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No. 11 Cincinnati at UConn

Site: XL Center

Time: Saturday, noon (tickets are available)

TV: ESPN (Mike Patrick, Len Elmore)

Radio: WTIC-AM 1080, WILI-AM 1400, WELI-AM 960, WGCH 1490 (Joe D'Ambrosio, Wayne Norman)

Series history: UConn, 8-5

Last meeting: Cincinnati 63-58, at Fifth Third Arena Feb. 6

Streaks: Cincinnati L1, UConn W1

Cincinnati (24-4, 13-2)

14 Ge'LAWN GUYN, G, 6-1, Jr., 5.7 ppg. – Shooting 34 percent from floor, 33 from three in AAC games

23 SEAN KILPATRICK, G, 6-4, Sr., 20.5 – Had 26 points, 12 rebounds vs. UConn on Feb. 6

3 SHAQUILLE THOMAS, F, 6-7, So., 6.9 – Has 30 assists, 7 blocks, 26 steals

2 TITUS RUBLES, F, 6-7, Sr. 7.0 – Got 14 rebounds vs. Louisville last game

5 JUSTIN JACKSON, F, 6-8, Sr.,11.3 – Has 15 points, 6 rebounds vs. UConn

15 JERMAINE SANDERS, G, 6-5, Jr., 5.9 – Averaging 21.2 minutes off bench

UConn (22-6, 10-5, AAC)

13 SHABAZZ NAPIER, G, 6-1, Sr., 17.6 ppg. – Finalist for Wooden, Robertson, Cousy Awards

11 RYAN BOATRIGHT, G, 6-0, Jr., 12.6 – Averaging 13 points, has 22 steals, in 15 AAC games

20 LASAN KROMAH, G-F, 6-6, GS, 7.2 – Bounce-back 3-for-5 from floor at USF

2 DeANDRE DANIELS, F, 11.2, Jr., 12.6 – Did not play (back spasms) vs. Cincy last time

35 AMIDA BRIMAH, C, 7-0, Fr., 4.1 – Stayed on floor 27 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, vs. Cincinnati

5 NIELS GIFFEY, F, 6-7, Sr., 8.1 – Had 11 points, five rebounds in gritty game at USF

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What To Watch

The stakes: UConn is 0-4 this season against Louisville, Cincinnati and SMU. To be taken seriously as a tournament contender, the Huskies need to find a way to get at least one win against one of the top teams in the conference (last shot would be at Louisville March 8).

The motive: The Huskies were frustrated following the loss at Cincinnati on Feb. 6 and felt, with Daniels, it could have been a different result. Look for a peak of intensity on UConn's side in the rematch — though that should also have been the case against SMU last Sunday and Kevin Ollie thought the Huskies came out "lackadaisical."

The Duel, part II: Kilpatrick, Napier and Louisville's Russ Smith are the top contenders for the AAC player of the year award. Kilpatrick got the better of the first matchup against UConn and Napier. Will be interesting to see how the rematch plays out.

T-time? Freshman Terrence Samuel got the chance to play meaningful minutes at USF and had an impact, as the Huskies went to a zone defense. One wonders if Kevin Ollie was intrigued by that and if Samuel, and/or the zone will make another appearance here.

Second half D: Cincinnati shot 40 percent in the first half, 52.2 percent in the second half in its victory over UConn. The Huskies have generally been a good defensive team, but opponents have scored 105 more points in the second half than in the first this season, 935-830, so it's worth watching their defensive energy as a game wears on.

DOM AMORE | damore@courant.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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