UConn, Ollie ready to move back to the top

Two years ago, Kevin Ollie was celebrating as his UConn Huskies cut down the nets as a national champion.

Last season, his Huskies fell short of expectations, failing to make the NCAA tournament while losing to Arizona State early in the NIT.

Ollie could have sulked and pouted. He could have left Storrs and taken a job in the NBA; he was mentioned prominently as a candidate in Oklahoma City.

Instead, Ollie got in the trenches and battled. He worked hard to secure new talent to come in and revitalize UConn.

The Huskies utilized the rule that allows a graduate transfer to become eligible immediately. Schools like UConn, Louisville and Georgia Tech have really helped their respective causes.

Ollie landed two immediate-impact transfers that will help. Start off with former Seton Hall Pirates guard Sterling Gibbs, a second-team All-Big East selection. It is not easy to sign a scorer late in the recruiting process, but Gibbs will give a boost to the Huskies' offense after averaging 16.3 PPG. Connecticut also brought in 6-7 Shonn Miller from Cornell, an All-Ivy League choice. Miller ranked second in the Ivy in scoring (16.8 PPG) and rebounding (8.5 RPG) last season.

The future was made brighter when former VCU player Terry Larrier also transferred in, though he must sit out the upcoming campaign.

Ollie had previously added a nice recruiting class, led by point guard Jalen Adams out of Brewster Academy, ranked 25th on the ESPN Top 100.

The Huskies also have returning talent, keyed by Rodney Purvis and Daniel Hamilton. Ryan Boatright is gone, but UConn has reloaded.

I expect big things from Ollie and company in the season ahead.