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UConn men’s basketball rises to No. 3 in AP Poll

The Huskies received 15 first-place votes.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s basketball climbed to its highest AP Poll ranking since the 2008-09 season Monday, rising to No. 3 after handling Florida on the road and demolishing LIU at home last week. The Huskies received 15 first-place votes overall, four less than No. 2 Virginia and 12 less than No. 1 Purdue.

Aside from UConn, no other Big East school cracked the top 25, but Marquette, Xavier and Creighton all received votes. The Huskies still remain the No. 1 team in the country per KenPom, rising to the top spot on Saturday after the win over LIU and Houston’s loss to Alabama. The Huskies defeated the Crimson Tide, now ranked No. 4, 82-67 over Thanksgiving break in the Phil Knight Invitational. UConn is also still the only team in the country to rank in the top 10 in KenPom’s offensive and defensive efficiency, ranking sixth and fifth respectively.

With many schools off or playing sparingly due to finals week, the Huskies won’t have many chances to advance further in the polls this week. UConn is off for the entirety of the week until it travels to Butler on Saturday, Dec. 17 to open up conference play.

Clingan earns Big East Freshman of the Week

After Villanova’s Mark Armstrong became the first non-UConn freshman to take home conference Freshman of the Week honors, Donovan Clingan brought the award back to Storrs with his best week yet as a Husky. The 7-foot-2 Bristol product was a monster against Florida and LIU, missing just one of his 19 shots on the week.

After posting 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the win over the Gators, Clingan dominated the Sharks with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double in just 15 minutes of game action. In his first season at UConn, Clingan has already established himself as one of the Big East’s top big men and one that can spell Adama Sanogo, now one of the top players in the country, for extended stretches.