UConn basketball’s First Night event at Gampel Pavilion is almost upon us, and Huskies fans will have an opportunity to get a first look at both the men’s and women’s basketball team’s fresh rosters. While there will be plenty of skill events to get fans excited for the season, this will also be an opportunity to see who has the best walk-up song on the team. Thanks to some impeccable research by staff writer Ava Inesta, we have some great info about the music taste for players like Solomon Ball and Tristen Newton. Today, our writers predict who will have the best of the bunch in a special First Night edition of The Daily Campus Sports roundtable:
Diarra, a New York native with some of the best swagger on the roster, is a huge sleeper pick for the best hype song on the team. With the info that we know about Diarra’s music taste, the UConn guard picked “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill for his ideal pregame hype song, a great pick and a guaranteed way to get the crowd going. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we potentially get some New York drill instead, which is also electric with the Gampel Pavilion speakers booming. He’s also not afraid to go in his bag and grab a throwback track like “In da Club” by 50 Cent, which adds another layer of variety to an already loaded set of choices. However, regardless of the direction that he goes in, I feel like I can make this pick with confidence knowing that he’s going to come out with some heat.
A number of characteristics that make Newton stand out both on and off the court help showcase his ability to have the finest walk-up song in college basketball. He is a fan favorite first and foremost because of his charismatic playing style. The player’s personality and style should be reflected in the walk-up music, and Newton’s lively and vivacious approach calls for a track that energizes the fans. He personifies the virtue of tenacity, which is frequently connected to motivating musical selections. The Texas native’s two favorite artists are Rod Wave and Lil Durk, two of the more popular superstars in the rap game. I feel like many people will end up agreeing that the UConn lead guard will have the best walk-up song.
Johnson was a top 50 player in the 2021 class when he arrived on campus. Since then, Johnson has only been limited to 25 games because of a foot injury and an overall crowded frontcourt during his time in Storrs. Due to the limited playing time, he enters the 2023-24 season as a player that many are expecting to have a huge rebound year. With a potential breakout season awaiting, I believe Johnson will pick the best walk-up song, one that captivates those in attendance and signals that it is his time to shine on the court. I could see the Huskies’ big man potentially picking artists such as Meek Mill or NBA Youngboy, as those two are known for their adrenaline-pumping, explosive music.
DeBerry, a junior forward from Williamsville, New York, brings a lot of energy both on the court and from the bench. WNBA All-Rookie forward Dorka Juhász’s graduation and subsequent second-round draft selection by the Minnesota Lynx opens a spot on the Huskies’ frontcourt that I believe the 6 foot, 5 inch junior will share with sophomore Ayanna Patterson at the start of the season. Even though she averaged just seven minutes in 42 games across her first two years in Storrs, DeBerry could be one of a few breakout players on a UConn team hungry for their 12th national title. Part of that will be attributed to the forward’s song choice at First Night, and while she has walked out to bangers the last two times, I believe that DeBerry will dance on stage to anything by DaBaby. Digging down further, the Gampel Pavilion speakers will be playing DaBaby’s hits from the albums Baby on Baby or Kirk. Fans may recognize a couple tracks from either album, but even they may start moving the instant DeBerry makes her entrance.