Top 5 favorite Husky teams ever.

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I want to say I know some people are gonna say I picked the obvious and easy teams, but these teams are champions for a reason. I also wanna say im 32, so I can only list what iv'e seen and lived through. There is no right or wrong answer. Your list is what you feel and experienced.

1. 08-09 I loved this team. They were relentless, they brought it every night. They dominated the Big East that year. They beat so many ranked teams. They didn't really have a star player per say, but everybody played their role. The only thing that stopped us was Dyson getting hurt. I wanted to beat Pitt so bad that year. Freaking Dajuan Blair. Thabeet and Adrien down low. Sticks was a freak of nature. Aj Price always hit big shots. Dyson, Austrie, And a freshman Kemba. I just loved this team. I still to this day say we would have won it all if it wasn't for Dyson getting hurt, and Michigan St basically playing a home game in the Final Four.

2. 13-14. What can you say about this team. I can go on forever. This team was on a mission to give the finger to the NCAA. It was 2 years in the making. This team had the heart of a lion. Everyone outside CT doubted them. Everyone who stayed after Calhoun retired will forever be remembered for sticking it out. Napier just put this team on his back. Boatright played lock down defense in the tournament. Daniels was so smooth, I dont ever remember having a dude that can battle down low and hit the 3 for his skinny body. Giffey was the glue guy, did all the little things. Kromah has to be the best transfer we ever had in my opinion. The freethrow shooting was money in the bank. That game in MSG to go to the final four is one of a greatest games ever in program history.

3.10-11. What this team did by running through Maui, The Big East Tournament, and the big dance has to be the greatest run/feat in NCAA history. I'm not just saying that because im a fan of this team. Kemba is a God. A true warrior, and a great human being period. This is one of the greatest recruiting jobs by Calhoun. This team fit perfectly together. Lamb, Napier, Roscoe, and Giffey each brought a certain skill set to the table. 5 games in 5 days was good enough, but then to win it all. We were spoiled as fans.

4. 19-20. This team will always be special. This team will go down as the launching pad back to greatness. Vital was turning into Kemba and Shabazz. Im not saying he is as good as them, but the way these young players admired Vital reminded me of the 10-11 team. Bouknight is a freak. I hope he stay at least till his junior year. If he does we might be on the verge of a historic team. Gaffney has some of the best court vision i have ever seen. The way he dribbles and protects the ball is mastery. Whaley became a mini version of Adrian. Hurley is a mini Calhoun, he understands this program and its history to a t. That 2 month run we went on was so enjoyable. We beat the 3 best teams in the conference. I really think we had a legit shot at winning the conference tournament. Man what a accomplishment that would have been.

5. Every other team from Calhoun on. I know it's corny and a cop out. I just want to show appreciation for what Calhoun did by building the program into a all-time great program. It still amazes me to this day how we don't get the credit we deserve for all the great players, and the 4 titles we won. I kind of like it, because that's what this program represents. The under dog, the attitude that we will prove you wrong by fighting, clawing, determination. It doesn't matter what anyone does to this program. We will never give up and bring a fight to any team that wants it. I want to say to everyone on this board who stuck with this team these past 4 years, you guys are true fans. We were spoiled with all that this program accomplished. We got lucky with Hurley becoming our coach. Some programs never recover or take longer to rebound when they lose a hall of fame coach. If Hurley decides to stay a long time, the next whatever years will be a joy to watch. We are back in the Big East, and that spirit and toughness is back. One last side note. I know this Ollie divorce has been ugly, but he still is a Husky. It just ended badly, but this man played/coached his heart out for us. Something happened to him that we might never know, but I hope this gets resolved and we can welcome him back into the family.


Thanks for reading, Much appreciated.
 
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No list of great UConn teams is complete without the 1963-64 Huskies. The first UConn team to reach the Elite Eight. They beat URI by one point in the Yankee Conference playoff game to reach the NCAA. The teams had ended the season tied for the crown.

