Good afternoon, folks. Today's matchup at the Morgue - UConn's first game action since last Saturday's near-comeback and loss at Pittsburgh - is a sneaky important game for The Huskies are back in action after an eight-day break, kicking off final third of the season with a home game against the Scarlet Knights. Come on in and join the discussion.a couple reasons.
First, the Scarlet Knights' visit to Hartford kicks off easily UConn's lightest Big East stretch of the season. In the next five games, the Huskies play Rutgers, Providence, South Florida, St. John's and Seton Hall. All of those games are winnable, and if this team can pull off an improbable 20-win season, they'll need to do some work over the next two weeks.
In addition, the Big East is such a jumbled mess, UConn can shoot up the standings very quickly if they can just keep winning. Kevin Ollie's crew are one of the eight league teams with three Big East losses (all at least two games behind Syracuse and Marquette) entering Sunday.
So those are the stakes. Their opposition today, Rutgers, has played (almost) everyone in the Big East close, and are coming off of a rough shooting night (23-for-63) in a loss to St. John's Wednesday. Guard Eli Carter shot 1-for-14 in that game, which I expect he won't do today.
As for UConn, the big ongoing story is Shabazz Napier's ongoing shoulder issues. He says he's OK to play, but obviously it remains to be seen how effective he can be.
Game time from the XL Center is 2 p.m., and it can be seen on SNY and ESPN3. Here is your open thread for in-game discussion.
Go UConn. Beat Rutgers.