KenPom Ranking: 169
(As a reference point, our conference mates Rutgers (122) and Houston (194) are comparable opponents)
Last Year: 14-17 (8-6 Ivy League- finished 3rd)
Yale comes into the XL Center today for the Huskies home opener this afternoon at 3pm. At 1-0 after a comeback win against Central Connecticut State, 93-77, they will be facing their toughest opponent of the season by far.
This year's Yale team only lost one player to graduation, and returns five of the top six top scorers from a team that won seven of their last ten games last season. They came out third in the Ivy League preseason poll behind Harvard (also on our schedule) and Penn, matching last year's finish. Penn, who finished only four points ahead of them, is coming off a 9-22 season.
The Bulldogs attack will be led by sophomore forward Justin Sears, who was the team's second highest scorer last year as a freshman, and junior point guard Javier Duren. Sears hit career highs with 26 points and 13 rebounds (7 offensive) in the season opener and Duren had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
After beating Maryland in their season opener at The Barclays Center, the Huskies next three games are against teams that should not pose much of a threat and give Kevin Ollie an opportunity to correct some of the mistakes from last Friday. I'm also hoping we get a chance to see Kentan Facey make his season debut and increased playing time for all of our younger, developing players: Nolan, Brimah, and Samuel.
UConn is ahead of this fierce in-state rivalry, sporting a 43-21 record against the Bulldogs. The last time these two teams faced each other was in the 2003 Preseason NIT where the Huskies, ranked #1 in the country, took care of business 70-60. Yale's last win against UConn was in 1986.
Prediction: UConn wins, 84-65