Longtime rivals UConn and Providence will play an exhibition game this evening at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The proceeds from the game will be used to help victims of the recent hurricanes in the United States and the Caribbean.
The two opponents, formerly rivals in the Big East, have not met since March 2013, when UConn topped Providence in overtime at Gampel Pavilion. UConn leads the all-time series 44-28.
The exhibition contest was announced last Tuesday, after the NCAA granted a waiver allowing schools to add another exhibition game if the proceeds were donated hurricane relief. Tonight’s tilt will now open the Huskies’ exhibition slate, with games against Merrimack and Queens College to follow before the season opener on Nov. 10.
Wednesday will represent the on-court debut for a host of new UConn faces. Kevin Ollie’s team lost 66 percent of the game minutes from last season to graduation and transfers, adding eight new players to fill the gap. Additionally, Terry Larrier and Alterique Gilbert are both returning from injuries that cost them nearly the entire 2016-17 campaign.
The eight new players are graduate transfers Antwoine Anderson and David Onuorah, JUCO transfers Eric Cobb and Kwintin Williams and true freshmen Isaiah Whaley, Tyler Polley, Josh Carlton and Sidney Wilson.
They will join the returning cast, which includes junior Jalen Adams, who was named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team last season, and sophomore Christian Vital, who shined last season in a larger role than expected.
UConn finished 16-17 (9-9 The American) last season, and advanced to the AAC semifinals, where they lost to Cincinnati.
Providence has enjoyed a recent resurgence under head coach Ed Cooley. They have advanced to the NCAA tournament each of the last four seasons, and won the Big East Tournament in 2014.
Tonight will also be the on-court debut of Providence guard Makai Ashton-Langford, who committed to UConn last September before asking for a release in March. The four-star recruit signed with the Friars shortly afterward.
UConn and Providence will tip off Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game will be aired on Fox Sports GO and broadcast on the UConn/IMG Radio Network.