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For current information on this topic, see 2009–10 Connecticut Huskies men's basketball team.
University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies
University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies athletic logo

University University of Connecticut
Conference Big East
Location Storrs, CT
Head coach Jim Calhoun (22nd year)
Arena Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, XL Center
(Capacity: 10,167, 16,294)
Nickname Huskies
Colors National Flag Blue and White

             

Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
Alternate
NCAA Tournament champions
1999, 2004
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1999, 2004, 2009
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1964, 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1956, 1964, 1976, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009
NCAA Tournament second round
1951, 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, 2009
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
Conference tournament champions
1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004
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 UConn Huskies is the name of the men's basketball team at University of Connecticut, in Storrs, Connecticut, USA. The program is classified in the NCAA's Division I, and the team competes in the Big East Conference.

Contents

Early History

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.

Coaching

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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 12 Yankee Conference titles under Greer in 16 completed seasons, including 10 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, 10 games into the 1962–63 season. UConn Men's Basketball was a regional power under Greer, winning 18 Yankee Conference championships between 1947 and 1975– when the Yankee Conference dropped support of basketball– including 12 by Greer.

Jim Calhoun Era

Prior to the 1986 season, Connecticut remained a regional powerhouse and had earned several NCAA tournament berths. In 1979, UConn was 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 Jim Calhoun to be the program's new head coach; they finished the season with a record of 9–19. In 1988, the team showed significant improvement and gained a berth in the NIT. 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 and Tate George, 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. Scott 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.

National Championships

1999 NCAA Title

The Huskies were the top seed in the West region and a win over Gonzaga in the regional finals sent UConn to Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay for the Final Four. 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 in the final game over Duke. Hamilton was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. This was an especially significant victory for the program, as it cemented Connecticut's reputation as a true basketball power after a decade of narrowly missing the Final Four.

2004 NCAA Title

The 1999 National Championship would not be the last. 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 Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor, Connecticut won their second national title with an 82–73 victory in the final game over Georgia Tech. Okafor was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

The following night, the UConn women's basketball team defeated archrival Tennessee to claim a championship of their own. UConn became the first school in NCAA Division I history to have its men's and women's basketball programs win the national title in the same year.

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.[1] Former athletic director John Toner was inducted on February 28, 2009.[2]

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.[1] Both the panels and the plaques are on permanent display at Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, CT.

Players

Coaches and administrators

  • Jim Calhoun, Head Coach, 1986–present
  • Hugh Greer, Head Coach, 1946–63
  • Dee Rowe, Head Coach, 1969–77
  • John Toner, Athletic Director, 1969–87

Notable games

  • 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 upsets Princeton and star forward Bill Bradley 52–50 in the Sweet 16 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 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 - With 4 players unavailable, and a share of the Yankee Conference Regular-Season Championship on the line, UConn beats Rhode Island 35–32 at the Field House, in what became known as "The Slowdown Game". Played before the shot clock-era, UConn dribbles endlessly for 38 minutes to make up for the limited roster and save energy.
  • March 30, 1988 - UConn defeats Ohio State 72–67 at Madison Square Garden to win the NIT.
  • January 27, 1990 - UConn beats #15 St. John's 72–58 in the first game at Gampel Pavilion.
  • March 11, 1990 - UConn beats Syracuse 78–75 at Madison Square Garden to win its first Big East Tournament Championship.
  • March 22, 1990 - Tate George hits "The Shot" to beat Clemson 71–70 in the 1990 Sweet 16 at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
  • March 9, 1996 - With UConn trailing Georgetown, led by Allen Iverson, 74–63 with 4 minutes remaining, the Huskies close the game with a 12–0 run and win the Big East Championship 75–74 on an off-balance floater from All-American Ray Allen at Madison Square Garden.
  • March 29, 1999 - UConn wins its first National Championship, defeating Duke 77–74 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • April 5, 2004 - UConn wins 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, 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.

Impact on the NBA

Since the 1990's, 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. As of the current 2008-2009 season, the number stands at 13,[3] 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.[4]
  • 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
  • Four players (Scott Burrell, 1997–98, Travis Knight, 1999–2000, Richard Hamilton, 2003–04, and Ray Allen, 2007–08) have won NBA championships.


NBA Players Past and Present

Season-by-season

References


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