Championship: #1 Ray Allen vs. #1 Kemba Walker

Ray Allen vs. Kemba Walker

#1 Ray Allen – (1993-1996)
by Meghan Bard

Rd 5, defeated #1 Emeka Okafor, 132-130

Rd 4, defeated #2 Caron Butler, 140-28

Rd 3, defeated #5 Shabazz Napier, 125-79

Rd 2, defeated #9 Phil Gamble, 179-1

Rd 1, defeated Cal Chapman, 354-6

Ray Allen is the greatest three-point shooter in the history of the game of basketball. That’s right. I said it. His skill is unquestionable; his preparation is legendary. Despite only three years at UConn, he managed to score nearly 2,000 points. He is also the all-time leader in three-point shooting percentage. Allen is without a doubt the most successful former Husky to play in the NBA. In his final year in Storrs, he was named the 1996 Big East player of the year, and a First Team All-American. And who can forget that amazing off-balance game-winning shot against Allen Iverson and Georgetown in the 1996 Big East Championship.

Career Points: 1922

Career Rebounds: 601

Career Assists: 105

Career Steals: 159

Career Blocks: 41

#1 Kemba Walker – (2008-2011)
by Peter Bard

Rd 5, defeated #1 Donyell Marshall, 225-218

Rd 4, defeated #3 Khalid El-Amin, 136-11

Rd 3, defeated #5 Hasheem Thabeet, 137-2

Rd 2, defeated #8 Kevin Ollie, 142-14

Rd 1, defeated #16 Johnnie Selvie, 197-8

Where to start? Walker came to UConn a blisteringly fast whirling dirvish of a point guard. He lacked discipline, but would make plays that just made you shake your head. His sophomore year, while statistically impressive, was a disappointment for the team, as they missed the NCAA tournament.

Heading into the 2010-2011 season, UConn was looking at another down year. Outside of Walker and sophomore F/C Alex Oriakhi, there was almost no experience on the roster, as the team generally started those two alongside three freshmen.

And then, Kemba happened. I couldn’t even begin to guess what the signature moment was for Walker that season. I read an article before they played Wichita State in the third game of the season that assured me that it wouldn’t be an upset when UConn lost. Of course, UConn won. And then they won again, against #2 Michigan State, thanks in no small part to Kemba’s 30 points. When he scored 29 the next day in an 84-67 drubbing of Kentucky, he’d scored 90 points in three days, and UConn had vaulted from having received 0 votes in the first poll of the season to being #7 in the country as of the second poll.

There were, of course, ups and downs, as UConn struggled through a very tough league schedule, with some highlights along the way (that circus three-pointer against #1 Texas being the among most memorable). Kemba’s legend was cemented in tournament play that year, when he carried the team to Big East Tournament and NCAA titles through what appeared to be sheer force of will. He ended his career 7th all-time in scoring, 6th in steals, and 10th in assists, and he set a program record his junior year with 965 points.

Career Points: 1783

Career Rebounds: 493

Career Assists: 460

Career Steals: 185

Career Blocks: 28

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