UConn Huskies mascot on the court during a break in the action against the Stonehill Skyhawks in the second half at XL Center. Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While UConn’s women’s basketball program has dominated the sport, the Huskies men’s team is certainly no slouch.

The UConn men’s basketball team recently reeled off their fifth national championship, having won all of them in the span of the last 25 years. They’re also in a position to potentially add a sixth one very soon.

From Jim Calhoun to Kevin Ollie to Dan Hurley, UConn coaches have found a lot of success with some of the best college basketball players of the last 40 years, some of whom have gone on to successful NBA careers and Hall of Fame nods.

Let’s take a look at the 10 best UConn Huskies basketball players of all time.

10. Cliff Robinson

Cliff Robinson played for the Huskies from 1985 to 1989 before the program became a powerhouse. Robinson was twice named to the All-Big East second and third teams and helped lead the team to the NIT championship in 1988. In his college career, Robinson averaged 15 points and six rebounds per game. In 2007, the school retired his number 00. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 53.

9. Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay was part of UConn’s second national championship in 2004. He was co-Big East Rookie of the Year, averaging 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on .462 shooting in 28.8 minutes in 31 games. He was a unanimous Big East All-Rookie Team selection and was named National Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News. Later in his career, he was an All-American and named first-team All-Big East.

8. Caron Butler

Caron Butler was a beast for the Huskies as a freshman, leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 15.3 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. He had an even better sophomore season, averaging 20.3 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game and leading the Huskies to Big East regular season and tournament titles. That same season he was co-Big East Player of the Year and was a second-team All-American, leading the Huskies to the Elite 8.

7. Donyell Marshall

Donyell Marshall was one of the first big stars to come out of UConn. Marshall was an All-American, Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and was named Big East Player of the Year. In his junior year, he averaged 25 points and almost nine rebounds per game. He ended his career averaging 18 points a game with nearly eight rebounds.

6. Ben Gordon

Like Rudy Gay, Ben Gordon was part of UConn’s second national championship in 2004 and was the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging nearly 13 points per game off the bench. In his sophomore year, he averaged almost 20 points per game and led the Huskies with 156 total assists, earning him All-Big East second-team honors. Gordon was also named Big East Tournament MVP and earned the Most Outstanding Player award of the Phoenix Regional honors in the NCAA tournament when the Huskies were making their national championship run.

5. Shabazz Napier

Shabazz Napier was an important part of UConn’s championships in 2011 and 2014. Napier was named an All-American as well as the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. He finished his career in fourth place on the UConn scoring list (1,959 points), second in three-point field goals (260), and steals (251), and first in games played (143) and free throws made (509).

4. Emeka Okafor

Emeka Okafor made a name for himself in 2004, leading his Huskies to a national championship. Okafor was named a two-time All-American, Big East Player of the Year, two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, and NCAA blocks leader in 2003. He left as Connecticut’s leader in blocked shots with 441. He was also named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. Okafor ended his college career averaging almost 14 points and 11 rebounds per game.

3. Kemba Walker

Surprisingly, Kemba Walker didn’t come into his own as a Husky until the team’s 2011 NCAA championship run. That year he had a breakout season. He was named an All-American, the Big East Tournament MVP. Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and Cousy Award winner en route to becoming a national champion. He also lead the nation in scoring that season averaging almost 27 points per game,  five rebounds, and 3.8 assists. His run in the 2011 Big East Tournament remains the stuff of college basketball legend.

2. Richard “Rip” Hamilton

Rip Hamilton was part of legendary UConn head coach Jim Calhoun’s first national championship in 1999 but he accomplished way more than that. Hamilton was a two-time All-American, two-time Big East Player of the Year, and named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. During the Husky’s title run, Hamilton averaged 24 points a game. He went on to have a fabulous NBA career, mostly with the Detroit Pistons, and was recently inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

1. Ray Allen

If there is one player that stands out among the greatest to put on a Husky uniform, it’s Ray Allen. Allen was the first true men’s basketball superstar to come out of UConn. A part of Jim Calhoun’s mid-1990s UConn squads. Surprisingly, he’s one of the few players on this list who didn’t win a national championship. He did, however, set the table for the greatness to come. Allen was an All-American, Big East Player of the Year, USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 1995, and made first-team Big East twice as well. His 1,922-point total, 19.0 career average, and 44.8 three-point field goal percentage remain among the best in program history. He has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.