Pre-game preview: Villanova

 

 

 

If UConn beats Villanova today at the XL Center, it will tie last year's Big East wins total.

The Huskies (17-6, 7-4) are on a hot streak, winning five of their last six games.

They will start their usual five -- Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun, DeAndre Daniels and Tyler Olander.

Future Husky Kentan Facey, a 6-foot-9 forward out of Long Island Lutheran, is at the game. He's averaging about 14 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks per game.

He played AAU ball with fellow incoming recruit Terrence Samuel.

"We're looking forward to playing with each other," Facey said.

Here's a pre-game preview:

Records: Villanova 15-10, 6-6; UConn 17-6, 7-4

Last game: Villanova lost at Cincinnati, 68-50, Tuesday; UConn beat No. 6 Syracuse, 66-58, Wednesday

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-1 jr. guard Shabazz Napier (16.9 pts. 4.2 rebs, 4.4 assists), 6-0 so. guard Ryan Boatright (15.9 pts, 4.4 assists), 6-5 fr. guard Omar Calhoun (11.3 pts, 3.5 rebs), 6-8 so. forward DeAndre Daniels (10.6 pts, 5.0 rebs), 6-9 jr. forward Tyler Olander (4.4 pts, 3.7 rebs)

Villanova, 6-3 fr. guard Ryan Arcidiacono (11.1 pts), 6-6 so. guard Darrun Hilliard (11.4 pts), 6-6 jr. forward JamesBell (9.2 pts, 4.7 rebs), 6-10 sr. forward Mouphtaou Yarou (9.0 pts, 6.8 rebs), 6-11 fr. center Daniel Ochefu (4.2 pts, 4.6 rebs)

Noteworthy:

-- UConn assured of posting its 26th straight winning season.

-- It's been a strange season for Villanova, which beat two top five teams in Louisville andSyracuse but lost twice toProvidence.

-- Series: UConn trails, 32-30, but won four straight dating back to 2008.

-- Wildcats ranked second in Big East in rebound margin at plus 4.1. Out-rebounded 9 of 12 BE foes.

-- Top reserve: 6-6 forward JayVaughn Pinkston (12.5 pts, 4.9 rebs).

-- Hot: Huskies hit at least 8 3-pters in four of last five games. Cold: Olander gone eight games without scoring more than four points.

-- UConn 11-1 at home.

-- Reserve center Enosch Wolf still serving (indefinite suspension.

-- Up next: UConn hosts Cincinnati Thursday in Hartford.

-- Check back after the game for news, notes and quotes as well as video.

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

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

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.

Post-game breakdown: SMU

  The Huskies secured a signature victory that they so desperately needed.

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.