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Pre-game preview: Loyola

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published November 26. 2013 6:00PM   Updated November 26. 2013 6:13PM

No. 13 UConn has to guard against the let-down factor tonight against Loyola (Md.) at the XL Center.

The Huskies (6-0) are coming off an emotional 2K Sports Classic championship win over Indiana Friday in New York.

They also can't afford to look ahead to playing No. 15 Florida next Monday.

"Every game counts," coach Kevin Ollie said. "It always comes down to leadership. You have to have good leaders that are not only playing but coaching the game. Hopefully, the guys who have been around here a long time are able to do that. ... They will hear from my mouth a lot of times."

Here's a pre-game preview:

Records: Loyola 4-0, UConn 6-0

Last game: Loyola defeated Maryland-Baltimore-County, Wednesday; UConn beatIndiana, 59-58, Friday

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-0 jr. guard Ryan Boatright (11.5 pts), 6-1 sr. guard Shabazz Napier (16.8 pts, 7.8 rebs, 6 assists), 6-5 so. guard Omar Calhoun (9.8 pts), 6-8 jr. forward DeAndre Daniels (12.2 pts), 6-10 so. center Phil Nolan (2.3 pts, 2.3 rebs)

Loyola, 5-9 jr. guard R.J. Williams (7.0 pts, 4.5 assists), 6-3 sr. guard Dylon Cormier (29.8 pts, 8.0 rebs), 6-6 so. guard Eric Laster (9.3 pts), 6-9 sr. forward Jordan Latham (5.3 pts, 3.8 rebs), 6-9 so. forward Franz Rassman (2.8 pts, 3.0 rebs)

Noteworthy:

 -- It is the first meeting between the two schools.

-- Loyola is off to its best start since 2005-06 season.

-- Cormier, the preseason Patriot League player of the year, has scored at least 31 points in three games.

-- The Greyhounds rallied from 10-point deficit with 90 seconds left to beat UMBC in overtime.

-- Loyola doesn't rebound well, losing the battle of the boards by 9.2 per game.

-- Top reserve: 6-7 forward Jarred Jones (14 pts, 5.8 rebs).

-- Hot: Daniels is a perfect 12-for-12 from foul line this season.

-- Cold: Niels Giffey is averaging 4.7 points in the last three games after scoring 14.3 in the first three.

-- Naper is the only Husky to hit double figures in every game.

-- UConn is shooting for first 7-0 start since 2010-11.

-- The Huskies are 3-0 in games decided by two points or less.

"Glad we got those wins where we won by one or two," Napier said. "Shows us we can still get out with a win. Every game's not going to be easy and be a blowout. For us to get that experience early, it's going to be better for us in the future."

-- For regular game updates, follow me on Twitter @GavinKeefe.

-- Check back later for a post-game breakdown and video.

 

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