Connecticut Huskies at Houston Cougars

Connecticut Huskies Preview

The Connecticut Huskies have lost two in a row, both to ranked teams (Wichita State, Villanova) to drop to 1-3 this season against the Top 25. They did some things well against Villanova on Saturday, holding the Wildcats to 8-of-26 shooting inside the arc and outscoring them 36-12 in the paint, but UConn gave up 11 3-pointers and committed 17 turnovers.

The Huskies are 0-3 in true road games, failing to score more than 60 points in any game (Cincinnati, South Florida, Villanova). Christian Vital leads offensively with 14.2 points per game. Four others average at least 9.5 points while 6-foot-9 freshman Akok Akok provides rim protection with 2.9 blocks per game.

Houston Cougars Preview

Life is good for the Houston Cougars, who are right back at it after posting a 33-4 record last season, their best since their Phi Slama Jama days. Coach Kelvin Sampson’s senior-led team has won eight of its past nine games and entered the AP poll this week. Houston is coming off a 65-54 victory at then-No. 16 Wichita State on Saturday, when the Cougars hounded the Shockers into missing 18 consecutive shots from the field.

Defense (38.4 percent shooting from opponents) and rebounding are the hallmarks. Houston leads the nation in rebounding margin (plus-11.1), swats 5.7 shots per game and grabs 14.9 offensive rebounds per game, one of the nation’s best figures. Four players average double-figure points.