Then the Yankee Conference Champs beat favored Temple in the opening round and had to face the Princeton Tigers in the Sweet Sixteen. The Tigers were lead by All American Bill Bradley who had averaged 33 points a game. The Huskies were led by 6-8 center Toby Kimball who had averaged he averaged 20 points and 16 boards in the regular season. This night he would score 16 points and grab 13 rebounds. Danny "the Spider" Hesford (one of the greatest nicknames in Husky history) held Bradley to 22 points. And future Husky head coach Dom Perno stole the ball from Bradley with 18 seconds left and the Huskies dribbled out the clock. Final. Huskies 52. Princeton 50.

UConn was coached by Fred Scabel who had been an assistant coach at Elite Eight opponent Duke the previous year. It has been reported that before the game against Duke that Scabel told his Huskies they had "no chance." That's how they played and they were bounced from the tourney.

As a footnote, this was Scabel's first year at the helm of the Huskies. The previous coach Hugh Greer (he of the Hugh S. Greer Field House on Hillside Road) died of a heat attack in January of 1963. Greer had compiled a career 286-112 record led the Huskies to six NCAA berths.This was really his team. No coach would enjoy the level of success of Hugh Greer until Jim Calhoun showed up.

The 1963-64 Huskies showed what was possible at UConn. And it still gets my goat when fans say UConn basketball was "nothing" before the Big East. It was a strong regional power under Greer. The foundation and fan interest were there.

When a world class coach showed up in 1986, it was time to reach that promise that we first glimpsed thanks to the Huskies of 1963-64.
 
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Sorry but that 89-90 Dream Season team would have hanged with any of our Championship Teams. They won the BE Tourney and were BE Champions

Smitty*: Sharpshooter, McD AA, CT bred
George*: 6'5" PG That's right 6'5"!
Nadav**: Our first Point Forward, whose defense was outstanding, and probably the best passer
Rod Sellers: Capable, tough PF/C
Dan Cyrulik: 7 foot banger
Scott Burrell*: Jumps higher than Bouk, and more athletic

John Gwynn: Microwave (no description necessary), BE All Tourney 1st team, one dimensional (good thing)
Toraino Walker: Think Jeff Adrien
Lyman Depriest: Best UConn defensive player ever
Murray Williams: Need to rest a player and not lose production, he's your man

* NBA player (3)
** International Pro (1)

Summary: Defensive juggernaut, with offensive weapons to match. Barely any weaknesses. Number 4 team in the Country. So many thieves on this team its incredible. Multiple ball handlers. Our best fast break team ever. Took a last second shot to stop them from the FF, and I believe a Nat'l Championship. If only Tate tipped the ball upcourt. 31 win season! Oh and they set up our future, recruiting went to the top after high schoolers saw there relentless play on both ends. Mid season Channel 8 New Haven picked up their games. So much excitement on the floor. John Gwynn was special, and when he was hot it was game over. I will say their intensity had Calhoun stamp on it all the way. They played in the 'real' Big East, and no Conference team beat them twice that year. They put UConn on the National Map.

I'll take this group and match them up against any other UConn team you name, including our loaded 2004 squad.
 
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^^ my freshman yr!

coming in, it wasn’t known as a basketball school. entirely different story leaving.
 
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89 - 90 was my favorite team , Nobody saw this coming we were all hoping for a 500 season. I remember a 30 point loss to St john early in the season , On opening night at the Gampel they beat St .Johns . This was Jim Calhoun before he mellowed . I remember him tossing F bombs at some Syracuse fans in section 114 at the civic center , just after Henifeld hit a 3 to seal the deal.
Then there was the speech Jim gave when they came home to find a packed house waiting for them after the Duke loss. Jim said this was only the beginning ( I guess he was right )

The emotion and passion was incredible. That . my fellow Uconn fans. is what makes College basketball so great ......and that is why UCONN Basketball has been special.

It is not how many times life knocks you down that matters ,but rather ,how many times will you pick yourself up that counts.
 
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I think this thread would be a little more interesting if we made a requirement to leave the National Championship teams off the list. I think it goes without saying that 1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014 are four of the best years for any UConn fan if they were old enough to remember them.

With that said my other favorite teams/seasons are

1994-1995 - Im not old enough to remember much before that season, but I remember being 6 years old and crying after the loss to UCLA.

