Pre-game preview: Vermont

Game time is approaching at Gampel Pavilion for the UConn-Vermont game.

UConn is shooting to extend its perfect record in regular season openers at Gampel to 24 straight games.

Here's some pre-game info:

Probable starters

UConn

6-1 jr. guard Shabazz Napier (25 pts)

6-0 so. guard Ryan Boatright (13 pts, 4 assists, 5 steals)

6-5 fr. guard Omar Calhoun (1 pt)

6-8 so. forward DeAndre Daniels (12 pts, 8 rebs)

6-9 jr. forward Tyler Olander (4 pts, 6 rebs, 4 blks)

Vermont

6-2 jr. guard Sandro Carissimo (11 pts)

6.4 jr. guard Candon Rusin (4 pts)

6-6 jr. forward Brian Voelkel (5 pts, 7 rebs)

6-7 jr. forward Luke Apfeld (16 pts, 4 rebs)

6-8 jr. forward Clancy Rugg (4 pts, 6 rebs)

Pre-game appetizers

-- UConn earned its first top 25 ranking (No. 23) on Monday Jan. 23, 2012.

--Vermont returns three starters from a team that went 24-12, won America East championship and earned fifth NCAA tournament bid, reaching second round.

-- In season opener, Catamounts rallied from 16-point deficit against Siena, winning 54-53 on Carissimo's layup with eight seconds left.

"They beat Siena and I know they feel good about themselves," coach Kevin Ollie said. "We've got to go out and play."

-- Olander and Vermont freshman Ethan O'Day (9 pts, 6 rebs) were high school teammates at E.O. Smith in Storrs. O'Day, a 6-9 forward, comes off the bench.

"I know him really well," Olander said. "He actually lives right around the corner from me. We used to hang out all the time. It's going to be fun playing with him."

-- Voelkel, a preseason All-America East pick, has led the conference in rebounding the last two seasons.

-- Player to watch: Omar Calhoun. He had just one point in the season opener after averaging a team-high 22 points in the two exhibition games. He went 0-for-2 from the field and had two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes playing against a tough defender in Branden Dawson.

"He just didn't get in the flow, and we discussed that," Ollie said. "I didn't see intensity on the defensive end. And I want him to get better on that end, because he's going to be a great defender for us. … He understands what I'm looking for. He's such a great kid. He's going to bounce back."

-- Series history: UConn leads, 46-8. Won last six meetings including 89-73 Nov. 17, 2010 in Hartford.

-- Follow me on Twitter, @GavinKeefe, during the game.

-- Check back later for post-game breakdown.

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Pre-game preview: SMU

  UConn has never beaten Southern Methodist University.

Hamilton announces his retirement

  Former UConn great Richard "Rip" Hamilton announced his retirement today.

Pre-game preview: East Carolina

  The regular season is winding down.  

Post-game breakdown: Tulane

  UConn took a difficult route to victory on Sunday.  So it was a typical win for the Huskies, who held off Tulane, 67-60, at Gampel Pavilion.

Pre-game preview: Tulane

  It's hard to believe the regular season is already winding down.

Boatright, Dunn finalists for Bob Cousy award

  UConn senior Ryan Boatright and Providence sophomore Kris Dunn are two of 17 finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award in college basketball.

Post-game breakdown: Memphis

  Freshman Daniel Hamilton is a rising star.  The latest evidence came in UConn's 75-72 loss at Memphis on Thursday night.

Pre-game preview: Memphis

UConn and Memphis meet twice over the final few weeks of the regular season.

Post-game breakdown: Tulsa

 UConn played its most complete game this season on Thursday night. Its near perfect performance couldn’t have come at a better time.

Pre-game preview: Tulsa

UConn begins a make-or-break stretch tonight.The Huskies host Tulsa, the American Athletic Conference leader, at the XL Center.

Calhoun pays tribute to Dean Smith

 UConn released a statement late Sunday from Jim Calhoun on the passing of fellow Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith, the North Carolina legend.

Pre-game preview: Tulane

  Here’s a revealing statistic:  UConn is 7-1 when Rodney Purvis scores in double figures.

Post-game breakdown: East Carolina

  UConn played about 13 minutes of nearly perfect basketball on Wednesday night.

Pre-game preview: East Carolina

  UConn has never lost more than two games in a season at Gampel Pavilion since the building opened in 1989.  That streak is in jeopardy.

Post-game breakdown: Cincinnati

 Well, that was a complete dud. UConn never led and played poorly for most of the game, losing 70-58, at Fifth Third Arena.