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

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