Boston University (2-0) at (19) Connecticut (3-0)
Sunday, November 17, 12 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gampel Pavilion (10,167) -- Storrs, Connecticut. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: BU 1-0, UConn 2-0. Away Record: BU 0-0, UConn 0-0. Neutral Record: BU 1-0, UConn 1-0. Conference Record: BU 0-0, UConn 0-0. Series Record: UConn leads, 41-12.
GAME NOTES: In a battle of New England squads the Connecticut Huskies will host the Boston University Terriers as part of the 2K Sports Classic at Gampel Pavilion.
The Terriers have stayed local in its first two games with matchups against Northeastern and UMass-Lowell. After the Terriers escaped with a 72-69 victory over the Huskies, they had a much easier time dropping the River Hawks, 91-65. The Terriers shot an impressive 53.6 percent from the field and had 23 assists while forcing 22 turnovers. With two wins out of conference play the Terriers are on their way to eclipsing their win total in non-league games from a year ago when they went 6-8. Boston University next travels to Irvine, California for sub-regional action in the 2K Sports Classic.
As for the Huskies, the early returns on the campaign have been fruitful, with three wins in as many games. The most recent was a 101-55 thrashing of Detroit, also at Gampel Pavilion. Next, UConn will head to Madison Square Garden for the main event of the 2K Sports Classic beginning with a matchup against Boston College.
In 12 meetings with the Terriers, UConn has earned the upper hand 11 times, including winning the last three matchups. The most recent was a 92-64 drubbing at the XL Center during the 2009-10 season.
Dom Morris is not only leading Boston in points (19.5 pg) but also on the boards, having collected 14 rebounds over the first two games. Morris got most of that production against UMass Lowell, as he poured in 27 points and ripped down 10 rebounds. Maurice Watson Jr. (17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has been a bit more consistent with back-to-back double-figure outings, including an 18-point effort against UMass Lowell. Watson has also been getting his teammates involved, with 12 assists in the first two games, including seven against UMass Lowell. Cedric Hankerson (9.0 ppg) has been contributing nicely off the bench as well. As a team, the Terriers are netting 48.4 percent from the field, but have been dreadful from 3-popint range (13-of-44).
Most people expected the Huskies' backcourt to lead the way this year. However, they probably did not imagine it would be Omar Calhoun that would be leading the team in scoring (15.0 ppg). Calhoun was one of six players to score in double figures against Detroit, as he dropped in a game-high 17 points. Though Calhoun has been the best scorer so far it is likely Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright that will take over as the year continues. Napier (14.0 ppg, 25 assists) was the leading scorer last year but has been content to be a more of a distributor than a scorer early on. He had just 10 points against Detroit but he dished out eight assists. Boatright (11.7 ppg, 15 assists) was the second leading scorer last year but, like Napier, has been passing more than shooting. Niels Giffey (14.3 ppg) has been a spark off the bench.
The embarrassment of riches that the Huskies have in the backcourt will carry them past many teams this season. The Terriers are just another one of those squads.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Connecticut 80, Boston University 66
11/17 10:33:02 ET