Men's Basketball: Memphis visits XL Center for a tangle with the Huskies
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 22:02
With five of its men’s basketball teams ranked in the AP poll this week, the inaugural American Athletic Conference season has turned out to be surprisingly competitive.
For 24th-ranked UConn, however, that only means it has its work cut out for it, as the Huskies currently stand in fifth place and trail conference-leading Cincinnati by 3.5 games with just seven contests remaining in the regular season.
The Huskies (19-5, 7-4 American) will get a chance to catch one of the four teams they are chasing, as the 20th-ranked Memphis Tigers (19-5, 8-3 American) visit the XL Center on Saturday.
“We are still looking up to a lot of teams,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said after his team’s 83-40 win over USF on Wednesday night. “We’ve still got to play hard. We’ve got to play aggressive. We got a lot of teams that are coming in on our court that we’re looking up to. We’ve got to take care of business.”
Memphis will be looking to avenge an 83-73 loss to UConn on Jan. 16 when the then-unranked Huskies traveled to FedExForum and upset the then-No. 17 Tigers.
UConn’s DeAndre Daniels and Shabazz Napier combined for 40 points in that win for the Huskies, but the 10-point margin did not reflect the competitiveness of a game that had 13 lead changes and three ties.
“They will be a lot different,” Ollie said on the Tigers. “They got Shaq Goodwin. They got great guards. They got senior leadership and they got outstanding players.”
Goodwin, the sophomore forward, recorded 10 points in that contest while senior guards Michael Dixon Jr. and Joe Jackson scored 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Memphis has also won seven of its eight games since the loss to UConn, with the lone blemish coming against the now-No. 23 SMU Mustangs on the road on Feb. 1.
Saturday’s game is scheduled to tip off at noon and will be televised on ESPN.