Commentary

UConn building toward future

Updated: June 15, 2011, 1:02 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

There has been a lot of good news coming out of Storrs, Connecticut lately.

Coming off their recent national championship, Jim Calhoun's men's basketball team has more positive press. Let's start with the recent signing of top prospect, DeAndre Daniels, out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The 6-foot-8 forward decided to don a Husky uniform in 2011 even though he did not visit the campus. He confirmed his attendance at Connecticut, saying it would be special to be wear that UConn uniform.

[+] EnlargeJim Calhoun
Richard Mackson/US PresswireWill Jim Calhoun and his fiery passion on the sidelines return to Storrs next season?

Why will it be special? He will have the opportunity to play immediately and have an impact up front. Connecticut loses some talent in the front court, including Jamaal Coombs-McDaniel, who decided to transfer. He will have the opportunity to step into a new position and become a difference maker.

Andy Borman, from IMG Academy, raved about Daniels' abilities. He cited his athleticism, his ability to shoot the three and his wingspan, as factors in his stock being up. Daniels turned down a number of high-profile schools like Kansas and Texas.

One key factor in Daniels' decision is the coach. There were some people who felt Jim Calhoun would not come back after winning the national championship. There were also questions after the NCAA investigation last season, with some thinking this would be a good time to step away after cutting down the nets.

It was a dream scenario when Kemba Walker led the Huskies to a terrific run through the Big East tournament and then the NCAA championship, after a 9-9 finish to the Big East regular season.

For those who think Jim Calhoun may not come back, forget about it! This guy loves hoops, loves teaching and is a gym rat. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be back in Storrs, though official word will not come until later in the summer after the Hall of Famer takes a vacation.

The signing of Daniels solidifies the idea that Calhoun will be back. Just read the quotes of the talented player.

Following Daniels was another big-time commitment in guard Omar Calhoun of Christ the King High School in New York, one of the nation's premier backcourt players. He gave a verbal commitment to the Huskies and he stated the contact with the coach was a key to his decision.

I think there is no doubt that Jim Calhoun will be back on the sidelines for the 2011-2012 campaign. I feel the Huskies will be a top 10 team once again thanks to the leadership of its Hall of Fame coach. The beat goes on and it would be shock city to not see him back, unless there is a health issue; remember he is a three-time cancer survivor.

As long as he has clearance from the doctors to continue coaching the game he loves, Calhoun will motivate and inspire his team.

It all adds up to good news in Connecticut.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.