After the UConn Huskies rampaged through the NCAA Tournament and won their second consecutive National Championship, as expected, all five starters on the team — Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, Tristen Newton, Cam Spencer and Alex Karaban — entered their names into the NBA Draft. The decisions for Castle and Clingan were obvious, as they'll both be lottery picks in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft. For Newton and Spencer, both fifth year seniors already, they had no choice. Despite Cam Spencer's best effort to return for another run at a National Championship, the NCAA denied his waiver for one more year of eligibility.

That left versatile sophomore forward Alex Karaban as the only 2023-24 UConn starter who could potentially return for a chance at a three-peat. Karaban had previously stated that his decision hinged on where he was projected to go in the NBA Draft. After going through the pre-Draft process throughout the month of May, on Wednesday afternoon, Karaban announced his decision to come back to Storrs for another go-round with Dan Hurley and the Huskies, much to the delight of this UConn fan.

In the aftermath of Karaban's announcement, it was his mother, Olga Karaban, who explained to David Borges of CT Insider why this was the decision that her son eventually came to.

“He was undecided,” Olga said on Wednesday night. “He had talks with his agents, us, his coaches. He woke up 50-50 this morning.”

But according to Momma Karaban, after “a lot of thinking,” Alex Karaban arrived at a decision that his mother said made sense for him and his own individual motivations.

“I think he wants to make history again,” Olga continued. “He wanted to go back, to have a special year for him, and he wanted to improve on some feedback he has gotten. It's been a combination of everything, I would say.”

With the return of Alex Karaban to Connecticut, it's now time we really start thinking about whether or not the Huskies can become the first team to win at least three consecutive National Titles since John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins won a staggering seven titles in a row from 1967 to 1973.

UConn Huskies head coach Dan Hurley and his players leave the State Capitol to start the teams NCAA Mens Basketball Championship victory parade.
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn's Three-Peat Chances 

If you take UConn head coach Dan Hurley at his word, then the 2024-25 Huskies will have just as good of a chance at winning the National Championship as each of his last two squads did. Back in early May, Hurley made waves when he claimed that, “top to bottom, this could be our most talented roster.” It's worth noting, at that point in time, the expectation was that Karaban was on his way to the NBA. Now with Karaban officially returning to Storrs, it feels even more likely that Dan Hurley's premonition may be correct.

Karaban joins Hassan Diarra, Samson Johnson, Solomon Ball, and Jaylin Stewart as members of the 2023-24 team's rotation who will be back for a chance at the school's third consecutive title. Along with that experience, the Huskies will add Aidan Mahaney (Saint Mary's) and Tarris Reed (Michigan) via the transfer portal. And in addition to those seven players who are likely to be in Hurley's rotation, UConn also brings in a talented three-man recruiting class made up of Liam McNeeley (ranked 10th nationally by 247Sports), Ahmad Nowell (31st), and Isaiah Abraham (80th).

Given the volatile nature of the NCAA Tournament, and so many unknowns regarding how this group will play together, it's hard to say that the Huskies should be the prohibitive favorites to win the 2024-25 National Championship. But there's not a roster, coaching staff, or program better suited to cut down the nets in San Antonio next April than this one.