HARTFORD, Conn. --- Daniel Hamilton had the reputation coming in as a scorer.
He's much more than that.
Sam Cassell Jr. had the reputation as a prolific shooter.
He's all that.
We can go up and down the UConn roster. Options are aplenty for UConn as the season is ready to start on Friday against Bryant College at Gampel Pavilion (7 p.m. on SNY), UConn coach Kevin Ollie has more combinations and roster decisions than he's had combined in his first two years.
Omar Calhoun hasn't played yet this season (MCL sprain), but a look at the box score had nine players in double figures in minutes and UConn can legitimately go 10 deep.
That's a far cry from a handful of scholarship players of two years ago with Tyler Olander and DeAndre Daniels playing center and Niels Giffey at the power forward.
Inside, UConn can go with Amida Brimah, Phil Nolan and Rakim Lubin. Kentan Facey is also starting early on and Hamilton with his long arms and athleticism can also play the PF.
Daniel Hamilton has showcased a versatile game early on for the Huskies. UConn opens up the season on Friday against Bryant College.
On the wing is Hamilton and a load of guards in Purvis, Calhoun, Cassell and Terrence Samuel playing the two and three guard slot. At the point? Four legit options with Ryan Boatright, Cassell and Samuel all eligible to play.
It's an embarrassment of riches in a talent sense, but also a problem. UConn didn't play well in its two exhibition games. The games were both decided by less than 10 points and were within two baskets in the second half.
There is an energy level issue, a comfort and chemistry issue and the fact that with all the options, Ollie can go many different ways. Talent is there, chemistry and energy a long way off. This is a complex puzzle that is going to take time.
Ollie coaches by feel, so it's going to take time for him to get a feel for what combinations go together.
Ten players playing major minutes is possible, but it's going to require patience. A tighter rotation figures to develop later and roles and sacrifices are going to have to be made.
And, who does Ollie play?
"I just play guys," Ollie said. "You get in game, you got to produce."
That's where the Huskies are.
Produce or sit may replace "Hungry Huskies" as the unofficial motto.
It starts with the newcomers. Hamilton, a 6-foot-8 wing player with long arms and explosive athleticism -- but under control -- is a game-changing type player. He had 12 points, 12 rebounds and six assists against Assumption.
Those numbers individually against Assumption aren't eye-popping, but that a freshman was able to do all of the with no turnovers is a great sign.
"He's a natural born scorer," Boatright said. "As long as he continues to play hard and play the right way, he's going to be a great player."
He's a natural born scorer with a lot of other things in his game.
"He has a point guard mindset. He can make passes. He just has vision and he's a great rebounder," Ollie said. "He's a great player once he starts settling down and is more consistent on the defensive end."
Hamilton can score, shoot, defend, rebound, plays with energy and can pass. That's evident just watching him in practice.
That's what happens when you have three older brothers who taught you how to play. His oldest brother Gary plays professionally overseas, then Jordan is an NBA vet recently cut by the Jazz. Issac is at UCLA.
“I think I learned from all my brothers and took each and every part and put it all together,” Hamilton said. “I am able to do everything on the court and that's what I want to emphasis – no weaknesses."
Hamilton is the crown jewel, but Cassell may be the most deadly. He has scored 18 and 17 off the bench and been instant offense. Cassell is a 3-point shooter and is unafraid to take shots. He has taken the most shots in the preseason.
Cassell has a lot of competition on the wings with Calhoun, Purvis and Samuel also vying for time at the PG/SG slot (Boatright is going to play). Purvis has struggled with rust and played only 16 minutes against Assumption Sunday.
“I think (Purvis) was trying to go through too many people, he had a couple of charges, didn’t finish a couple of plays. That’s something we can correct,” Ollie said. “He hasn’t played in 20 months. He’s gotta keep practicing, be coachable, work hard, let the game come to him a little bit.”
Cassell came off the bench for 31 playing mostly shooting guard. Boatright and Hamilton were adept at getting Cassell open looks that he let fly.
Games are going to look like that this year for the Huskies. Starting is going to be no guarantee of major minutes.
"Who says (Cassell) is going to be on the bench? How he's playing, he's going to be in a starting role soon,” Ollie said.