New Haven Register (Sunday) (New Haven, CT)
UCONN MEN: Breaking down the roster
The UConn men’s basketball team heads into the postseason with a deep roster that fueled the Huskies climb to No. 2 in the country in December.
After UConn struggled in January, Dan Hurley’s team finished strong and now seems poised for a deep run this month. How does the roster with so much depth shape up as the postseason begins?
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of the 2022-23 UConn men’s basketball team’s roster:
2 Tristen Newton 6-5 190 Sr. G
After averaging 17.7 points per game as a junior at ECU last season, Newton transferred to UConn and has had a solid season as the Huskies’ chief point guard. Third on the team in scoring and first in assists, he became the first player in the program’s long, storied history to notch two triple-doubles in the same season.
3 Joey Calcaterra 6-3 180 Gr. G
“Joey California” arrived in Storrs after four seasons at San Diego and instantly became a fan favorite, with a sweet nickname and an even sweeter 3-point shot. Shot an incredible 56.7 percent from 3 in nonconference play, and though he cooled off quite a bit in Big East action, still could be a threat in the Big Dance.
4 Nahiem Alleyne 6-4 195 Sr. G
Yet another portal pick-up, Alleyne hasn’t put up the numbers he did in three seasons at Virginia Tech. But he’s been a valuable role player off the bench, providing stout defense and some good shooting. Huskies are undefeated in games Alleyne scores eight or more points.
5 Hassan Diarra 6-2 190 Jr. G
Texas A&M transfer, Putnam Science Academy’s all-time leading scorer and younger brother of ex-Husky player and current director of player development Mamadou Diarra, Hassan has brought New York toughness and grit to his role as back-up point guard.
11 Alex Karaban 6-8 210 R-Fr. F
The first-team Big East All-Rookie selection could have easily been the league’s Freshman of the Year, though Villanova potential lottery pick Cam Whitmore barely edged him out. Either way, it’s hard to think of too many freshmen who had a bigger impact on their team this season. Karaban was behind only Jordan Hawkins in minutes played during the regular season (29.8) while averaging 9.7 points and shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point distance.
13 Richie Springs 6-9 235 R-Jr. F
Has rarely seen the court in his four seasons in Storrs, but is well-loved and respected by his teammates as he finished up what appears to be his final season as a Husky.
20 Andrew Hurley 6-1 170 Jr. G
Coach’s son who could probably play at the Division II or III level, has become the walk-on that fans cheer for to pop off the bench during home blowouts.
21 Adama Sanogo 6-9 245 Jr. F
Preseason Big East Player of the Year has somehow seemed to be underrated this season. Earned first-team All-Big East recognition for the second straight season after leading the league in scoring in overall games. Still a dominant player on the low post with great footwork, hands, touch and moves, he’s developed a 3point shot that has kept opponents honest and, ostensibly, improved is NBA stock.
24 Jordan Hawkins 6-5 195 So. G
Dan Hurley predicted he’s average 16.5 points per game this season, and wound up averaging 16.4 in the regular season while leading the Big East in scoring in league games at 17.3 ppg. An athletic player with a quick release and smooth jumper, “Hawk” has increased his stock to the point of being a likely NBA first-round draft pick in June — and possibly even a lottery pick with an impressive March.
30 Yarin Hasson 6-9 205 Fr. F
Israeli product who only turned 18 in October has seen very little time off the bench.
32 Donovan Cingan 7-2 265 Fr. C
What more can be said about the Bristol Central product who slimmed down a bit and became an instant hit off the bench as Sanogo’s back-up center? Despite playing just 12.3 minutes per game in league play, was among the Big East’s top shot-blockers and its best freshman rebounder. Was named MVP of the highly competitive PK Invitational back in November.
33 Apostolos Roumoglou 6-7 200 Fr. G
Greek import is a bit older, more experienced and higher on the depth chart than fellow international frosh Hasson.
35 Samson Johnson 6-10 215 So. F
Long, athletic prospect with “wall potential” started the Huskies’ season-opener but suffered a stress reaction in his foot and missed the next two months. Hasn’t been able to get back up to speed since his return and has played sparingly. Now, Hurley just hopes the talented, versatile player stays “patient” and remains with the program.
40 Andre Johnson. Jr. 6-4 160 Fr. G
Another Bristol product, he’s done pretty well for himself in the NIL world as a walk-on.
41 Emmett Hendry 6-3 155 Fr. G
There has possibly been no walk-on in UConn history who’s been a more enthusiastic fan on the bench.
45 Andre Jackson, Jr. 6-6 210 Jr. G
One of the most unique players in the country, Jackson boast out-of-this-world athleticism, excellent court vision and can rebound and defend as well as anyone. His shooting woes are well-documented, and teams have slacked off on him defensively in an almost disrespectful manner. But he’s adjusted and started to take the ball to the hole more often for layups and dunks. Jackson was shut out of any Big East postseason awards, but his teammates know his value. “He’s the Player of the Year on this team,” Jordan Hawkins said. “He’s our MVP.”