When UConn takes the court on Saturday, it will have been over a week since they last played. The Huskies were shut down once again last week, this time due to a positive test by an official who worked the game last Tuesday vs. Butler.
In just a little over two months since the season started, UConn (8-3, 5-3 Big East) has had nine games either postponed or canceled. This most recent break of eight days will have been the team’s longest period of downtime since December.
Seton Hall (10-8, 7-5 Big East), who travel to Storrs this weekend, have had much better luck on that front, only having three games this season canceled or postponed.
The Pirates are coming off a commanding 60-43 win over Providence, snapping what was a three-game losing streak in which they fell to No. 17 Creighton once and No. 3 Villanova twice — but never by more than eight points.
Similar to UConn, a lot of Seton Hall’s scoring is consolidated into a few scorers, with both teams only having three players averaging double-digit points. For UConn, it’s James Bouknight (20.3), Tyrese Martin (11.9) and R.J. Cole (10.9). Bouknight is also still injured, and even though some players have picked up the slack like Isaiah Whaley and Tyler Polley, a lot of the scoring outside of Martin and Cole has been too inconsistent.
For the Pirates, senior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili leads the team in scoring and in rebounding, averaging 17.7 and 7.1 per game respectively while shooting 45.9% from the field and 32.5% from 3. He’s easily the Pirate’s most effective scorer, hitting double digits in all but two games this season — and both of those occasions were in games where he took his fewest number of shots.
Junior Jared Rhoden is second in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.7 points and 6.7 boards per game. Senior Myles Cale is next in the scoring department, averaging 12.5 points per game.
Senior Shavar Reynolds Jr. is fourth in scoring with 7.9 points per game, but he by far leads the team in assists, averaging about 4.5 per game. Junior Ike Obiagu rounds out the starting five, and while he’s not much of a scorer, averaging just 5.1 points per game, his 49 blocks on the season are tied for No. 5 in the nation.
The Pirates run out a rather tall starting five, with Reynolds Jr. being the only one under 6-foot-6. Cale and Rhoden both stand at 6-foot-6, Mamukelashvili is 6-foot-11 and Obiagu is 7-foot-2.
Tip-off is scheduled for noon on Saturday and the game can be watched on FOX.