Well, the Huskies are still shorthanded without Ryan Boatright, who didn't even make the trip. Jeremy Lamb is in a shooting slump. Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi had horrible games against Cincinnati at Gampel on Wednesday. Coach Jim Calhoun was disappointed in all of them.
And then there is this: Tennessee is 6-2 in its last six games against the defending national champion. That includes a victory over UConn in 2000. But, you know what Calhoun says . . . the Huskies aren't defending anything. That was last year.
So, we'll see.
No. 13 UConn (14-4, 4-3 Big East) at Tennessee (8-10, 1-3 SEC)
Date: Jan. 21, 2012
Time: 4:05 p.m.
Site: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn.
TV: CBS (Tim Brando, Greg Anthony)
Radio: UConn Radio Network/WTIC-AM 1080 (Joe D'Ambrosio, Wayne Norman)
Series: Tied, 1-1. Notes: Tennessee defeated UConn 65-51 on March 19, 2000, in the first meeting between these two schools. The loss came in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., and ended the UConn career of Khalid El-Amin, who was limited 13 minutes because of an ankle injury.
Last meeting: UConn 72, Tennessee 61 (Jan. 22, 2011)
Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each scored 16 points and Roscoe Smith (12 points) was 4-for-5 from three-point range as the Huskies won at the XL Center. UConn converted 24 UT turnovers into 24 points.
TENNESSEE PROBABLE STARTERS
G 11 Trae Golden So. 6-1 209 14.3 ppg
G 1 Josh Richardson Fr. 6-6 186 2.9 ppg
G 23 Cameron Tatum Sr. 6-7 193 9.2 ppg
F 34 Jeronne Maymon Jr. 6-7 265 11.6 ppg
F 3 Renaldo Woolridge Sr. 6-9 215 5.3 ppg
UCONN PROBABLE STARTERS
G 13 Shabazz Napier So. 6-1 171 14.6 ppg
G 3 Jeremy Lamb So. 6-5 180 17.7 ppg
C 34 Andre Drummond Fr. 6-10 270 9.9 ppg
F 2 Niels Giffey So. 6-7 205 3.6 ppg
F 34 Alex Oriakhi Jr. 6-9 240 6.7 ppg
BOATRIGHT LEFT HOME: Freshman guard Ryan Boatright, whose eligibility is being reviewed by the NCAA, did not make the trip to Knoxville with the Huskies. He is not allowed to travel while being held out of competition. Boatright was already with the team in South Bend, Ind., last week when UConn was notified of a second review. At the beginning of the season, Boatright missed four road games, then sat out the first two games of the Battle 4 Atlantis before starting his season in the game against Florida State. Sophomore center Enosch Wolf also did not make the trip. Wolf is awaiting marks from two fall semester classes. He was allowed to take two finals late because of a concussion suffered in practice. Until the marks are recorded, Wolf cannot be in uniform during the second semester. He has played only five minutes in four game appearances.
GIFFEY BACK IN LINEUP: The revolving door at small forward continues. Niels Giffey, who had 10 points and six rebounds in 34 minutes against Cincinnati, will make his third start of the season. DeAndre Daniels had started against Notre Dame and Cincinnati. Without Boatright, Calhoun is concerned about minutes for guards Shabazz Napier and Jeremy Lamb. Walk-on Brendan Allen may be asked to play more minutes. Allen got two minutes against Cincinnati and made the most of it by scoring on a driving layup along the left baseline. Also look for some new offensive wrinkles as UConn tries to get Lamb more open shots. Lamb is 8-for-23 from the field the past two games.
NEW LOOK: Cuonzo Martin is in his first season as coach at Tennessee, replacing the popular but embattled Bruce Pearl. Martin was actually once a recruiting target of UConn. Former assistant coach Howie Dickenman spent many hours trying to get a commitment from Martin, but he eventually chose Purdue.
Bradley STILL HURTING:Redshirt freshman Michael Bradley is back in his home state of Tennessee. The center hails from Chattanooga. Bradley has not played all season after suffering a fractured right ankle and undergoing surgery in October. With only 11 regular season games remaining after Saturday, it seems unlikely that Bradley will play this season
NEW DONATION: UConn announced additional gifts for the proposed basketball practice facility on Friday. Here's the release from UConn:
Continuing the momentum generated by the recent announcement of Peter and Pam Werth's $4.5 million commitment to a new Basketball Development Center, UConn's Division of Athletics is pleased to report that two additional gifts totaling $1.05 million have been received.
The donors, who have asked to remain anonymous, have each pledged approximately $500,000 to the project. Both are UConn alumni and long-time supporters of the University and the Division of Athletics. The two donors cited the legacy of men's basketball coach head coach Jim Calhoun, associate head coach George Blaney and the rest of the basketball staff, along with the goal of future NCAA championships¬, as the primary motivation for the gifts.
"Our supporters continue to show their generosity and enthusiasm as we move closer to making this project a reality," said Paul Pendergast, UConn's Interim Director of Athletics. "These individuals are dedicated supporters of our programs and truly understand the value of providing top-notch facilities so that our student-athletes can perform to the best of their abilities in both academics and athletics."
The Basketball Development Center will be a 70,000 square foot facility to be located on the current Memorial Stadium site, and is the first major construction project at UConn to be funded entirely through private donations. It will feature dedicated practice gyms for the men's and women's basketball programs, along with locker rooms, coaches' offices and areas for academic support, video analysis, sports medicine and strength training.
WE BACK PAT: UConn is taking part in the "We Back Pat" program this weekend to show support for Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt. The legendary coach revealed in late August that she has been diagnose with dementia. The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund (www.patsummitt.org) has been formed and T-shirts are for sale to benefit research. During warmups, the UConn men wear I Back Pat shirts. The front of the will read: I Bleed Blue & White but I Wear Purple to Back Pat." The shirts can be purchased at www.uconnhuskies.com.