Pre-game preview: Cincinnati

Here's a pre-game preview of UConn's American Athletic Conference showdown with No. 11 Cincinnati:

Tip-off time: noon (ESPN)

Records: Cincinnati 24-4, 13-2; UConn 22-6, 10-5

Last game:Cincinnati lost to Louisville, 58-57, Feb. 22; UConn won at South Florida, 61-56, Wednesday

Probable starters:

UConn, 6-1 sr. guard Shabazz Napier (17.8 pts, 5.5 assists, 5.9 rebs), 6-0 jr. guard Ryan Boatright (12.6 pts, 3.5 assists), 6-6 grad. forward Lasan Kromah (7.2 pts, 3.0 rebs), 6-9 jr. forward DeAndre Daniels (12.6 pts, 5.5 rebs), 7-0 fr. center Amida Brimah (4.1 pts, 3.0 rebs, 2.5 blks)

Cincinnati, 6-1 jr. guard Ge’Lawn Guyn (4.8 pts), 6-4 sr. guard Sean Kilpatrick (20.5 pts, 4.5 rebs), 6-7 so. forward Shaquille Thomas (6.9 pts, 2.8 rebs), 6-7 sr. forward Titus Rubles (7.0 pts, 6.4 rebs), 6-8 sr. forward Justin Jackson (11.3 pts, 7.0 rebs)

Noteworthy:

--  The Huskies have won five of six and are tied for fourth place with Memphis.

The Bearcats have dropped two of four and are tied for first with Louisville.

-- Series: UConn leads, 8-5, losing 63-58 on Feb. 6. Kilpatrick had 26 points and 12 rebounds while the Huskies played without Daniels.

-- Top reserve: 6-5 junior Jermaine Sanders (5.9 pts, 3.4 rebs).

-- Coach Kevin Ollie on the importance of today's game:  "t would be a big time win for us. Just like USF was a big time win. I can’t measure it. I don’t want my team to measure it.

"t’s just another win and another opportunity that we can show that we’re a better team. I want the guys to understand and respect that."

-- Cincinnati is off to best start in coach Mick Cronin’s eight years.

-- Kilpatrick leads AAC in scoring and Napier is second while Jackson ranks first in blocks (3.1).

-- Hot: UConn reserve Niels Giffey is averaging 11 points and is 8-for-13 from field in last two games.

-- Cold: Cincinnati is holding opponents to league low 57.4 points per game.

-- The Huskies are 3-2 vs. ranked teams.

-- The Bearcats are 6-1 on road in AAC.

-- UConn rarely plays zone but used that defense to overcome a second half deficit and beat South Florida Wednesday. Ollie even put Napier on the low block.

 "If I go zone again, he’ll be on the block again, seriously," Ollie said. "Just to get them out of rhythm. I know they didn’t scout it... It was just something that I wanted to throw in there. Wev’e been working on it."

-- Follow me on Twitter @GavinKeefe

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

 

 

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Calhoun suffers knee injury

UConn junior Omar Calhoun suffered an injury to his right knee during practice on Sunday.

A Champions Center dedication and celebration

Before First Night festivities started today, UConn dedicated its $39 million basketball facility located next to Gampel Pavilion.

Calhoun talks about his documentary, ESPN contract, etc.

Jim Calhoun may be retired from coaching.But he'll never entirely leave the spotlight.

Enoch commits to UConn

UConn received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-10 power forward Steven Enoch of Norwalk on Saturday night.

Calhoun to join ESPN as analyst

Jim Calhoun has never been at a loss for words.That's a good thing when you're a television anaylst.

Ready, set, travel

UConn's toughest opponent this season may be jet lag.The defending national champions will be traveling all over the country.

UConn agrees to series with Arizona, Ohio State

UConn has agreed to a home-and-home men's basketball series with non-conference powers Ohio State and Arizona.