HARTFORD, Conn. -- If tonight's game against the Hawks at the XL Center (7 p.m.) is anything like UConn's season-opening win over Western Carolina the past Friday, you can stop watching after the half.
The Hawks, fresh off a 63-62 loss to Tom Moore's Quinnipiac team Friday, are probably a tougher test than the Catamounts. But that's like saying Mouse Trap is a tougher game than Candy Land (seriously, I've played Mouse trap before -- I still don't get it).
Hartford was picked to finish third in the America East conference -- not a good conference by any stretch of the imagination, but one certainly more competitive than the SoCon -- but third-year coach Dan Leibovitz is 0-3 against teams from the Big East, although he has yet to play the Huskies.
Take the game for what it's worth: A chance to watch the Huskies ally-oop and dunk all over the place. Anything less, would be uncivilized.
A.J. Price's status for today is still unknown, as the guard is day-to-day with a sprained ankle and foot. If he can't go, Kemba Walker will likely get the start and run the show.
For tonight's version of TheLiveBlog, take the link below to a magical place.
For more things to watch in today's game, hit the jump.
Stretched for time, so here's an abridged version of what to watch tonight:
1. DOES A.J. PLAY?
This should be an easy one to figure out. As soon as I know, I'll make sure to let you know. Anyway, it may just be ankle and foot sprains, but it's worth monitoring if Price does play. It's on the same leg (left) that he infamously tore his ACL, and even before it happened, Price wasn't playing particularly well against Western Carolina -- he finished with 0 points and had one of the worst games I've seen him play over the past year-plus.
2. CAN KEMBA TAKE THE REINS?
If Price can't go, treat this game as a preview of the next three years -- well, maybe one or two, depending oh how things pan out.
Walker will most likely get the start if Price can't go, and it will be interesting to see how he will fare with the pressure on him. Walker struggled in the first half last Friday and said afterward it was because of nerves, mostly. He bounced back in the second half, finishing with eight points and five assists.
3. CAN THE HUSKIES DOMINATE AGAIN?
Listen, it's not a matter of "if" here. Even if the entire starting lineup goes down, I'm pretty sure Donnell Beverly, Jonathan Mandeldove and a team of midgets could beat the Hawks. That's not a knock on Hartford -- it's just being realistic.
The Huskies obviously have a huge talent advantage here, but they need to show it. Western Carolina fought back at the start of the second half Friday before UConn finally shut the door. If the Huskies can get up early and keep it that way, especially if Price doesn't play, this game will be a complete success.
Probable Starting Lineups (stats from last game)
#1 Jaret von Rosenberg, G, Sr. -- 10 points, 6 assists
#3 Michael Turner, G, Sr. -- 15 points, 7rebounds
#24 Joe Zeglinski, G, Jr. -- 2 points, 6 rebounds
#23 Morgan Sabia, F, So. -- 4 points, 7 rebounds
#31 Kevin Estes, F, So. -- 9 points, 2 assists
#12 A.J. Price*, G, 6-2, Sr. -- 0 points, 4 assists
#11 Jerome Dyson, G, 6-3, Jr. -- 23 points, 5 assists
#2 Craig Austrie, G, 6-3, Sr. -- 9 points
#4 Jeff Adrien, F, 6-7, Sr. -- 14 points, 7 rebounds
#34 Hasheem Thabeet, C, 7-3, Jr. --23 points, 17 rebounds
* = If Price can't go, Kemba Walker will likely take his place