Thanks to real life intruding, this afternoon will be my first opportunity to see the UConn men's basketball team play a live opponent on a real, live television. Of course, the team you and I are going to view this afternoon against Coppin State at the XL Center is not quite the team we thought we'd see.
Ryan Boatright's suspension is official - six games; the three UConn has already played, today's, and the first two in the Battle for Atlantis. Jeremy Lamb's sprained ankle will apparently keep him out. Shabazz Napier, then, is UConn's only scholarship guard available...except he's battling a bunch of ailments.
So while Coppin State - which played at Oklahoma less than 48 hours ago - is not much of a threat to the Huskies even if they play a five power-forward lineup (Tyler Olander at 2-guard - a man can dream!), today should be very intriguing to see how Jim Calhoun will use his supposed versatility and make this work. A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, Brendan Allen. Woo woo woo.
Other storylines: Andre Drummond had his first double-double last time out; will his improvement result in a triple-triple today? Will Oriakhi and Drummond combine to shoot better than 50% from the free throw line? How about 33.3% (they're 7-for-22 through 3 games)? Will Niels Giffey be able to handle the ball without turning it over like crazy, thus ushering in the era of the pointe-stürmer? (Likely answers: Yes, no, mayhaps, ja).
Tip-off from Hartford is at 1 p.m., and you can catch the game on SNY.
You may also use this open thread to follow along with the third-seeded UConn soccer team's NCAA Tournament Round of 32 match against Monmouth, which also kicks off at 1:00, and can be heard on WHUS on either radio (91.7 FM in the Storrs area), online (www.whus.org) or on iTunes.
We can also talk about UConn football, but meh.