It’s been 2,862 games since the UConn men’s basketball team traveled from Storrs to play in a Big East conference game. That streak ends on Tuesday as they’ll be in Milwaukee to take on Marquette.
Not only is this UConn’s first Big East road game, but it’s UConn’s first road game of any type since last season.
“It’s been a while, it was just nice to pull into a city and get out on the road together as a group, get on a plane,” Hurley said. “I think it’s going to be really good just for chemistry, and I think the mental state of the group too. We played a game the other day, we’re getting another game today, we look like we’ve got a series of games coming up, and hopefully practices and we just get some consistency in the season.”
UConn (4-1, 1-1 Big East), is coming off its first Big East conference win of the season (and since 2013), beating the DePaul Blue Demons 82-61 at Gampel Pavilion. James Bouknight, after dropping 40 points in his Big East debut vs. Creighton, scored another 20 against DePaul, but this time he had some other offensive support.
It was Tyrese Martin who led the team in scoring with 22, and three other players scored at least eight points, something only one player aside from Bouknight did in the Creighton game.
Marquette (6-5, 2-3 Big East) just snapped a three-game losing skid with a 64-60 win over Georgetown. Senior Jamal Cain led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 25 in a real breakout game for him, shooting 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 from three while also bringing in six rebounds.
Cain is averaging 11.5 points per game on the season, which is third on the team behind Koby McEwen (13.5) and Dawson Garcia (12.4). D.J. Carton, with 11.4 points per game, is right behind him.
Unlike UConn, who have so much of their scoring going through just one player in James Bouknight, who is averaging 23.2 points per game so far, the Golden Eagles have much more of an even scoring distribution.
“A really, really good, balanced team,” Hurley said. “D.J. gives them a really, really high-level talent on the ball. Cain and McEwen give them some really, really strong wing play. And then obviously they throw it in a lot. They rotate the threes, fours and fives in, and they throw the ball inside. They’ve got really, really good balance. They’re really, really well-coached, sound on defense. Where we may have an advantage may be in depth, if the game comes down to that, but they just look like a really well rounded, well-coached team.”
UConn and Marquette have just one opponent in common so far this season, Creighton, who the Golden Eagles beat 89-84 to open up their slate of Big East games. Marquette beat the Bluejays when they were the No. 9 ranked team in the country, something UConn nearly pulled off as well six days later if not for a few costly missed free throws.
However, after they beat Creighton, Marquette dropped three-straight to Seton Hall (lost by 7), Xavier (lost by 3) and Villanova (lost by 17).
Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. and the game can be watched on FS1.