Nov. 7, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The No. 18 University of Connecticut men's basketball team is set to kick off the 2013-14 regular season at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., against the University of Maryland at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8th. The game will be televised by ESPN2 and can be heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network. Friday's contest will mark UConn's first-ever appearance at Barclays center and the first of three games in New York City this season.
The Huskies enter the contest after exhibition victories over Southern Connecticut State University and Concordia University. UConn was selected to finish second in the newly-established American Athletic Conference, finishing behind defending national champion Louisville in a vote of the league's coaches.
Connecticut is led by guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. Napier was unanimously named to the Preseason All-Conference First Team, while Boatright earned Preseason All-Conference Second Team honors. Last season, the tandem accounted for a combined 940 points and 260 assists in Connecticut's 30 games.
Head coach Kevin Ollie returns to the Huskies after becoming the first head coach in UConn history to post a 20-victory season in his first year. Connecticut finished the 2012-13 season with a 20-10 record, including victories over ranked teams Michigan State, Notre Dame and Syracuse. Ollie helped extend UConn's steak of 20-win seasons to three straight and 14 in the last 16 years.
Historically, UConn has fared well in season-openers, winning 56 of its last 68 openers. Since the 1900-01 season, UConn has amassed a 81-29 (.736) record in its first game of the year. Connecticut defeated then-ranked No. 14 Michigan State, 66-62, last season in its opener at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
The Huskies are well-represented in the national polls, checking at No. 18 in the Associated Press Preseason Top-25 and No. 19 in the ESPN/ USA Today Preseason poll.
While the two teams have a history dating back to 1940-41, UConn hasn't met Maryland on the hardwood in over a decade, with the last game coming on March 24th, 2002. Connecticut leads the all-time series by a 3-2 margin, but has dropped its last two contests to the Terrapins on neutral courts. The Huskies will be vying for their first win against Maryland since the 1994-95 season.
Maryland is coming off a 25-13 season under third-year head coach Mark Turgeon. The Terps took home two victories in the ACC Tournament and reached the semifinals of the NIT, before falling to Iowa.