favorites to win a third straight championship in a row. UConn will have to replace Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley who were both key leaders this past season. However the Huskies will have the best player in the country next season in Breanna Stewart. Stewart will be a matchup nightmare for opponents as she continues to add elements to her game.
Kiah Stokes will be expected to play a major role on the team next year at the center position. Stokes provided a huge rebounding edge during her junior season and she will have to dominate the glass once again next year.
Moriah Jefferson and Kalena Mosqueda-Lewis will help to facilitate the offense next year. Jefferson's quickness gives her the ability to get the ball into the lane at will and find her open teammates. That open teammate is usually Mosqueda-Lewis who is able to stretch the floor with her great shooting ability. Mosqueda-Lewis will be a senior and will help lead the Huskies as they once again look to make history.
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