UConn lost five of the top eight scorers from last season’s team that won the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Among them was leading scorer Adama Sanogo, the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. A core of Donovan Clingan, Alex Karaban and Tristen Newton, along with a top-five recruiting class, led many to view the Huskies as legitimate candidates to repeat as national champions. UConn has proven to be a strong team through its first four games of the season, including a 20-point victory against Indiana with a final score Sunday being 77-57 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Tristen Newton led the team with a 23-point, 11-rebound effort.
UConn coach Dan Hurley praised Newton’s performance, stating, “There’s not much not to like. He was the best player in the national championship game in front of 75,000 people with all the money on the table. Coming into MSG in an atmosphere like this, for him it’s exciting. But he’s an accomplished player.” Despite the absence of five-star freshman Stephon Castle due to a minor knee procedure, UConn’s 20-point victory was impressive. Castle was averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game before his injury. UConn is ranked No. 7 in the updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. They were set to play Texas in the Empire Classic title game on Monday night.