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Pre-game preview: Temple

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published January 21. 2014 5:15PM   Updated January 21. 2014 5:31PM

UConn starting guard Ryan Boatright will not play tonight against Temple.

He went home on Sunday to attend services for his cousin, Arin Williams, who was shot to death last week in Boatright's hometown of Aurora, Ill. He hasn't returned yet.

It's a significant absence for the Huskies, who'll be without one of their primary ball-handlers and scorers. Boatright is third on the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game. 

Look for either sophomore Omar Calhoun or senior Niels Giffey to start. Freshman Terrence Samuel is another option.

Boatright had appeared in 63 straight games, the longest streak by a current UConn player.

Game time is 7 p.m. at the XL Center.

Here's a pre-game preview:

Records: Temple 5-11, 0-5; UConn 14-4, 2-3

Last game: Temple lost to LaSalle, 74-68, Saturday; UConn lost to No. 18 Louisville, 76-64, Saturday

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-1 sr. guard Shabazz Napier (16.8 pts, 5.9 assists, 6.1 rebs), 6-6 so. guard Omar Calhoun (6.3 pts), 6-8 jr. forward DeAndre Daniels (12.8 pts, 5.2 rebs), 6-6 grad. forward Lasan Kromah (6.9 pts, 2.4 rebs), 7-foot fr. center Amida Brimah (3.7 pts, 2.7 rebs)

Temple, jr. guard Will Cummings (16.1 pts, 4.1 assists), 6-5 sr. guard Dalton Pepper (17.3 pts, 5.4 rebs), 6-5 so. guard Quenton DeCosey (16.4 pts, 3.2 rebs), 6-9 jr. forward Anthony Lee (14.3 pts, 9.9 rebs), 6-10 so. forward Devontae Watson (1.6 pts, 2.9 rebs)

Noteworthy:

-- UConn hosts the American Athletic Conference's last place team.

-- The Huskies are 3-3 in last six games while the Owls have dropped six straight overall, their longest skid since 2001-02.

-- Injuries have hurt the Owls. Three starters have missed a total of nine games so far this seaosn. Cummings (concussion) missed last two games but he's expected to play tonight.

-- Series: UConn leads 4-3 including 3-0 at home but first meeting since 1965.

-- Temple is scoring 75.7 poins and allowing a league-high 75.4.

-- Top reserve: freshman forward Mark Williams (3.9 pts, 3.7 rebs).

-- The Owls are the only Division I school with four players averaging at least 14 points.

-- Lee leads the AAC in rebounding but Owls last in rebounding margin (-3.2).

-- Hot: Napier is averaging 23.5 points in the last two games. Cold: UConn is shooting 43.4 percent in last five games.

-- The Huskies are 1-1 at home in the conference.

-- UConn was ranked 29th in RPI as of Sunday.

-- For regular updates during the game, follow me on Twitter @GavinKeefe.

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

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