2001-02 - The Maryland loss still stings. Caron was great that season, and that team was very comparable to the 2011 Championship team.

2008-09 - Most under appreciated UConn team of all time. I think they are somewhat forgotten because they were our only Final Four team that did not finish the job.

2019-20 - This season was really the first time in 3 years where I really had that UConn fever. You know that feeling where you cannot wait for the next game, and you try to attend every game you possibly can, and live and die with every possession? Yeah, this year was a lot of fun, and I cannot wait for next year in the Big East.
 
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No list of great UConn teams is complete without the 1963-64 Huskies. The first UConn team to reach the Elite Eight. They beat URI by one point in the Yankee Conference playoff game to reach the NCAA. The teams had ended the season tied for the crown.

Then the Yankee Conference Champs beat favored Temple in the opening round and had to face the Princeton Tigers in the Sweet Sixteen. The Tigers were lead by All American Bill Bradley who had averaged 33 points a game. The Huskies were led by 6-8 center Toby Kimball who had averaged he averaged 20 points and 16 boards in the regular season. This night he would score 16 points and grab 13 rebounds. Danny "the Spider" Hesford (one of the greatest nicknames in Husky history) held Bradley to 22 points. And future Husky head coach Dom Perno stole the ball from Bradley with 18 seconds left and the Huskies dribbled out the clock. Final. Huskies 52. Princeton 50.

UConn was coached by Fred Scabel who had been an assistant coach at Elite Eight opponent Duke the previous year. It has been reported that before the game against Duke that Scabel told his Huskies they had "no chance." That's how they played and they were bounced from the tourney.

As a footnote, this was Scabel's first year at the helm of the Huskies. The previous coach Hugh Greer (he of the Hugh S. Greer Field House on Hillside Road) died of a heat attack in January of 1963. Greer had compiled a career 286-112 record led the Huskies to six NCAA berths.This was really his team. No coach would enjoy the level of success of Hugh Greer until Jim Calhoun showed up.

The 1963-64 Huskies showed what was possible at UConn. And it still gets my goat when fans say UConn basketball was "nothing" before the Big East. It was a strong regional power under Greer. The foundation and fan interest were there.

When a world class coach showed up in 1986, it was time to reach that promise that we first glimpsed thanks to the Huskies of 1963-64.
The 1963-64 team is when I fell in love with UConn basketball. Loved that team. I was 8 and would listen to the games on my clock radio with the volume as low as possible so my mother would not make me turn it off. George Ehrlick doing the play by play was tremendous.
 

wheelerdog

A Carriage House Production
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1990 - we crashed the party
1999 - we slayed the dragon
2011 - maybe the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed in sports
2014 - see above
2019 - the return
 
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Sorry but that 89-90 Dream Season team would have hanged with any of our Championship Teams. They won the BE Tourney and were BE Champions

Smitty*: Sharpshooter, McD AA, CT bred
George*: 6'5" PG That's right 6'5"!
Nadav**: Our first Point Forward, whose defense was outstanding, and probably the best passer
Rod Sellers: Capable, tough PF/C
Dan Cyrulik: 7 foot banger
Scott Burrell*: Jumps higher than Bouk, and more athletic

John Gwynn: Microwave (no description necessary), BE All Tourney 1st team, one dimensional (good thing)
Toraino Walker: Think Jeff Adrien
Lyman Depriest: Best UConn defensive player ever
Murray Williams: Need to rest a player and not lose production, he's your man

* NBA player (3)
** International Pro (1)

Summary: Defensive juggernaut, with offensive weapons to match. Barely any weaknesses. Number 4 team in the Country. So many thieves on this team its incredible. Multiple ball handlers. Our best fast break team ever. Took a last second shot to stop them from the FF, and I believe a Nat'l Championship. If only Tate tipped the ball upcourt. 31 win season! Oh and they set up our future, recruiting went to the top after high schoolers saw there relentless play on both ends. Mid season Channel 8 New Haven picked up their games. So much excitement on the floor. John Gwynn was special, and when he was hot it was game over. I will say their intensity had Calhoun stamp on it all the way. They played in the 'real' Big East, and no Conference team beat them twice that year. They put UConn on the National Map.

