Time and Place: 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5 at Gampel Pavilion
Where to Watch: ESPN2
Last Meeting: UConn lost 81-71 in the American Athletic Conference semifinals on March 11, 2017. The game was mired with constant foul calls and ended the Huskies’ season.
UConn’s Last Time Out: 70-61 loss to UCF at CFE Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Cincinnati’s Last Time Out: 80-70 win over Houston at home on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
Projected Starting Lineups: UConn (11-11, 4-5 The American) vs. Cincinnati (20-2, 9-0 The American)
G: Jalen Adams vs. Jacob Evans
Adams scored 11 points in Wednesday’s contest against UCF. He averages 17.6 points per game, but his offensive production has taken a hit on the recent road trip. Evans averages 13.9 points per game, a team-best. He scored 18 points while playing all 40 minutes in the Bearcats’ most recent win.
G: Christian Vital vs. Jarren Cumberland
Vital had a horrid game against UCF, not scoring a single point until well into the second half (he finished with a total of nine points on 2-for-8 shooting), but he led the team with nine rebounds. Cumberland scored 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting and contributed four assists in their win over Houston.
F/G: Terry Larrier vs. Justin Jenifer
Larrier returned Wednesday night after successful surgery. Donning a mask, he scored a team-high 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting in 36 minutes. He hasn’t looked quite the same since the injury, but he will be expected to keep starting. Jenifer had previously been scoreless in Cincinnati’s last four games, but he contributed a single 3-pointer in 18 minutes of play on Wednesday.
F: Isaiah Whaley vs. Gary Clark
Whaley didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet against UCF, but he once again contributed solid defense and will likely be matched up against Cincinnati’s best player in Clark. Clark averages 13.3 points per game, and he had a tremendous all-around day against Houston on Wednesday, contributing 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting, a team-high 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.
F: Josh Carlton vs. Kyle Washington
Carlton had one of the better Husky performances against UCF, scoring eight points 4-for-8 shooting and was effective when the Huskies fed him in the post. Washington scored a team-high 19 points in just 26 minutes against Houston, shooting 6-for-8 from the floor and 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
Road slump: The Huskies have only won one road game this season against Tulane on Saturday, Jan. 13. They will return back to Gampel where a good crowd could potentially boost UConn’s morale in the marquee matchup.
Gone streaking: Since losing to Florida on Dec. 9, 2016, the Bearcats have won 13 straight games, featuring wins over SMU and UCLA. They’re currently ranked No. 8 in the country and have dominated all but one conference game—they almost dropped a contest to Temple in Philly on Jan. 4, but in their last meeting on Jan. 24, Cincy destroyed them 75-42.
Growing pressure: UConn is 0-2 since the news broke that the NCAA has been investigating the men’s team for potential recruiting violations since the fall. The Huskies, after a promising win against SMU at home that was overshadowed by the bad news just hours after, hit the road with hopes to drown out the noise. They were badly out-matched against both Temple and UCF, displaying embarrassing offense that has more people than ever questioning the security of Kevin Ollie’s job.
Stephanie Sheehan is the managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @steph_sheehan.