STORRS — Amida Brimah was a revelation as a freshman.
Now Kevin Ollie is hoping the same thing can happen as a senior.
Two and a half years after the 7-footer started for a UConn team that came out of nowhere to win the 2014 national title, Brimah is now being counted upon to aid the Huskies’ biggest concern heading into the upcoming season — rebounding.
“We need him to average seven or eight rebounds a game,” Ollie said of Brimah following Tuesday’s practice in Storrs. “He gained 20 pounds since last season and hopefully he can use that to make a biggest impact on the glass.
Brimah missed 11 games during the middle of last season and has never averaged more than 4.6 rebounds during his college career.
UConn’s top rebounder from last season was Daniel Hamilton (10.4), who left school early for the NBA.
The Huskies have three all-league caliber perimeter players in freshman Alterique Gilbert, sophomore Jalen Adams, and VCU transfer Terry Larrier.
“They can all really go,” Ollie said of his perimeter pieces. “Alterique and Jalen are similar to what we had with Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. But it all goes back to rebounding. That’s what I’m stressing the most.”
Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and is the lead college basketball columnist for the FanRag Sports Network. He is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks, which is available via iTunes. Rothstein is also a regular in-studio correspondent for both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio. He currently lives in Manhattan.