The Syracuse Orange (5-2) take on the Connecticut Huskies (3-4) tonight in the world’s most famous arena. There’s much to be said about the halcyon days in the old Big East, but for this post we’ll stick to previewing tonight’s matchup.
Connecticut came into the season ranked No. 18 but suffered losses in its first two games against Wagner and Northeastern. The Huskies have also lost to Oklahoma State and Oregon, both of which were in the Maui Invitational. UConn has edged out victories over Loyola Marymount and Boston University and its most convincing win came over DII Chaminade.
UConn is led in scoring by Jalen Adams who is averaging 18.0 points per game but is turning the ball over rather frequently (3.6tpg). Rodney Purvis hasn’t gotten off the start that Husky fans were expecting, but he’s still a lethal threat that Syracuse will have to close out on.
In the front-court, Amida Brimah mans the middle. He’s averaging an impressive 3.1 blocks per game. Syracuse will also have to watch Kentan Facey on the glass (because zone) as he’s a very capable rebounder on both ends of the floor.
The Huskies will be without Terry Larrier and Alterique Gilbert as both are done for the season with a torn ACL and torn labrum, respectively. That means it will rely more on freshman guard Christian Vital who can really shoot the ball.
Syracuse leads the series in all-time victories 55-37 and has won seven of the last nine meetings, including last year’s victory 79-76. That victory of course put Syracuse in the championship game in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Tonight’s game tips off at 7 pm and will be aired on ESPN2. You’ll surely hear about the 6OT game tonight more times as Jonny Flynn scored points in that contest, so here’s a highlight video to get you reacquainted.