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Pre-game preview: Houston

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published January 30. 2014 4:00PM   Updated January 30. 2014 7:36PM

Here's a pre-game preview of tonight's American Athletic Conference match-up between UConn and Houston at Gampel Pavilion:

Game time: 9 p.m.

Last game: Houston lost to SMU, 75-68, Sunday; UConn won at Rutgers, 82-71, Saturday

Records: Houston 11-9, 3-4; UConn 16-4, 4-3

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-1 sr. guard Shabazz Napier (17.8 pts, 5.8 assists, 6.0 rebs), 6-0 jr. guard Ryan Boatright (12.3 pts, 3.6 assists), 6-8 jr. forward DeAndre Daniels (13.4 pts, 5.6 rebs), 6-6 grad. forward Lasan Kromah (7.0 pts, 2.4 rebs), 7-foot fr. center Amida Brimah (4.0 pts, 2.9 rebs)

Houston, 6-4 so. guard L.J. Rose (8.5 pts, 5.1 assists), 6-0 sr. guard Brandon Morris (6.5 pts), 6-6 so. guard LeRon Barnes (4.0 pts, 2.9 rebs), 6-8 jr. forward Mikhail McLean (3.0 pts, 2.0 rebs), 6-8 jr. forward TaShawn Thomas (16.4 pts, 8.8 rebs, 3.2 blks).

Noteworthy:

 -- Update: It appears that junior DeAndre Daniels will not play. He didn't participate in the shoot-around late this afternoon. He's recovering from a high right ankle sprain suffered at Rutgers on Saturday.

-- UConn has won five of last six while Houston hast lost four of five.

-- Sophomore guard Omar Calhoun, who sat out Saturday's game with a sprained ankle, will be available to play tonight.

-- UConn leads series, 2-1, losing last meeting 75-71 loss Dec. 31 in Houston behind Thomas's 23 points. The Huskies got off to a sluggish start, trailed by 18 at halftime and then staged a furious second half rally before falling short.

"It was a terrible game all-around," Boatright said. "We cut a 21 point lead in four minutes. If we can come out and play UConn basketball from the jump, we should be all right."

"Hopefully we come out with a better mindset this game in front of our home crowd," coach Kevin Ollie said.

-- Thomas is only AAC player in the top five in scoring (5th) and rebounding (2nd).

-- Top reserve: 6-7 so. forward Danuel House (13.7 pts, 5.5 rebs).

-- House and starter L.J. Rose missed the first meeting because of injuries.

-- Hot: Napier is averaging 27.7 points in last three games.

Cold: Boatright is shooting 31.7 percent (13-for-41) in last four games.

-- Houston ranks ninth in AAC rebounding margin at minus 2.9.

-- UConn is first in the AAC (all games) in free throw percentage (77.5), 3-point field goal percentage (41.3) and blocks (6.5 per game).

-- Napier ranks fourth on the program's all-time assist list with 568. Ollie is third at 619.

-- UConn winless (0-3) in 9 p.m. games this season.

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

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

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