The UConn Huskies have had little to cheer about this season. Their current record is an unimpressive 10-5, much worse than their championship standards from a few years ago. But last night marked the return of their star James Bouknight, and that has once again brought some much-needed energy.
The Huskies faced the Providence Friars, just days after losing to them. Bouknight’s return helped them to get revenge for that loss. The sophomore guard not only got them the win but also stole all the headlines with his amazing highlight.
Early into the first half, forward Tyler Polley attempted and missed a three, and the Providence players were waiting to grab the rebound. Bouknight, who was at the three-point line when Polley released the shot, sprinted and rose above all defenders to grab the miss. Although he was slightly late, his massive wingspan helped him to finish an emphatic putback dunk.
Bouknight has arrived at the perfect time for the Huskies. They won their last game against Xavier to put an end to their two-game losing streak, and Bouknight has helped them to extend this winning streak to two now. They need as many wins as they can get in their remaining games, as they hope to qualify for the NCAA tournament via at-large bid.
The Huskies had a brilliant start to the season. They lost just once in their first eight games and were cruising. But after that, they won just twice in six games, and fell behind in the Big East. So the boat has sailed for an automatic bid, but a win in their next game could all but guarantee a favorable result after Selection Sunday.
However, this next game is going to be their toughest so far. They face the Big East toppers, the Villanova Wildcats, who have been excellent all season. Their hopes will lie on Bouknight, who has been their best player whenever he has played. He will be eager to help his team return to the NCAA tournament, after a six-year gap, before he leaves for the NBA.