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Sunday, June 24
Updated: July 23, 4:56 PM ET
Team preview: Connecticut Huskies

Returning Leaders
Points: Butler 15.3 ppg
Rebounds: Butler 7.6 rpg
Assists: Brown 4.9 apg
FG %: Selvie 54.7%
3pt %: Robertson 32.6%
FT %: Robertson 77.4%

00-01 Stats: UConn | Big East

The lowdown
2000-01 record: 20-12; 8-8 in Big East (t3rd in East)
Final Ranking: NR
Postseason: Lost to Detroit 67-61 in second round of NIT.

Three Questions for 2001-02
1. Will the Huskies have the hunger to get back to the NCAAs after last season's disappointing NIT season? They need that fire they possessed during the Khalid El-Amin era.

2. Can Caron Butler get some help? Butler has the talent to carry this team but can't do it alone. Will Taliek Brown be more consistent at the point? Can Tony Robertson or Robert Swain emerge as a legit wing? Will Ben Gordon step in and be an impact scorer?

3. Johnny Selvie is the primary threat inside but is he the only one? Can the Huskies get more out of Justin Brown? Will Emeka Okafor be able to contribute offensively in his first year?

Three Key Facts
1. UConn must hope the growing pains of a year ago translate into more success. Freshmen Caron Butler (15.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Taliek Brown once again will be asked to provide major minutes. Butler could wind up being this year's best big man in the Big East and is already one of 16 finalists for the 2001 USA Basketball World Championship for Young Men Team. Brown's 43-percent FG percentage at the point was misleading due to his lack of a consistent outside shot, but still showed at times he can lead a team with his creativity with the ball.

2. UConn will host North Carolina during the 2001-2002 season, beginning a four-year regular season contract between the two schools. The game against the Tar Heels just adds to an impressive non-conference slate, which includes a return trip to Arizona, a possible matchup with Maryland in the title game of the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C. and its annual meeting with UMass.

3. George Blaney, a New England coaching legend with 30 years of coaching experience and a 459-382 career record, joins the UConn staff under good friend Jim Calhoun.

Andy Katz's Scenarios
Best case: The Huskies return to form and become one of the teams to beat in the Big East. They take the title and get a top-five seed in the NCAAs.

Worst case: The Huskies don't get the inside scoring they need, are in the middle of the pack in the Big East and wind up on the bubble again.

Key Players Returning
Player Yr. Pos. Ht./Wt. Comment
Caron Butler So. F 6-7/235 PTS: 15.3 | REB: 7.6 | AST: 3.1
Johnnie Selvie Sr. F 6-7/235 PTS: 10.9 | REB: 5.4 | AST: 0.3
Taliek Brown So. G 6-1/185 PTS: 8.1 | REB: 2.5 | AST: 4.9
Tony Robertson Jr. G 6-2/200 PTS: 7.2 | REB: 2.2 | AST: 1.5

Key Losses
Player Pos. Ht./Wt. Comment
Albert Mouring G 6-3/190 PTS: 15.0 | REB: 3.2 | AST: 1.7
Edmund Saunders F 6-8/230 PTS: 9.9 | REB: 7.2 | AST: 0.9
Souleymane Wane C 6-11/240 PTS: 4.6 | REB: 4.8 | AST: 0.7
Ajou Deng F 6-10/225 PTS: 4.8 | REB: 4.7 | AST: 0.5

Connecticut Signings
Player Pos. Ht. High School/College
Ben Gordon G 6-2 Mt. Vernon/Mt. Vernon (N.Y.)
Emeka Okafor F 6-9 Bellaire (Texas)
Chad Wise G 6-5 Lonoke (Ark.)
Mike Hayes F 6-8 Arkansas City JC

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