Men’s Basketball: UConn vs. South Florida preview capsule

Senior center Amida Brimah (35) floats a ball over and ECU defender during Huskies 72-65 victory over the Pirates on Jan. 22, 2016. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus) 

Time and Place: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida

Where to Watch: ESPNU, channel 50.2 on the HuskyVision cable listing

Last Meeting: UConn won 81-51 last season on Feb. 25, 2016. The Huskies are 16-2 all-time against the Bulls

UConn’s Last Time Out: 72-65 win over East Carolina at the XL Center on Jan. 22, 2017

South Florida’s Last Time Out: 79-67 loss at home to Tulsa on Jan. 21, 2017

Projected Starting Lineups: UConn (8-11, 3-4 The American) vs. South Florida (6-12, 0-7 the American)

G: Jalen Adams vs. Geno Thorpe

Adams is far and away the best player UConn has on the floor right now, averaging a team-best 15.1 points per game and 6.4 assists per game, while averaging a team-high 36.5 minutes per game. He is coming off a 19-point performance against ECU. Thorpe is also USF’s leading scorer with 13.8 points per game, but he did not fare well in his last game, going just 3-for-11 from the floor. He is second in the conference in free throw percentage (85.5 percent) and has a team-best 27 steals on the season.

G: Rodney Purvis vs. Troy Holston

Purvis has been doing a better job of taking less shots lately, scoring 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting in his last game against ECU, as well as forcing three turnovers on steals. Holston is coming off a similar performance against Tulsa, where he also scored 16 points, but on 5-for-20 shooting. He has not fared well from the floor (37.4 percent), from three (36 percent) or from the free-throw line (42.9 percent).

C: Amida Brimah vs. Ruben Guerrero

After struggling in his last two games, Brimah got back on his feet against ECU with 13 points, three blocks and three rebounds. He leads the team in blocked shots at 2.9 per game and 56 total. Guerrero is coming off an impressive game where he scored 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting. His field goal percentage of 54.4 percent is third-best for the Bulls, and leads his team in blocks with 23 on the season.

F: Kentan Facey vs. Tulio Da Silva

Facey continues to elevate his gameplay with each start. He notched his fourth double-double in his last nine games after a 13-point, 10-rebound performance against ECU; he is averaging a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game, good for sixth overall in the American. Da Silva is USF’s leading rebounder as well, averaging 7.6 boards per game. He averages 9.6 points per game and is coming off a relatively weak 2-for-8 performance against Tulsa.

F: Vance Jackson vs. Bo Ziegler

Jackson has been UConn’s secret weapon as of late, playing tight defense while also having great offensive efficiency; In UConn’s last eight games, he is averaging 10.5 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.9 percent overall and 52.9 percent from 3-point range. Ziegler doesn’t take too many shots, but he averages a team-best 58.3 percent from the floor. He is coming off a seven-point performance against ECU.

Talking Points

Injuries Abound: With Steven Enoch sitting out for the second-straight game and Juwan Durham being day-to-day with a left foot sprain, UConn only had six players in their contest against ECU on Sunday, with their bench essentially being only Christian Vital. While the Huskies face an easy portion of their schedule right now, the increased playing time on the six may have its ramifications down the stretch when they play more formidable teams like Cincinnati and SMU.

That’s Bull!: UConn has won its last six games against USF dating back to 2013, where they dropped a 65-51 contest to the Bulls on the road. UConn is 7-2 overall at the Sun Dome, including a win in the National Invitation Tournament in 1981, where they defeated USF 65-55 in the arena’s first year of operation.

Rockin’ Rookie: For the second consecutive week, Vance Jackson was named American Rookie of the Week for his performances against SMU and East Carolina, scoring a career-high 17 points against SMU, in addition to averaging 10 points and seven rebounds in the two games. He also shot 54.5 percent from 3-point range. A week ago, he was named Rookie of the Week on Jan. 16 after averaging 11.5 points per game, shooting 56.3 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from three against Temple and Georgetown.


Stephanie Sheehan is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus, covering men’s basketball. She can be reached via email at stephanie.sheehan@uconn.edu. She tweets @steph_sheehan