What major-conference team will have the best bounce-back season in college basketball?

Aug 17, 2011
Matt Norlander sticking up for his home state school.

Matt Norlander: UConn
My pick's different from the other three in a few ways, but perhaps most tangibly in this regard: UConn is the only school mentioned in this roundtable that is coming off a season with more wins than it had the three seasons prior. Not an immediate bounce-back candidate, but follow me here. Dan Hurley guided the Huskies to a 19-12 finish, falling short of the 20-win mark because there was of course no league tournament in the American. But despite that, UConn wasn't an NCAA Tournament team -- even if we'd had a tournament last season.

That changes in 2021 -- and let's hope we can have a 68-team spectacular back in March.

Akok Akok, if fully healthy, can be an elite defender. Isaiah Whaley can help give UConn one of its stronger frontcourts of the past seven or eight years. Big name to know is Andre Jackson, an incoming freshman who was a top-50 2020 prospect and should start next season alongside the returning James Bouknight, who has a ceiling of being a top-five player in the Big East. And on the topic of the Big East, your reminder that UConn is back where it belongs. I think this helps the Huskies, who have a shot to be a top-four team in that league in 2020-21. If that happens, UConn's going to the NCAA Tournament. That's a bounce-back in more ways than one.

Aug 26, 2011
Before Tyler Polley got hurt, he played the best games of his life. I hope the kid is back to himself because people are sleeping on him. A Polley who can not only shoot great from the outside but drive is a force.

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