It’s the end of the decade, so you know what that means: All-Decade teams. Here, we’ll look at the team of the decade for the UConn men’s basketball team. The Huskies won two National Championships in this decade, and although the last few years haven’t been as great, there have still been some legends to suit up for UConn this decade.
The team is broken down like a generic starting five (two guards, two forwards and a center) plus a sixth man. One thing you will notice if you look back on the decade is that the Huskies had an overwhelming amount of talent at guard but not as much at forward. So there are a few really good players (Jeremy Lamb, Ryan Boatright) that didn’t make the team strictly because of where they played.
Without further ado, here’s the UConn men’s basketball All-2010s team.
G: Kemba Walker
Walker may have only played one full season in this decade, but it was possibly the most memorable season in UConn basketball history, and certainly the best of the decade. He played out of his mind in 2010-11, averaging over 23 points per game and setting the program record for the most points in a season.
Of course, what we all remember best is what he accomplished in the postseason. In the Big East Tournament, he led the Huskies to five wins in five days against four ranked teams while earning the nickname “Cardiac Kemba” after his signature step-back buzzer beater over Pitt. Then, he led UConn to six more victories in the NCAA Tournament to win the third championship in program history. Walker was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
That season, he was also an All-American and a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year Award. He won the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award as well. Walker is one of the most decorated players in UConn history, and he was at the forefront of the most improbable run to the championship that we’ve ever seen.
G: Shabazz Napier
From one All-American to another, we go to Napier, who, if not for Walker, would probably be the best point guard in UConn history. Napier actually won two titles during his time in Storrs. He was a valuable role player as a freshman during the 2011 run and then made his own mark as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2014. In that same year, he became the inaugural American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
In his four seasons at UConn, Napier accumulated 1,959 points, good for fourth all-time. He also ranks third in assists with 646 and trails only Rashad Anderson for 3-pointers made at 260. A model of consistency, he suited up for the most games in program history at 143.
Napier was a stud for the Huskies. He was a great winner, a great leader and the perfect heir to Walker.
F: DeAndre Daniels
Daniels was a really solid player in his two years starting for the Huskies. He averaged 12.1 points per game in 2012-13 and 13.1 in 2013-14, providing a good secondary scoring threat to Napier.
The reason he makes the team is not because of his stats though. He makes it because of his contributions to the 2014 National Championship. It’s safe to say UConn does not win the title without Daniels. He was incredible in the tournament, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team for both the East Regional and the Final Four.
Daniels was the definition of playing great when it counted. During the 2014 title run, he averaged 16 points and seven rebounds. His greatest moment came in the National Semifinal against Florida, where he dropped a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards. For his contributions to that championship team and a good body of work overall, Daniels earns a spot on my All-Decade team.
F: Daniel Hamilton
Hamilton wasn’t a star at UConn, but he was very good over his two seasons. As a freshman in 2014-15, he averaged almost 11 points while starting every game. He made the AAC All-Rookie Team and was an honorable mention for the all-conference team. In his second season, he elevated his game and averaged 12.5 points per game en route to an All-AAC Second Team selection.
Hamilton was also a fantastic rebounder as a wing player, averaging over eight rebounds per game over his time at UConn. In a decade that didn’t feature many great UConn wings, Hamilton was one of the best and deserves to be honored.
C: Amida Brimah
Andre Drummond may have had the best season for a UConn center this decade, but Brimah gets the nod here because of his longevity. He played four seasons for the Huskies and won a title in 2014 as a freshman.
Brimah was never going to wow you with his point totals, but he was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end of the floor. He was a blocking machine and finished his career with the third most blocks in UConn history (367). He also finished with highest field goal percentage at 63.7%.
His best season came as a sophomore in 2014-15, when he averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks while starting all 35 games. He was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned an honorable mention on the All-AAC team.
Sixth Man: Jalen Adams
You could put Lamb or Boatright here, and I don’t think anyone would complain, but the final spot on my team goes to Adams. While Adams’ teams didn’t have much success during his four years, he put up some exceptional stats. He was basically the face of the team and the main (and sometimes only) source of scoring during his last three seasons.
Adams was a three-time All-AAC player. He is in the top 10 all-time in points (1,706) and assists (511) for a UConn player. Adams was a scorer in every sense of the word, averaging almost 14 points for his career.
Adams will perhaps be best remembered for his full-court buzzer beater as a freshman against Cincinnati in the AAC tournament that sent the game to a fourth overtime, where the Huskies would end up winning. He had some unfair expectations and didn’t always live up to them, but overall his career is deserving of the final spot of the All-Decade team.