The 10-1 UConn Huskies will begin conference play against the 7-6 South Florida Bulls. The Huskies have begun this season right where they left off the last one, and they have run into few problems picking up Ws.
They will look to keep that momentum rolling as they start conference play. South Florida is looking for a statement win early in the season. There is no doubt they have been gearing up for this game for a long time.
Where: St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida
When: Wednesday, December 28th at 9:00 p.m. EST
Live Stream: ESPN 3
Betting Line: UConn -6.5 (according to vegasinsider.com)
UConn: Center Enosch Wolf is questionable with a concussion. Injury info via Sportsbooks.com.
South Florida: Guard LaVonte Dority has left the team. Injury info via Sportsbooks.com.
What's at Stake? The Bulls' chances at proving they can hang with the big boys.
This will be South Florida's first conference game this season. They can start their conference campaign off with instant momentum if they pull of this upset.
The Bulls have played just one ranked team (Kansas) so far this season, and they fell in that one 770-42. They need a much better outing if they want to show they are capable of being a tournament team.
What They're Saying: UConn coach Jim Calhoun is not easily pleased. And he certainly wasn't pleased as his Huskies blew a big lead to escape with a 79-71 win against Fairfield in UConn's last game. Here is Calhoun, as quoted by Phil Cardis of the Journal Inquirer:
Really, their defense had nothing to do with it. Nothing changed. If they’d have gone to a 1-3-1, which they do, … but they didn’t. It was the same 2-3 matchup, the exact same thing that we got 46 points on in the first half. But guys were dropping the ball, throwing air balls from 15 feet … we just stopped playing. Some guys lost confidence. We lost whatever mojo we had and they picked it up.
We had two fastbreak points after 22 in first half. A guy who had eight rebounds in first half had one in the second half. Was it technical adjustments? No, it was scoreboard adjustments.
UConn Player to Watch: Jeremy Lamb
The sophomore has come out of the gates strong. He is averaging 18.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Lamb has performed excellent in the role of UConn's primary scorer. He can put the ball in the hoop from the inside or outside. He is shooting .397 percent from three-point land.
South Florida Player to Watch: Augustus Gilchrist
Senior leader Gilchrist is having a solid all-around season. He leads the Bulls in scoring at 11.1 points per game, and he is second in rebounds at 6.1.
He is going to have to have a monster game if the Bulls are going to pull off the upset.
Prediction: UConn 74, South Florida 60
South Florida does not have the depth to hang with UConn for an entire game. They will make this game interesting at points, but they will not be able to sustain it.