The Huskies had little trouble with UMass-Lowell in their second and final preseason game, a 100-62 win, days before they head to Germany for the season opener against Michigan State. Even in this rebuilding year, the result wasn't a surprise, but the game shed light on one of the biggest issues facing Kevin Ollie's squad: who would step up with Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond in the NBA and Roscoe Smith and Alex Oriahki having transferred?
The obvious answers: Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Tyler Olander. Beyond that? It's not clear. Or at least it wasn't. Freshman Omar Calhoun is fearless and sophomore DeAndre Daniels appears to have regained his confidence after a rocky rookie season.
"Last year, when things would go bad, I wanted to go home," Daniels admitted after scoring 15 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. "I understand my role better. I'm boxing out better, and I'm going to get the ball better. I have to do that because I'm not as big and strong as some of the [frontcourt] guys we're going to face."
Ollie, whose contract expires in the spring, knows exactly what he needs from Daniels, a 6-8 forward.
"We need DeAndre to rebound," Ollie said via the Hartford Courant. "He dedicated himself this summer, and after he came back later in the summer, he dedicated himself. He had nine rebounds last time, and he had 10 in the first half in this game, and we need him to keep getting better."
Calhoun, meanwhile, seems unaffected by the bright lights of big-time college basketball. Of course, it's hard to make a final judgment on Calhoun's game based on two home exhibition games. We'll know more once the regular season kicks off but this much is clear: Calhoun can score and you can't put a premium on points.
"He wants to shoot," Ollie said, "it doesn't matter if he makes or misses, he wants the next shot."
That's going to be important in a season without Kemba Walker or Jeremy Lamb.