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    UConn Men's Basketball
    Monday, January 30, 2023

    Injury-plagued UConn men host Boston University

    The injury news wasn't totally unexpected but a harsh blow nevertheless.

    UConn announced Tuesday that freshmen Alterique Gilbert and Mamadou Diarra will join starter Terry Larrier on the sidelines for the rest of the season, leaving the Huskies with just eight healthy scholarship players.

    "We kind of expected it, but they made a decision and we fully support them," coach Kevin Ollie said. "I think we have one of the best medical staffs in the country. Those guys are going to come back stronger and healthier next year.

    "A lot of guys have to step up. We've played some minutes with those guys not in the lineup. ... We just have to do it from the start of the game."

    UConn already is off to a rocky start, carrying a 2-4 record into Wednesday's game against Boston University at the XL Center in Hartford (7 p.m., SNY).

    Gilbert, who's been out three games since dislocating his left shoulder at Loyola Marymount on Nov. 17, will have season-ending surgery within a few weeks to repair a torn labrum. Gilbert will follow up with about six months of rehabilitation and recovery.

    The American Athletic Conference preseason rookie of the year, Gilbert was expected to play a significant role this season. The point guard averaged 10.3 points in three games.

    "It's a tough time," said Ollie about Gilbert's attitude. "You go through the motions where you think you're letting your team down because you can't play. I know Terry is going through the same thing. Injuries are a part of basketball."

    Knee discomfort prevented Diarra, a reserve forward out of Putnam Science Academy, from appearing in a regular-season game. He was diagnosed with significant patellofemoral syndrome and will redshirt this season. At this point, no surgery is required, just rehabilitation and rest.

    The Huskies already were without Larrier, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Oklahoma State on Nov. 21 at the Maui Invitational in Hawaii. He averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in four starts. Larrier will have surgery within the next few days to repair his torn left ACL with a medial meniscus tear. Recovery time is about eight to nine months.

    The trio's absence leaves the Huskies in a tough spot.

    "No, we don't have to go back to the drawing board," Ollie said. "We're just going to do what we do and just going to do it a little better. ... Hopefully, we don't get in foul trouble but it's part of the game. Everybody's got to be ready. We have eight guys now. We have enough in here to get it done and we can win a lot of games."

    The Huskies will be searching for their first home win of the season against BU.

    The emergence of sophomore Jalen Adams as a rising star is an encouraging development. Adams put on a dazzling show in Maui, averaging a tournament-best 28.7 points and 7.3 assists and earning a spot on the all-tournament team.

    Adams helped jump-start an offense that had averaged just 61.3 points in the first three games. The Huskies hit the 90-point mark twice in Maui, averaging 84 points and shooting 52.6 percent from the field in the last three games.

    UConn has dominated the series against BU, winning 13 of the last 14. The Terriers' wins this season came against Northeastern, Maine, LIU-Brooklyn and Western New England. They rely on a balanced attack, with only guards Eric Fanning (13.8) and Cheddi Mosely averaging in double figures.

    With a difficult stretch ahead, the Huskies could use some momentum. They travel to Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday to face former Big East rival Syracuse, which is ranked 22nd, and then visit Ohio State in Columbus on Dec. 10.

    g.keefe@theday.com

    UCONN vs. BOSTON UNIVERSITY

    Location: XL Center, Hartford

    Tip: 7 p.m. (SNY)

    Records: UConn 2-4, Boston University 4-2

    Last game: UConn lost to Oregon, 79-69, Wednesday; Boston University lost at Saint Peters, 80-67, Monday

    Probable starters: UConn, 6-3 so. guard Jalen Adams (19.8 pts, 5.7 assists), 6-4 r-sr. guard Rodney Purvis (12.2 pts, 3.8 rebs),6-8 fr. forward Vance Jackson (7.7 pts, 3.2 rebs), 6-10 sr. forward Kentan Facey (2.5 pts, 4 rebs), 7-0 sr. center Amida Brimah (6.7 pts, 6 rebs, 3.2 blks)

    Boston University, 6-1 so. guard Kyle Foreman (8.4 pts, 3 assists), 6-3 jr. guard Cheddi Mosely (11 pts), 6-5 sr. guard Eric Fanning (13.8 pts, 4.8 rebs), 6-8 jr. forward Nick Havener (5 pts, 6.8 rebs), 6-8 sr. forward Justin Alston (7.7 pts, 4.5 rebs)

    Noteworthy: Huskies searching for first home win, losing first two. ... Stand 2-4 through six games for first time since 1971-72 season. ... Series: UConn leads 42-12, winning 13 of last 14 including, 77-60, in 2013 in Storrs. Last loss, 80-71, in 1986. ... Top reserve: 6-5 jr. guard Cedric Hankerson (9.4 pts) ... Common foes: Northeastern – UConn lost 64-61, BU split, winning 65-63, losing 87-77. ... BU sr. Dylan Haines averaged 15 pts, 7 rebs, during one year at St. Thomas More. ... Injury list: Terry Larrier (knee), Alterique Gilbert (shoulder) and Mamadou Diarra (knee) all out for the season. ... Hot: Adams averaging 28.7 pts, 7.3 assists in last 3 games. Cold: Purvis shooting 29 percent from three (11-for-38). ... A win gives coach Ollie his 100th in his career. ... Up next: UConn plays Syracuse at MSG in NYC Monday.

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