***CONNECTICUT: The Huskies have started out the 2007-08 season 6-2 with losses to No. 2 Memphis and No. 23 Gonzaga. Connecticut has four non-conference games left before Big East play starts on January 3rd at Seton Hall. This is a young Huskies team. Only one senior is one the roster and that player, Ben Spencer, doesn't play. Jerome Dyson, a 6-4 sophomore, leads the team in scoring at 14.5 PPG while junior guard A.J. Price is second at 12.9 PPG. Junior Jeff Adrien does a little bit of everything and averages 12 PPG and pulls down almost eight rebounds a contest. The big man down low is 7-3 sophomore Hasheem Thabeet, who is averaging almost a double-double with 10 PPG and 8.9 RPG.
***LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals started out ranked high in the preseason polls but have suffered a pair of defeats in the non-conference. Louisville was just upset at home by Dayton 70-65 while the other loss came by two points in Las Vegas to BYU. Still, the Cardinals are ranked 20th in the nation but sophomore forward/center Derrick Caracter was indefinitely suspended this past Monday for violating team rules. Caracter is second in team in scoring at 13 PPG and third in rebounds at seven a contest. Earl Clark has been a force down low. The 6-9 sophomore is averaging a double-double with 14 PPG and almost 12 rebounds a contest. Clark has three double-doubles on the season. Terrence Williams, a 6-6 junior, is third in scoring at 11.6 PPG. Louisville plays at Purdue this Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM.
***SOUTH FLORIDA: The Bulls are 7-3 on the year. After starting out the season 0-3, South Florida has won seven straight contests, including wins over Florida State and UAB. Next Wednesday, the Bulls will travel to Tobacco Road to play at Wake Forest. South Florida has four players scoring in double figures, led by Dominique Jones. The 6-4 freshman averages 16.7 PPG and is shooting 52 percent from the field. The big man down low is Kentrell Gransberry. The 6-9 senior is on a double-double pace, averaging 15.7 PPG and pulling down 10 rebounds a contest. Gransberry also swats away 1.6 shots a game.
***PROVIDENCE: The Friars were sitting at 5-1 before back-to-back losses to Rhode Island and South Carolina. A 19-point win over Brown improved Providence's record to 6-3 on the year with wins coming over Arkansas and Boston College. Three more non-conference contests are left before Big East play starts on January 3rd at Marquette. Brian McKenzie leads the team in scoring at 12 PPG. The 6-4 sophomore is shooting 53 percent from the field. McKenzie is one of five players averaging in double figures. Geoff McDermott is the stat sheet stuffer. The 6-8 junior averages 10 PPG, pulls down seven rebounds a contest and dishes out four assists a contest.
***RUTGERS: The Scarlet Knights had won back-to-back games before a 12-point loss at Nebraska. Rutgers sits at 6-3 on the season but the Scarlet Knights haven't beaten a team from a BCS Conference. A match-up with No. 1 North Carolina awaits Rutgers on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights open up Big East play on January 2nd at South Florida. J.R. Inman leads Rutgers in scoring at 17 PPG. The 6-9 junior is shooting 50 percent from the field and has three double-doubles on the year to go along with pulling down eight rebounds a contest. Corey Chandler is the only other Scarlet Knights player averaging in double figures. The 6-2 freshman guard averages 13 PPG and has scored in double figures in seven of the team's nine games this year.
***SYRACUSE: The Orange sit at 6-3 after a 91-89 home loss to Rhode Island last Saturday. Syracuse's two big non-conference victories came against Washington and Virginia while the other two defeats came at the hands of Ohio State and Massachusetts. The Orange have four creampuffs left before Big East play starts on January 2nd against St. John's in the Carrier Dome. Donte Green has exploded on the scene for Syracuse. The 6-9 freshman leads the team in scoring at 18 PPG and is second in rebounding at eight boards a contest. Fellow freshman stud Jonny Flynn is third in scoring at 14 PPG and also dishes out six assists per game. Junior guard Eric Devendorf is second in scoring at 16 PPG while sophomore guard Paul Harris (12.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG) is a tenth of a point away in the rebounding category from averaging a double-double.
***CINCINNATI: The Bearcats lost a back-and-forth affair to crosstown rival No. 17 Xavier on Wednesday night 64-59 to drop to 4-5. It was the third straight defeat for Cincinnati after starting out 4-2. It doesn't get any easier. The Bearcats take on No. 2 Memphis, North Carolina State and Miami (OH) before Big East play starts on January 1st at Louisville. Deonta Vaughn, a 6-1 sophomore, leads the team in scoring at 14.4 PPG and also dishes out five assists a contest. Adam Hrycaniuk, a 6-10 junior, is second in scoring at 10.9 PPG and pulls down six rebounds a contest.
***DEPAUL: The Blue Demons could not hold on to a late lead and lost in overtime at home to Vanderbilt 91-85. DePaul fell to 2-4 on the year, including losers of three of the last four. The Blue Demons has five more contests left before Big East play starts on January 3rd at home against Villanova. DePaul still has to play non-conference games versus UIC, Mississippi and No. 15 Clemson. Draelon Burns, a 6-4 senior, leads the team in scoring at 18 PPG and is shooting 40 percent from three-point range. Dar Tucker and Karron Clark both add 11 PPG while Mac Koshwal, a 6-10 freshman center, chips in nine PPG and grabs eight rebounds a contest.