Round 2: #2 Ben Gordon vs. #7 Kevin Freeman

Ben Gordon vs. Kevin Freeman

#2 Ben Gordon – (2001-2004)
by Peter Bard

In Rd 1, Gordon defeated #15 Alex Oriakhi, 205-1

I’m not sure that UConn has ever had a more versatile and creative offensive player than Ben Gordon. Gordon was at his best slashing through the defense and getting to the paint. Or was he at his best releasing his beautiful jump shot from behind the arc, which he hit at 42.3% career, good for second all-time at UConn? Maybe it was distributing to the myriad of talented players surrounding him (11th all-time in assists). Whatever it was, Gordon was one of the most comforting players to see with the ball.

Derisively nicknamed “Gentle Ben” because of his hesitancy to take over games despite his incredible talents, Gordon was often the focus of Calhoun’s frustrations, even as he was leading the team in scoring two years in a row. Then he scored 81 points over three games in the Big East Tournament.

Gordon was half of perhaps the best recruiting class ever at UConn (sit down, Chad Wise), along with fellow 2004 National Champion Emeka Okafor. Okafor was definitely the bigger name, and the better overall player, but I never felt better than when Gordon had the ball.

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Gordon has achieved admirable success in the NBA, being named the Sixth Man of the Year as a rookie, and participating in the rookie challenge on All-Star weekend. He was also the leading scorer on four playoff-bound Bulls teams, averaging more than 20 points per game in two of those seasons.

Career Points: 1795

Career Rebounds: 415

Career Assists: 437

Career Steals: 125

Career Blocks: 19


1st Team Big East 2003-2004
2nd Team Big East 2002-2003
UConn all-time leader 3-pointers/game
1,000 point club
Member of 2004 National Championship team
NBA Lottery pick
Left UConn after junior season

  #7 Kevin Freeman – (1996-2000)
by Tyler Wilkinson

In Rd 1, Freeman defeated #10 Stanley Robinson, 102-36

Before he roamed UConn’s sidelines as an assistant coach, Kevin Freeman played an integral role on the Huskies’ first national championship run in 1999. He is best known for his defensive performance in the ’99 title game against Duke, where he and center Jake Voskuhl combined to frustrate and neutralize Elton Brand, lifting UConn to victory. However, it was the preceding tournament where Freeman truly shined, winning MVP of the Big East Tournament. Freeman attempted to shift from his natural position of power forward to small forward his senior year and saw his numbers suffer because of it. Still, Freeman is UConn’s all-time leader in games played, and a member of 1,000 point club.

Career Points: 1476

Career Rebounds: 913

Career Assists: 130

Career Steals: 109

Career Blocks: 25


UConn all-time leader games played
1,000 point club
Member of 1999 National Championship team

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