Things haven’t exactly gone swimmingly in Dan Hurley’s first year as head coach for the UConn men’s basketball team. After a strong start, the team is now just two games over .500, 4-7 in conference play, and have lost top-scorer and on-court leader Jalen Adams for at least a month due to injury, on top of the already-injured Alterique Gilbert. This week, the DC Sports staff predicts which Huskies have the potential to replace the senior point guard.
Neil Simmons, Campus Correspondent
It’s gotta be Christian Vital. He’s one of the Huskies’ most experienced guards left and has shown flashes of being a ball-dominant player and taking big time shots. If the Huskies want to keep their extremely slim tournament hopes alive, he has to step up and take over the game on both ends of the court.
Matt Severino, Campus Correspondent
What should happen and what will happen could be completely different things. What should happen is Christian Vital, Eric Cobb and Tarin Smith should fill the leadership void, increasing their production to keep things afloat. Unfortunately, this probably won’t happen, at least not all three. Smith and Cobb have been far from consistent and Vital has been sloppy with the ball as of late. What will happen is that Sid Wilson and Josh Carlton will thrive after being given more opportunities. Wilson has the athleticism to make plays on both ends of the court and Carlton has shown flashes of being the top big man on the roster.
Danny Barletta, Campus Correspondent
I think Sidney Wilson will have to step up more than anybody else in Jalen’s absence. Wilson is probably the best athlete on the roster, and coach Dan Hurley has talked about his potential on many occasions. However, his first season so far has been underwhelming. Yes, he’s had some highlight reel blocks, but his fundamentals haven’t been there for much of the season. He had a breakout game in his first start against Memphis, which was a great sign because he is an integral part of the Huskies’ future. If he can get things going and finish out this season strong, it will be a huge addition to this team and it will definitely help them win some games while they wait for their stars to recover.
Kevin Arnold, Staff Writer
Starting for the first time against Memphis, Sidney Wilson has already felt the pressure to step up in Jalen’s absence. Wilson registered career highs in minutes, points scored, rebounds, blocks and field goals made in Sunday’s 78-71 loss. The highly-touted recruit had a lot of pressure coming into the season after NCAA transfer rules forced him to redshirt his freshman year. And now, those expectations just went up. After Alterique went down, it was evident that Christian Vital needed to step up. Now, it’s Sid’s turn.