Wichita State Shockers at Connecticut Huskers
No. 23 Wichita State Preview
The Wichita State Shockers aren’t a team bursting with 5-star high school talent, but they are coming off a victory over a team that is — Memphis, who they beat 76-67 on Thursday. The Shockers are riding an eight-game winning streak that also includes quality victories over Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and VCU, with their only loss of the season coming on a neutral court to West Virginia.
The Shockers do it with depth on offense — six players average at least 8.6 points, with sophomore guard Erik Stevenson leading at 13.9 — and with hard-nosed defense that translates to a plus-4.6 turnover margin and 38.2 percent shooting from opponents. Wichita State has won seven consecutive true road games, dating to last season.
Connecticut Huskies Preview
The UConn Huskies are 8-1 at home but have gone 1-2 overall in their past three games while failing to reach 70 points in the last four. Coach Dan Hurley concedes the answer on offense isn’t likely to be found until the next recruiting class, so defense will have to remain the Huskies’ calling card in the back half of the 2019-20 schedule.
UConn is allowing 39.6 percent shooting (30.5 from 3-point range) and has elite rim protection with a national-best average of 7.2 blocked shots per game. Senior guard Christian Vital averages a team-best 13.5 points per game, and junior forward Tyler Polley will try to maintain momentum after posting 11 rebounds and a career-high 19 points in Wednesday’s win over Tulane.