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Distributed for University Press of New England

Rebound!

The Incredible Story of UConn Basketball’s Comeback from Defeat to Dominance

Distributed for University Press of New England

Rebound!

The Incredible Story of UConn Basketball’s Comeback from Defeat to Dominance

In September 2012, legendary University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun—who had won three national championships, the last in 2011—abruptly retired. His handpicked replacement was Kevin Ollie, a former UConn player and longtime NBA journeyman who had returned two years earlier to be Calhoun’s assistant. Ollie was widely praised as a “basketball savant” and respected by virtually everyone who knew him. But he had no head coaching experience—at any level—before taking the UConn job. He was also inheriting a mess. Due to past academic problems, UConn was barred from postseason play in 2013, and largely because of this, several top players left the program, either for the NBA draft or for other schools. On top of that were the uncertainties of a greatly changed conference, as well as difficulties on the recruiting trail. Despite it all, a dedicated core of players stayed and won twenty hard-fought games, even with no tournament chances to hope for. The following season, expectations for the team were modest, and the odds of a championship were slim to none. But with the tournament ban lifted, a talented group of players, led by Shabazz Napier, emerged and went on to upset Michigan State to advance to the Final Four, causing millions of college hoops fans across the country to rip up their carefully constructed brackets. When they beat preseason no. 1 Kentucky, with its “Fab 5” NBA-bound starters and celebrity coach John Calipari, to win the 2014 title, theirs became one of the great comeback stories in all of sports, a rags-to-riches triumph for a storied program and its new head coach.

220 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4

Sport and Recreation


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Table of Contents

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments • Introduction • We’re Gonna Take the Stairs • A Program in Peril • Playing for Pride • An Emotional Win in Germany • They Can’t Ban Us from Loving Each Other • A New Mr. Clutch • A New Season, a New League • A Little “Lu

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