The UConn Huskies take the court in Tampa, Florida tonight at 7 p.m., facing the South Florida Bulls. Coming off a win over East Carolina on Sunday, Connecticut once again will be looking to take advantage of a lesser-talented opponent in hopes of raising its conference record to 3-4. Here are some things to watch for in tonight’s matchup.
Facts & Figures
USF is bad
The Bulls’ adjusted offensive efficiency rating of 95.0 is 318th in the country and their turnover percentage (22.7) that ranks even worse, at 337th overall.
USF hasn’t won since Dec. 22 and also has the worst free-throw percentage (63.9) and second-worst point margin (-5.2) in the AAC. Interim head coach Murry Bartlow has taken over for Orlando Antigua who was fired after 13 games.
2 Vance, 2 Furious
UConn freshman Vance Jackson has now taken home the last two AAC Rookie of the Week honors. Jackson averaged 10 points per game in two contests last week, shooting .545 percent from long range. He’s connecting at over 50% from the field since Dec. 28.
UConn’s all-time record against South Florida. UConn’s injury woes have been well-documented, but the Huskies should be able to take care of business. UConn needs to win the games against the AAC bottom-feeders. A win tonight followed by a win on Saturday over Tulane would have the Huskies riding a three-game winning streak heading into their Feb. 4 contest at No. 19 Cincinnati.
Jalen Adams’ assist rate of 40.5 is eighth best in the country. His playmaking has been a huge factor in the Huskies’ success this season. In UConn’s eight wins the sophomore point guard is averaging 7.625 assists per game compared to 5.4 in 10 losses.
Considering the Bulls’ anemic offense and propensity for turnovers, expect UConn to be on the break quite a bit tonight, giving Adams plenty of opportunities to get to the rim or find teammates for easy buckets.
12.5 and 9
Kentan Facey’s scoring and rebounding average over the last six games. Once an afterthought, Facey has emerged as one of Connecticut’s most reliable contributors this season.
His toughness inside paired with a solid jump shot has given the opposition fits. With Steven Enoch and Juwan Durham hampered with injuries, the senior’s production has been invaluable for Kevin Ollie and the Huskies.
What Jamal McMurray was averaging this season before having his release from the program granted. Junior guard Geno Thorpe is now the Bulls’ top scorer, averaging 13.8 points per game, and sophomore Troy Holston (11.5) is the only other player averaging double figures.