Men’s Basketball: UConn at Houston preview capsule

UConn sophomore Jalen Adams rises above two Memphis defenders in a game at the XL Center on February 16th, 2017. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Time and Place: 9 p.m. Wednesday at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston, Texas

Where to Watch: CBS Sports Network, channel 67 on Storrs TV listings

Last Meeting: Houston won 62-46, on Dec. 28 at the XL Center in Hartford. In that game, the Huskies played without point guard Jalen Adams.

UConn’s Last Time Out: 64-63 win at Temple Sunday

Houston’s Last Time Out: 76-66 loss vs. SMU Saturday

Projected Starting Lineups: UConn (14-12, 9-5 The American) vs. Houston (18-8, 9-5 The American)

G: Jalen Adams vs. Galen Robinson Jr.

Adams was the hero in Sunday’s comeback win over Temple, slicing into the lane to convert the game-winning lay-up with 2.9 seconds left on the clock. Robinson ranks second in the American in assists behind Adams, handing out 4.7 helpers per game.

G: Rodney Purvis vs. Rob Gray

Purvis was also hugely instrumental as the Huskies topped Temple, hitting five of UConn’s last seven field goals as they overcame a 10-point deficit with about eight minutes left. Gray remains the American’s top scorer with 20.6 points per game.

F: Vance Jackson vs. Damyean Dotson

Jackson continues to dominate from 3-point range in conference play, with a 48 percent mark. He began this run with a 3-for-6 day from deep against Houston in UConn’s conference opener. Dotson sits just behind Gray with 17.2 points per game, which ranks fourth in the American. He’s also the Cougars’ most prolific 3-point threat, hitting 90 of his 191 attempts this season.

F: Kentan Facey vs. Danrad Knowles

Facey leads the charge on the board for UConn, with 7.1 rebounds per game this season. Knowles attempted just one shot in 13 minutes against SMU, but reserve forward Devin Davis came off the bench to post eight points and four rebounds in 28 minutes.

C: Amida Brimah vs. Kyle Meyer

Brimah was limited to just 14 minutes when these two teams first met on Dec. 28 as a result of foul trouble, as Steven Enoch came off the bench to go scoreless with three turnovers in 22 minutes. Meyer averages just 2.1 points and 3.1 rebounds this season.

Talking Points

No. 3 Seed on the Line: Wednesday’s game will be hugely important for seeding in the American Athletic Conference Championship in Hartford this March. The winner will take sole possession of third place in the league standings, which puts that team on the fast track to the No. 3 seed with just a few games remaining in conference play

A Class Below: Whoever wins Wednesday will sit in the No. 3 seed, which is crucial, but means nothing if they can’t topple league titans SMU and Cincinnati. Both the Mustangs and the Bearcats are ranked, and stand in the path of both UConn and Houston if they hope to secure an NCAA tournament bid. That’s a tall task for these two teams, who are a combined 0-5 against SMU and Cincinnati this season.

UConn Gone Streaking: The Huskies are rolling, with wins in seven of their last eight outings, including their last four. They haven’t lost at home since Dec. 28, to these very same Cougars. Should they go to Houston and win, however, it would represent easily their best win of this run, which has mostly included routs of the American’s bottom tier.

Houston, We Have a SMU Problem: The Cougars just had a five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of in-state conference rival SMU. Their last game before that streak began? An 85-64 loss to SMU in Dallas.


Tyler Keating is associate sports editor for The Daily Campus, covering and men’s basketball. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu. He tweets @tylerskeating.