I'll take this group and match them up against any other UConn team you name, including our loaded 2004 squad.



I love this post. I wish you would do this for every team up until about 08 when I started following the program religiously. I try and go back and learn about the program and it’s players but you never get all the insider info.
 
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I agree with the caveat not to consider national championship teams because the, um, won the national championship. They all were special and achieved the ultimate prize. Having said that, 1999 still holds a special place because they were the first. I started following UConn hoops in the late 1970s, so I suffered through a lot of mediocrity. The arguments that we did not belong in the Big East when formed and through the early to mid 1980s had validity, although I thought taking a chance was worth the investment. We were always the best of the bad programs, just good enough to have some hope, but in the end not good enough to have winning records. Then Jim Calhoun showed up, won the NIT in Year 2, made the NIT again in Year 3, and then the Dream Season was Year 4. After that we were a national power, but still couldn't crack the nut. Until 1999. Then we made our first Final Four and won the natty. I remember that night, sitting in my living room alone (turned down invitations to watch parties -- I wanted to focus on the game), holding a couch cushion over my mouth every time I wanted to scream with excitement or disappointment so I would not wake up my 6 month old daughter. I cried once we won, reflecting on where the program had come from and the odds it took for a smallish state school, my school, to reach the pinnacle of college basketball. That is my favorite moment as a sports fan of all time.

But my tied-for-first favorite team was 1990. I was in grad school on campus that year, and I was lucky to experience first-hand a wild ride that no member of UConn Nation had ever experienced before. Though the NIT success meant we were on the upswing, nobody saw what was coming. In fact, we started Big East play 0-2. But then the pieces gelled, and by the end of January Gampel opened and they never looked back. While they had some great talent (ex. Chris Smith was amazing, all others did their jobs brilliantly, Nadav Henefeld was the missing piece), they did not out-talent the top teams -- they out-worked them. Their defense was phenomenal and they won many games not because of shooting efficiency (often only with a shooting percentage in the 30s), but they forced so many turnovers they would have many more shots than the opposition. That was gratifying to watch.

I have two specific memories from that year that I hold dear. First, a friend of mine and I had purchased NCAA tournament tickets for the first two rounds in Hartford months before. Never did we think that UConn would be placed there, and no way could we have predicted as a #1 seed. That weekend we watched seven college basketball games live -- the four first round games on Thursday night (it was spring break), two more on Saturday afternoon, and then one more Saturday night with the women at Gampel. That was a basketball junkie's dream. Fast forward to five days later. I had a seminar on Thursday nights. That meant I would miss the first half of the Sweet 16 game vs. Clemson. I had friends that owned New Haven Brewing, and they were at Ted's that night promoting the first night Elm City Connecticut Ale would pour there. I made it for the second half. As Scott Burrell stood on the far baseline with only a few ticks of the clock left, I thought to myself what a special season it was, and that I was lucky to be on campus for it. Then Burrell hit Tate George with that perfect 30 yard pass, and Tate hit the turn around jumper. All hell broke lose in Ted's. Everyone jumping and screaming. I went behind the little counter (no long bar back then), and yelling and screaming and hugging my friends. Then I looked up and saw that half of the drop ceiling tiles were missing. Not from vandalism, but from people jumping up punching out the tiles by accident.

Thank you, UConn athletics, not only for these memories, but for a lifetime of memories. I look forward to many more.
 
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I'm 33 years old and was a sophomore at UConn during the 2005-2006 season. The team had its flaws and never really played up to its potential. They had as much or more talent as the 03-04 squad that won it all with Rashad, Denham, Hilton, Rudy, Marcus, Boone and a freshman Adrien...5 guys that would play in the NBA. I loved that team because the memories I have of waiting in front Gampel, watching Rashad cash 3 after 3, Rudy jumping out of the gym. Everyone probably has a favorite from their time at UConn. The scrambling and clutch shots to come back and win against Washington is a UConn classic. The let down and heartbreak against GM will hurt forever. I loved this team and still go back to find highlights on youtube.

Pick Up Truck by Big Ed is still stuck in my head.
 

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