Men’s basketball looks for instant rebound versus SMU at XL

Sophomore guard Jalen Adams (2) fights off a USF defender during the Huskies 97-51 victory over the Bulls on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

Time and Place: 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at the XL Center in Hartford

Where to Watch: CBS Sports Network, channel 67 on the HuskyVision cable listing

Last Meeting: UConn lost 69-49 on Jan. 19, 2017 at Moody Coliseum in Dallas. The Huskies are 2-7 all-time against the Mustangs

UConn’s Last Time Out: 75-70 loss to Houston at Hofheinz Pavilion on Feb. 22, 2017

SMU’s Last Time Out: 76-66 win over Houston on Feb. 18, 2017

Projected Starting Lineups: UConn (14-13, 9-6 The American) vs. SMU (24-4, 14-1 The American)

G: Jalen Adams vs. Sterling Brown

Adams scored a team-best 18 points in Wednesday’s contest against Houston, but finished the second half by going 2-for-8 from the field and contributing only seven points. Brown had similar luck, scoring 16 points in their win over Houston last week on 4-for-16 shooting; he went a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.

G: Rodney Purvis vs. Jarrey Foster

Purvis, despite averaging 20 points per game prior to playing Houston, scored only 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting against Houston, in addition to lackluster defense that allowed Houston’s guards to have a stellar second half. Foster played just 28 minutes in SMU’s last game, reaching 10 points on 3-for-5 shooting from the floor and by going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.

C/G: Amida Brimah vs. Shake Milton

Brimah was virtually nonexistent on the offensive side in the Huskies’ last game, scoring just four points on one made floater and two free throws. Milton played 26 minutes in the Mustangs’ last contest and fared even worse, scoring a lone basket for a total of two points.

F: Kentan Facey vs. Semi Ojeleye

Facey continues to play solid defense, racking up a team-best 11 rebounds in UConn’s most recent game, in addition to contributing nine points. Ojeleye had a stellar game against Houston last week, going 7-for-13 from the floor and 7-for-10 from the free throw line to score a team-best 22 points.

F: Vance Jackson vs. Ben Moore

Jackson finally started to come alive in UConn’s last game, scoring 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the floor, though he went 3-for-7 from 3-point range. Moore had a fantastic game, going 7-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-7 from three to give him 18 points in SMU’s most recent game.

Talking Points

XL luck: In two of the past three matchups between UConn and SMU at the XL Center, the Huskies have walked away with a victory. Last season, UConn pulled out a narrow 68-62 victory in front of an electric crowd. In the 2014-15 season, UConn won by a wider margin of 81-73. In both games, the crowd of 15,564 was completely sold out.  

Gone streaking: Since losing to Cincinnati on Jan. 12, SMU has won 10 straight, including eight double-digit wins. During the streak, their largest margin of victory was 40 against East Carolina, and their closest call was a five-point win over UCF. Ojeleye leads the Mustangs in both scoring (18.3 points per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (41.5).

Bye-bye Huskies: Sitting at fourth place in the conference and a winning record under its belt, UConn has won seven of its last nine games. Barring a complete collapse on their part, the Huskies will lock down a top-six seed in the conference tournament, giving them a first-round bye once the tournament rolls around. UConn won the tournament last year after beating fourth-seeded Memphis as a five seed.


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.