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Why UConn Could Win the Phil Knight Invitational

The UConn Huskies have been off to a hot start this season at 5-0, but coming up next is a big test of how deep this Huskies team can go with the Phil Knight Invitational.

Averaging 87 ppg, UConn has been consistent throughout their first five games of the year. That consistency is critical for this team riding on hot streaks, and being able to build off of that momentum will only help them long term.

John Fanta is correct, these games in the PKI will come down to guard play. Tristan Newton has been averaging 11 ppg and 4 apg. He has been able to complement well with Adama Sanogo who is putting up a Big East-high 21 points per game. Sanogo is also shooting 67% from the field. It has been a mix of starts and crucial bench minutes for Hassan Diarra who is putting up 4 points and slightly over 4.5 assists per game. Same with Nahiem Alleyne who is shooting 30% from three and putting up 9 ppg.

Looking at the bracket, #20 UConn plays Oregon on November 24th which should be a good game as the Ducks are 2-2 overall, coming off a 10-point loss to Houston. If the Huskies win they will play the winner of the #18 Alabama-#12 Michigan State game which will be a battle regardless of the team they play. Looking further, they will have to play either #1 North Carolina, Portland, Villanova, or Iowa State in the Championship Game.

The last time the Huskies played in the PKI was in 2017 when they finished the tournament, 1-2 with losses to Michigan State and Arkansas. The true test of the Huskies comes in this early season tournament to see where they stand as a team before heading into the last few games versus non-conference opponents. UConn has a very solid chance of winning it all as long as their perimeter shooting stays solid and can find the ball down low to Adama Sanogo. That dual threat of outside shooting and post-scoring will be the way the UConn Huskies win the Phil Knight Invitational.


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