Men's Basketball: Huskies look for bounce back win at USF

Omar Calhoun rises for a jumpshot during UConn's 68-62 victory over SMU at XL Center on Feb. 18, 2016. Calhoun scored seven points in the win. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The rollercoaster continues with the UConn men’s basketball team. The Huskies travel to Tampa Bay, Florida to take on USF on Thursday night.

Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

UConn (19-8), 9-5 The American) are coming off a disappointing road effort in Cincinnati, falling 65-60, giving Cincy the season sweep. Freshman Jalen Adams continued to exhibit growth. He scored a career-high 19 points to keep the Huskies competitive in the second half. Rodney Purvis had 16 points off the bench.

This has been a favorable matchup for the Huskies. They own a 15-2 all time record in the series, which debuted in the 1972-73 season. In their last matchup, UConn won handily, 69-43 in the first round of the American Athletic Conference championship at the XL Center.

Thursday’s game will be the only meeting this season between the teams.

USF (7-21, 4-11) enters on a hot streak, having won its last two games. They defeated Memphis 80-71 on Saturday. The Bulls are led in scoring by freshman guard Jahmal McMurray at 15.7 ppg. He also is the team leader in assists with 2.6. McMurray was named the American Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Week for his efforts.

Senior center Jaleel Cousins, brother of Sacramento Kings star Demarcus Cousins, is the Bulls leading rebounder at 8.1 rpg.

The Huskies badly need a bounce-back, blowout victory against USF. With just five regular season games remaining, UConn’s margin for error is razor thin. They sit in fifth place in the conference standings. With SMU ineligible, that’s good enough for a bye in the conference tournament. The Huskies have to do everything in their power to maintain that position.

Look for sophomore Daniel Hamilton to have a big game. He had his best shooting game of his career during the Huskies last matchup with USF. He finished with 20 points on 6-8 shooting, 4-5 from three-point range.

UConn, which received one vote in the AP poll this week, looks to improve on their 5-3 road record this season when they take on USF at the Sun Dome in Tampa Bay. Fans can watch the game on the CBS Sports Network.


Elan-Paolo DeCarlo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering men's basketball. He can be reached via email at elan-paolo.decarlo@uconn.edu. He tweets @ElanDeCarlo.