The UConn Huskies are in the sunshine state tonight, playing at CFE Arena in Orlando to take on the UCF Knights at 6 p.m.
Coming off a record-setting performance against South Florida on Wednesday, UConn is is eyeing a season sweep of the Knights. The Huskies should like their chances on the road tonight but this will provide a good test for Kevin Ollie’s group.
Facts and Figures
Since starting the year 14-4, 5-2 in the AAC, the Knights have lost five-of-six and now sit sixth in the conference standings. UCF has a stellar defense—ranked 17th-best in the nation in efficiency according to kenpom.com—but the Knights struggle to force turnovers, with a 13.6 turnover percentage that is 351st in Division I.
Over their last six games, the Knights are allowing 68.5 points per game. Look for the Huskies to once again exploit sophomore Tacko Fall’s lack of mobility like they did in the 64-49 win in Hartford back on Jan. 8, a game which Amida Brimah said he had circled on his calendar.
UConn set a new single-game record with 16 made three pointers last time out thanks in large part to Rodney Purvis, Jalen Adams, and Christian Vital. Hopefully, that flame throwing continues. The last time these two teams met, Purvis, Adams and Vance Jackson combined to score 36 points on 5-of-12 shooting from downtown.
That’s how many minutes Steven Enoch and Juwan Durham combined for against USF on Wednesday. The two young big men shined in their first extended action since coming back from injuries, combining for 23 points and seven boards. Facing a talented Knights’ frontcourt, the Huskies will have to get similar production from their two talented big men.
UConn did do a great job defending Fall, holding the 7-foot-6 center scoreless and limiting him to just one shot attempt.
Zero is also how long Central Florida led in the last meeting. The Huskies jumped to a quick 28-9 lead and never looked back on their way to an impressive early-season win. UConn will need a similar quick start if it hopes to improve to 10-1 all-time against the Knights.
Purvis Taking Charge
Rodney Purvis has been much more consistent on the offensive end over the last five games, averaging 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.2 steals per game. The Huskies are 4-1 over that stretch and the senior’s production is a big reason why.
A win today would have Kevin Ollie’s team knocking on the door of the critical top-four of the conference standings. The top four teams earn a first-round bye in the AAC tournament in Hartford, where the Huskies will need all the help they can get to grab the conference’s automatic bid.