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Pre-game preview: SMU

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published February 23. 2014 12:00PM   Updated February 23. 2014 12:45PM

It’s a good day to be at Gampel Pavilion.

No. 21 UConn is hosting Southern Methodist University at 2 p.m. in an important American Athletic Conference game.

The 1999 national championship team and its point guard Khalid El-Amin will be inducted into the Huskies of Honor during halftime.

All five starters are expected to be here -- El-Amin, Ricky Moore, Richard Hamilton, Kevin Freeman and Jake Voskuhl. Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun also is planning to attend.

Here’s a pre-game preview:

Tip-off time: 2 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

Records: SMU 21-6, 10-4; UConn 21-5, 9-4

Last game: SMU beat Houston, 68-64, Wednesday; UConn won at Temple, 68-55, Thursday

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-1 sr. guard Shabazz Napier (17.9 pts, 6.1 rebs, 5.5 assists), 6-0 jr. guard Ryan Boatright (12.5 pts, 3.6 assists), 6-6 grad. forward Lasan Kromah (7.3 pts, 3.1 rebs), 6-9 jr. forward DeAndre Daniels (13.2 pts, 5.4 rebs), 7-0 fr. center Amida Brimah (4.3 pts, 2.9 rebs, 2.6blks)

SMU, 5-9 so. guard Nic Moore (14.1 pts, 4.6 assists), 6-4 sr. guard Nick Russell (8.8 pts), 6-6 fr. guard Sterling Brown (4.0 pts, 3.4 rebs), 6-7 sr. forward Shawn Williams (5.2 pts, 3.0 rebs), 6-9 so. forward Markus Kennedy (11.7 pts, 7.0 rebs)

Noteworthy:

-- The Huskies have won 10 of their last 12, including four straight.

-- Series: UConn trails 2-0, losing 74-65 on Jan. 4 inDallas. Huskies shot 36.7 percent. Boatright (15) and Moore (20) led their respective teams.

-- The Mustangs are making first ever trip to UConn. They owe a 5-5 road record.

-- SMU ranks second in nation in FG percentage defense at 37.1 and allow 61.6 points per game.

-- The Mustangs have out-scored 24 of 27 opponents in the paint by an average of 35.0-21.0. They've reached 21 wins for only seventh time in program history.

-- Hot: UConn defense has forced an average of 16.7 turnovers in last four games. Cold: Kromah just 5-for-19 from the field in last three games.

-- Ollie was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers when UConn won the national championship. He watched the game on TV.

 "I didn’t get a chance to go out (to St. Petersburg, Fla.) because I was on a 10-day contract and I couldn’t get the private jet. … I didn’t have the money back then. I still don’t have the money. But I just watched on TV."

"It was just an amazing time."

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

-- Check back after the game for a post-game breakdown and video. 

 

 

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