Pre-game preview: Central Florida

With the non-conference portion of its schedule over, UConn shifts its full focus to American Athletic Conference action.

Central Florida visits Gampel Pavilion tonight for a 6 p.m. game.

UConn is trying to avoid falling to 0-3 in conference play for the first time since the 1984-85 season.

The Huskies need some momentum to take into next week’s crucial stretch. They visit No. 24 Memphis Thursday and host No. 12 Louisville Saturday.

Here’s a pre-game preview of tonight’s game:

-- TV: ESPNU

-- Records: Central Florida 9-4, 1-1, UConn 12-3, 0-2

-- Last game: Central Florida beat Temple, 78-76, Saturday; UConn beat Harvard, 61-56, Wednesday

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-0 jr. guard Ryan Boatright (12.9 pts, 3.5 assists), 6-1 sr. guard Shabazz Napier (16.1 pts, 5.6 assists, 6.5 rebs), 6-8 jr. forward DeAndre Daniels (12.7 pts, 4.8 rebs), 6-6 grad. forward Lasan Kromah (6.7 pts, 2.6 rebs), 6-10 sr. forward Tyler Olander (2.5 pts, 1.5 rebs)

Central Florida, 6-1 sr. guard Calvin Newell (13.7 pts, 3.3 assists), 6-6 sr. guard Isaiah Sykes (15 pts, 6.5 rebs), 6-7 jr. forward Kasey Wilson (11.5 pts, 5.8 rebs), 6-8 sr. forward Tristan Spurlock (12.4 pts, 6.5 rebs), 6-8 jr. forward Eugene McCrory (6.7 pts, 3.7 rebs)

Noteworthy:

 -- Central Florida has won six of its last seven games, suffering its only loss toLouisville.

-- UConn is 3-3 in last six games,

-- Series: UConn leads 3-1, losing last meeting 68-63 at 2011 Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The Huskies were ranked fourth at the time.

-- The Knights were picked to finish ninth in conference preseason poll.

-- Sykes, a second team All-AAC preseason pick, leads team in points and assists and is tied for team high in rebounds.

"He's a walking triple-double," coach Kevin Ollie said.

-- Top reserve: 6-5 so. guard Matt Williams (5.8 pts, 3.1 rebs).

 -- Hot: Kromah is averaging 10.5 pts, 5.5 rebs and 3.5 assists in last two games.

--  Cold: Daniels is shooting 9-for-28 from field in last three games. He’s made three field goals in each of the last five games.

 -- Central Florida ranks first in AAC in rebounding offense (40.9) and UConn ranks last (34.9).

-- The Huskies are first in the conference in free throw percentage (76.1). Napier is shooting 85.5 percent from the line. He’s converted 44 of his last 47.

-- Follow me on Twitter @GavinKeefe for regular updates during the game.

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

 

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Lubin decides to transfer

UConn's frontcourt depth took a hit with the news that forward Rakim Lubin plans to transfer after just one season in Storrs.

Short-handed Huskies prepare for NIT opener

UConn is limping into its NIT opener against Arizona State tomorrow night in Storrs.

NIT selects UConn to 32-team field

   Prior to its impressive American Athletic Conference Championship tournament run, UConn looked more like an NIT than NCAA post-season team.

Post-game breakdown: Tulsa

  UConn associate head coach Glen Miller didn’t plan on getting much sleep on Saturday night.

Pre-game preview: Tulsa

Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.

Post-game breakdown: USF

  UConn did what it was supposed to do on Thursday night.

Pre-game preview: Cincinnati

 Two of the American Athletic Conference's biggest rivals will battle tonight in tournament quarterfinal action at the XL Center in Hartford.

AAC honors Hamilton (rookie), Lenehan (scholar-athlete)

  Daniel Hamilton had a long list of people to thank after becoming the sixth UConn player to receive a conference rookie of the year award.

Brimah earns top defender award

  UConn sophomore Amida Brimah was named the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year today.

Three Huskies earn All-AAC honors

  UConn placed three players on All-American Athletic Conference basketball teams.

AAC tournament pairings set

  The pairings are set for American Athletic Conference Championship tournament.

Post-game breakdown: Temple

  The regular season is officially over for UConn.

Pre-game preview: Temple

  UConn is back on the road for its regular season finale.

Post-game breakdown: Memphis

  UConn suffered a crushing 54-53 loss to Memphis Thursday night at Gampel Pavilion, spoiling Senior Night.

Pre-game preview: Memphis

  UConn is finally riding a nice wave of momentum after a bumpy regular season.