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Men's team, Ollie earned victory

By Editorial Board
On April 8, 2014

What a great time to be a Husky. Last night, the UConn men's basketball team won the national championship with a resounding win over the Kentucky Wildcats. A few weeks ago, the Huskies received the seventh seed. Almost nobody expected them to go all the way, but they did. It is amazing how far this team has come since legendary coach Jim Calhoun retired, and the team was banned from the postseason last year.
Shortly after Calhoun retired in September of 2012, former UConn player and assistant Kevin Ollie was named head coach. Many people had their doubts that Ollie was the right person for the job. As a result, he was only signed to a one-year contract, and the athletic department planned to reevaluate the situation after the 2012-13 season. Ultimately, they decided to give him an extension, making it clear he was the coach for the long term. Ollie has proven that this was the right decision by leading the Huskies to the NCAA Championship in his first tournament appearance. Ollie is just the second coach in the modern era to accomplish this feat, after Steve Fisher of Michigan in 1989.
This accomplishment is highlighted by the fact that this team was not even allowed to play in the postseason last year due to poor graduation rates. Although a couple players transferred or went to the NBA, many of the stars like Shabazz Napier stuck around to finish what they started. Losing players like Jeremy Lamb was still a major blow to the Huskies, but Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander should be commended for their loyalty and sticking with the Huskies in spite of the ban. Thanks to them, the Huskies are now national champions.
UConn students should be proud of their school and their basketball team for winning its second national title in four years. The senior class deserves credit for not transferring or jumping to the NBA when the postseason ban was announced. Without them, this feat would never have been accomplished. Napier led the team in every major category this season, and Giffey is one of the best three-point shooters in the country. Olander has proven to be an adequate player off the bench when big men Phillip Nolan and Amida Brimah get into foul trouble.
We wish to express our proudest congratulations to the basketball team for winning the national championship. It is truly an amazing feat when you consider the events of the last two years.
 


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