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UConn returns to the Big East next season, and the Huskies’ return may bring more than nostalgia. While UConn had an average season going 10-8 in American play, they are poised to bring more to the Big East.

While the Huskies lose their top scorer and rebounder in Christian Vital, as well as their leading assister Alterique Gilbert; freshman star James Bouknight will return and looks to lead this UConn team back to glory. Bouknight will be joined by Tyler Polley, Josh Carlton, and nearly all of the Huskies squad from this past season.

From that alone, contention in the Big East doesn’t seem out of reach.

Dan Hurley and company currently have two commits in the 2020 class. Top 80 prospect Andre Jackson and top 150 prospect Javonte Brown-Ferguson are the only recruits for the Huskies so far, but they also add Rhode Island transfer Tyrese Martin. I expect Martin and Jackson to fill in the gap left by Vital, while Ferguson-Brown will provide another body down low.

Looking at the Huskies’ Big East competition proves they have a daunting task ahead.

Creighton looks like a final four caliber team, and Seton Hall and Marquette always find their way into the rankings. A core of Bouknight, Martin, and Polley along with other role players like Ferguson-Brown and Akok Akok should lead the Huskies to a strong season.

This season could put UConn back on the path to glory, a path they haven’t seen often since leaving the Big East.

Dan Hurley needs to execute in the first few seasons of the return to the Big East, or he may not be the man attempting to lead UConn back to the top of the mountain. After a 35-29 record in his first two seasons, Hurley may be on the hot seat after more average seasons.

Expect him to lead this UConn team to a tournament appearance in order to, not only save his job, but bring the program back to it’s former glory.

Photo: Hartford Courant