Jan. 30, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut men's basketball team renews one of its oldest rivalries as it travels to Providence to meet the Friars on Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The game begins at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2 and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Network.
UConn (13-5 overall, 3-3 BIG EAST) is coming off a 66-54 home victory over Rutgers Sunday at the XL Center. The Huskies are led by junior guard Shabazz Napier (16.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (15.9 ppg, 4.6 apg). Freshman guard Omar Calhoun (10.7 ppg) and sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels (10.7 ppg) also average double figures.
Providence (10-10, 2-6) bowed at Marquette, 81-71, last Saturday. Junior guard Bryce Cotton (21.7 ppg) is the Friars' leading scorer.
The Friars seem to have a group of talented players just waiting to come together and gel as a team. The Friars have lost their last two and three of their last four, but boast plenty of individuals who can carry a team to victory. Senior Vincent Council is one of the top point guards in the country who is leading the BIG EAST in assists (7.13). Cotton is leading the conference in scoring (21.4).
Freshman guard Kris Dunn was one of the top recruits in the nation last year. Those three team with sophomore forward LaDontae Henton and junior center Kadeem Batts to form the Friars' usual starting five, but second-year coach Ed Cooley uses 10 players, all of whom play at least 11 minutes a game.
The Friars' weakness so far in BIG EAST play has been defense, allowing opponents to shoot 47.2 percent overall and giving up 72.4 ppg. The Friars, however, lead the league in offensive rebounds. They are 8-3 at home this season.
UConnHuskies.com will once again host a live chat during the game. Please see below for details.