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UConn announced today that it will open the 2013-14 men’s basketball season against Marylandon Friday, Nov. 8 at the Barclays Cente in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Washington Post reported the match-up last week.
“We are looking forward to opening our 2013-14 basketball season in such a wonderful way, playing a great program like Maryland in a beautiful facility like Barclays Center," said UConn coach Kevin Ollie in a released statement. “I know all our student-athletes, but especially the ones from the New York City area, are very excited about the opportunity."
It is interesting to note that Ollie added that he “expects” to return his top six scorers and top five rebounders, including All-Big East first team pick Shabazz Napier.
Both teams are expected to return nearly their entire rosters.
If both Napier and backcourt Ryan Boatright opt to come back instead of entering the NBA draft, the Huskies will return their entire starting lineup from a 20-10 team. They will only lose reserve R.J. Evans of Salem.
Maryland also will likely be a top 25 team, returning eight of its top 10 players, including all five starters. The Terrapins, 25-12, are playing tonight in the NIT semifinals against Iowa.
“We're looking forward to returning to Barclays Center to play a quality opponent in Connecticut,” said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon in a released statement. “This will be a great experience for our players and fans.”
It will be the sixth meeting between the two programs. The Huskies lead the series, 3-2, but lost the last two meetings.
They last met in 2002, with Maryland posting a 90-82 win in an NCAA tournament regional final at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Word is that UConn is looking to add one more marquee non-conference opponent to its 2013-14 schedule.
The Huskies are participating in the 2K Sports Classic with Washington, Boston College and Indiana. Championship round games are Nov. 21-22 at Madison Square Garden in New York. They also are continuing their series with Texas.
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.