Radio: UConn/IMG Radio Network / WTIC 1080 AM
Audio Stream: TuneIn.com
Live Stats: Arizona | Auburn
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's basketball team returns to the hardwood after a break for final exams, as it prepares for its first true road tests of the season against No. 18 Arizona and Auburn over the course of a three-day span leading up to Christmas.
The Huskies (7-3) most recently earned a 72-59 victory over Coppin State on Dec. 9, remaining undefeated at home this season with a 6-0 mark. Matchups with the Wildcats (Thursday | 9 p.m. ET) and Tigers (Saturday | 2:30 p.m. ET) now await UConn.
Both games will be televised on ESPN2, while the UConn/IMG Radio Network (1080 WTIC AM) will have Joe D'Ambrosio and Wayne Norman on their broadcasts. It will be the fifth and sixth contests for UConn against Power Five opponents this season.
Three players are averaging double-digits in scoring, with junior guard Jalen Adams leading the way with 19.2 points per game on 44.8-percent shooting from the floor. Redshirt junior Terry Larrier is chipping in 15.6 points per contest.
Bench play has been a strength, as UConn holds a +4.5 point and +6.0 rebound margin over opponents this season. Sophomore guard Christian Vital is averaging 11.3 points and 4.1 boards per game - the most among players with multiple games off the bench.
UConn is 4-1 in games decided by 10 points or less, including a pair of overtime wins against Columbia (Nov. 29) and Monmouth (Dec. 2). The Huskies are 1-3 in games away from home, including two losses in the PK80 Tournament.
The Huskies have never lost to Arizona (5-0 all-time), including a 65-63 win in the 2011 NCAA Elite Eight in Anaheim, Calif. UConn and Auburn are tied, 1-1, in the all-time series.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Arizona (9-3), out of the Pac-12, is coming off an 83-53 home victory over North Dakota State on Monday, the sixth straight win for the No. 18 Wildcats. Arizona is led in scoring by junior guard Allonzo Trier (21.7), freshman forward Deandre Ayton (20.3) and sophomore guard Rawle Alkins (14.7). Ayton is Arizona's top rebounder (11.8) and senior Parker Jackson-Cartwright leads in assists (4.8).
Auburn (10-1) is off to a strong start, with only an 88-74 loss to Temple on Nov. 17 in the Charleston Classic. The Tigers are riding an eight-game winning streak heading into Saturday's matchup, with junior guard Bryce Brown's team-high 16.2 points per game leading the way. Mustapha Heron, a Waterbury, Conn. native, is averaging 15.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in his sophomore season.
KEEPING THEM GUESSING
In 10 games so far this season, UConn has already used eight different starting lineups. None of the Huskies has started every game this season. Adams and Larrier have started nine games apiece and account for 48.5-percent of UConn's scoring as a collective duo.
HISTORY AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
No. 18 Arizona is the second ranked team the Huskies have faced this season, following UConn's 77-57 loss to No. 4 Michigan State on Nov. 24 at the PK80 Tournament in Portland, Ore. Since 1989-90, UConn is 129-110 (.540) against ranked opponents and since the first NCAA championship season in 1998-99, the Huskies are 96-75 (.561) against ranked opponents.
COMING UP SOON
The Huskies have an upcoming date with No. 11 Wichita State at the XL Center on Saturday, Dec. 30 and will be the first team in the American Athletic Conference to play the Shockers in their inaugural AAC season. Tip-off is at noon. A limited amount of tickets remain!