Kevin Ollie’s UConn Huskies return to action tonight, hosting South Florida at Gampel Pavilion for the final game in the season series with the Bulls. Coming off an 82-68 loss to Cincinnati, Connecticut should be able to get back in the win column.
The Huskies dismantled USF in the first meeting by 21 points, matching their largest margin of victory of the season. USF comes to Storrs having lost 11 straight, all in conference play.
Key Facts and Figures
A Vital 17
In that win two weeks ago, freshman Christian Vital scored a career-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting. His performance was a huge boost for a UConn team which was down to just seven scholarship players at the time.
In his last three outings Vital is averaging 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game on .480 percent shooting. He was named the AAC Rookie of the Week, seemingly turning a corner on his freshman campaign.
As a team, the Huskies lit it up from long range against the Bulls in their first meeting, connecting on 12-of-20 from beyond the arc. South Florida’s adjusted defensive efficiency rating is 244th in the nation and its three-point defense (37.9) is 305th.
UConn has been anything but dynamic from three but a weak perimeter defensive front could help the likes of Vance Jackson, Rodney Purvis, Jalen Adams and Vital.
UConn has dominated the all-time series with South Florida, winning seven straight and 17-of-19 overall. KenPom gives the Huskies a 91% chance to win tonight.
There should be ample opportunities for UConn to get out in transition and score easy buckets. The Bulls have one of the worst turnover percentages in the country at 23.3, 344th in the country. In the last meeting, the Huskies forced 17 turnovers, scoring 22 points off those South Florida miscues but only four points on the break.
All five of UConn’s starters played over 30 minutes in the last meeting. But with Juwan Durham and Steven Enoch back watch to see if head coach Kevin Ollie can buy some extra rest for his regular rotation.