Report Card: Grading the 2015-16 men's basketball team

Rodney Purvis takes a shot against No. 1 Kansas on Saturday, March 19 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Purvis scored 17 points en route to a 73-61 loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament. (Ashley Maher/The Daily Campus)

Rodney Purvis (B+) — Purvis led the team in scoring this season with 12.8 points per game. This was Purvis’ second season playing at UConn after transferring from North Carolina State two years ago. He started the season in the starting lineup, but coach Kevin Ollie moved him to the bench about halfway through the year, and his production stayed the same.

Purvis struggled with his free throws during the beginning of the season, but toward the end he shot much better from the line. He ended the season shooting 66 percent from the line, after being around 50 percent at the beginning of the year. Ollie joked last week that he didn’t have to take him off the court at the end of games anymore.

Purvis improved his three-point shot tremendously from a year ago, when he was shooting 39 percent. He had 34 more assists this year than last season.

Shonn Miller (A-) — Miller was awesome to watch this season. Coming in as a graduate transfer from Cornell, he was a great addition to the UConn lineup. He was one of three players who started every game for the Huskies. He was extremely athletic and great in the post. Anytime the Huskies needed a bucket, they could go to Miller and he would usually deliver. 

Miller was second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) and second in rebounds (5.2). The only thing that limited Miller this year was foul trouble. He had 108 fouls, 34 more than the next highest player on UConn. Miller had trouble with this especially late in the year. 

Daniel Hamilton (B+) — Hamilton is UConn’s best player. He was third on the team in scoring (12.3), first in rebounds (8.9) and first in assists (4.7). He had 83 more assists than the next highest player.

Although he turned it on late in the year, Hamilton had his struggles this season. He shot only 39 percent from the field and led the team in turnovers with 85 — four more than he had during his freshman year.

Earlier in the year, he notched the 11th triple double in UConn history with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. 

Sterling Gibbs (B) — Gibbs was another graduate transfer, coming in from Seton Hall. He also started every game as UConn’s point guard. After a big game in the Round of 32 against Kansas (20 points), he finished the year averaging 12.3 points per game.

The biggest thing with Gibbs was his free-throw shooting. He was a big reason why the Huskies led the country in free-throw percentage, shooting 86 percent (112 of 131). For the amount of free throws he took, he was one of the most efficient shooters in the country.

He also led the team in three-point shooting with 39 percent (79 of 204). Gibbs was the team’s point guard, but he was much better off the ball. Sixty-three percent of his shots came from beyond the arc.

Amida Brimah (B-) — In Brimah’s third season with UConn, he still hasn’t quite developed like everyone thought he would after his freshman year. Brimah missed nine games this year due to a groin and finger injury. In 25 games, Brimah averaged 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but his minutes per game were down 5.3 per game.

Brimah had eight points and nine rebounds in the final two games of the season.

Jalen Adams (B) — Coming into this season, Adams was already being compared unfairly to former UConn star Shabazz Napier, basically because the two are from Roxbury, Massachusetts and play the same position. It took a while for Adams to get going, but his play at the end of the season in the conference tournament and NCAA tournament showed glowing signs for the future.

Adams really stood out in the AAC tournament and will forever be remembered for his 60-plus foot shot that sent the quarterfinal game against Cincinnati to a second overtime. Adams will be the starting point guard next season and will have to work on his outside shot and taking care of the ball. He shot 27 percent from three and was second on the team in turnovers with 61.

Omar Calhoun (B-) — Calhoun will always be remembered for his freshman season at UConn where he started 29 games and scored 11.1 points per game. But after that, he sort of disappeared.

Coming into his senior season, a lot of people thought he would have a great impact on this team. He played just 14.1 minutes per game this season and averaged 4.3 points per game. But within his role on this team, he did have a solid season. Calhoun did have a few games where he played a major impact on the offensive end, especially the Ohio State game where he scored 14 points and the AAC championship game where he scored 10. Ollie also praised his defense this year, too.

Kentan Facey (C+) — Facey gave some good minutes off the bench this season for the Huskies. Because Miller had been in foul trouble and Brimah missed time for injury, Facey filled in nicely. In just 12.7 minutes per game, he grabbed the third most rebounds. He was third on the team in blocks.

He finished second on the team in field goal percentage (.573). Next year, Facey will be a senior and will play a similar role to the one he did this year coming off the bench.

Phil Nolan (C+)  — Nolan was awesome to cover at UConn. He was always a great interview.

He finished his senior season averaging 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. As is the same with Calhoun, within his role on this team he had a solid season. Nolan was primarily out on the court for defensive reasons, and that is why we saw Ollie insert him into the starting lineup in the conference tournament. He was able to defend the pick-and-roll better.

Steve Enoch (C) — A lot of people believe that Enoch has the most potential on this team, but he is still very raw, and we saw that this season. He averaged just 6.9 minutes a game and 1.6 points.

Going forward, Enoch will have to work on his defense and moving his feet when guarding the pick-and-roll. He is a big body, so getting physical with some of the bigger opponents isn’t really an issue for him. If he can develop a steady inside game on offense, he could be a force on the inside in the coming years.

Sam Cassell Jr. (D) — Cassell appeared in 18 games this year and averaged just 6.6 minutes a game. When he was on the court, he was a liability on the defensive end. He shot 35 percent from the field (13 of 27). 


Matt Zampini is sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.zampini@uconn.edu. He tweets @Matt_Zamp.