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Preview and Open Thread: UConn Hosts Furman in Battle 4 Atlantis Opener | TV: SNY, Noon

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The Battle 4 Atlantis begins at Gampel Pavilion, with the Huskies looking to start the season 3-0.

Shonn Miller and the Huskies will look to go to the Bahamas with a 3-0 record.
Shonn Miller and the Huskies will look to go to the Bahamas with a 3-0 record.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Battle 4 Atlantis this week will be a great test with the Huskies, with a game against Michigan and potential match-ups against Syracuse and Gonzaga.

Before heading to the Bahamas, the Huskies host Furman Saturday in a prequel to the annual Thanksgiving competition.

The Huskies are playing great basketball to start the season, and the numbers back it up. With a 100-56 win over Maine and an 85-66 triumph over New Hampshire, the Huskies rank 29th in Ken Pomeroy's rankings. UConn is 14th in the nation with an adjusted defensive efficiency of 92.9 (points per 100 possessions), and its 61 percent effective field goal percentage ranks 13th.

Despite being 2-1—boasting 25 percent of its total wins from last year already—Furman's numbers are far worse. The Paladins are 206th in Pomeroy's rankings, with an adjusted defensive efficiency of 104.6 (261st in the nation) and the 198th-best effective field goal percentage at 47.2.

The Paladins are led by Matt Rafferty, who is averaging 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and two steals per game off the bench.

Look for Amida Brimah to dominate inside again for the Huskies Saturday. Furman's tallest starter is likely to be 6-foot-9-inch forward Kendrick Ferrara, the tallest player the Paladins have. With at least a three-inch advantage over everyone on the court, Brimah could add to his amazing block numbers to start the season. He is first in the nation with a block percentage of 28.9, second in the nation at six blocks per game, and he is averaging 1.71 blocks per personal foul.

Some questions to ponder today: With Kentan Facey playing so well, will the now-healthy Phil Nolan be a factor? Against a small team, how many blocks and alley-oops will we see today? Are the early performances for players like Facey, Sam Cassell Jr. and Omar Calhoun a positive sign, or should the opponent be kept in mind?

Share your thoughts on these topics and the game itself in the comments below.