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UConn will play in New York for the last time this season when it takes on St. John'son Wednesday night in a Big East game at Madison Square Garden.
The Huskies met with the media Tuesday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion before leaving on their road trip.
-- The Huskies hope for a different outcome than their last trip toNew York when they lost to North Carolina State, 69-65, on Dec. 4.
A post-season ban will prevent UConn from returning to New York next month for the Big East tournament.
"DeAndre (Daniels) and I were talking about that yesterday, that it will be the last time we'll play in the Garden this year," sophomore Ryan Boatright said. "So we've definitely got to make sure we go out and get a win considering we dropped the ball against NC State,"
Boatright expressed frustration over the team's post-season ban. Check out the attached video for his comments.
-- UConn is shooting for its season-high tying fourth straight win. The Huskies are 2-2 in Big East road games this season.
"It's another business trip, trying to win another one on the road," coach Kevin Ollie said. "You know how tough the Big East is, if you can get a couple on the road, it will be good."
The road trip continues with UConn visiting Seton Hall Sunday in Newark,N.J.
-- The Huskies (15-5, 5-3) still believe they have a shot to win the Big East regular season title. They reside in seventh place. Syracuse(7-2) is in first place.
UConn hosts Syracuse on Feb. 13 in Hartford.
"We've just got to take care of business," Boatright said. "As long as we work hard and win our games, it will all take care of itself. I think Syracuse is going to be a key game."
-- Junior Shabazz Napier says he's still having some trouble with his injured shoulder.
"Better," said Napier when asked about his shoulder. "It's still hard for me to sleep. I wake up in the middle of nigh to change positions because it's aching."
Napier's game is certainly healthy.
He earned his second Big East player of the week honor on Monday after averaging 21 points, five rebounds, 3.5 assists and two steals in overtime victories over South Florida and Providence.
-- St. John's recruited freshman Omar Calhoun, who's from Brooklyn.
"Coach (Steve) Lavin is a great guy," Calhoun said. "Everyone looks at St. John's if they're from New York. It's definitely a school that I looked at."
Calhoun is close friends with St. John's freshman Chris Obekpa, who leads the nation in blocked shots. Obekpa attended Our Savoir New American in Centereach, N.Y.
"I was trying to get him to come here once I committed here," Calhoun said.
-- Calhoun is not the only Husky looking forward to playing in Madison Square Garden.
"Love the Garden," junior Enosch Wolf said. "I'm excited."
Wolf had his best game in that building, finishing with a career-high tying 12 points and nine rebounds againstN.C.State.
-- UConn has played great defense in the last two games, frustrating South Florida (34.9 percent) and Providence (33.8 percent) while winning both games in overtime.
But no one defender has stood out this season, according to Ollie.
"I think our team defense is good." Ollie said. "Shabazz can play great defense when he puts pressure on and Ryan can play good defense when he puts pressure on. I think we do it by team.
"… I wouldn't say one guy is standing out. Niels (Giffey) plays good defense when he comes off the bench and R.J. (Evans) plays real, real good defense. But those guys are not playing the majority of the minutes. But I think we do a good job with our team defense."
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.