The UConn Huskies return to action at Gampel Pavilion on Wednesday night. After winning over Coppin State in Hartford, the Huskies will welcome the LIU Sharks to Storrs. Dan Hurley’s team is 2-0 and is hoping to get out to a quick 3-0 start to the season. This would mark the second straight year they went 3-0 to begin the season and the fourth time in five seasons.
How to watch UConn vs. LIU
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports App
(via BetMGM Sportsbook)
Spread: UConn -24.5 | LIU +24.5
LIU was picked to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference this season. Wagner figures to be the team to beat in the NEC, with Bryant and Mount St. Mary’s ahead of LIU as well. But the Sharks have gotten off to a dismal start to the season. They ate a 98-64 loss to the San Francisco Dons and then an 84-60 defeat at the hands of the Fresno State Bulldogs. They’ve yet to play a home game this season, and even after the UConn game they still won’t play at home until November 27.
Preseason All-NEC teamers Eral Penn and Ty Flowers have performed up to form so far. Flowers dropped 26 points and six 3-pointers in the loss to Fresno State. Elsewhere, Penn has hit double figures in both games, scoring 18 and 15 points against the Dons and Bulldogs respectively.
UConn’s defense will present a massive challenge for the Sharks to swim through. The Huskies have been stifling, especially with forcing turnovers. They’ve accumulated the second-best TO% on defense thus far in the early goings of the season. Their 3-point defense and 2-point defense have each been strong, and they’ve also done well with shot-blocking and preventing efficient shot-making against their competition.
On the flipside, UConn’s offense will present an issue for LIU’s defense. LIU has allowed an eFG% of 60.5 percent thus far this season, and a woeful mark of 67.2 percent on 2-point tries. Their 36.1 percent mark allowed from long distance is a bit of an eyesore as well.
All of this to say, I’d expect UConn to win handily in this one. Adama Sanogo has gotten off to a really wicked start to the season. I fully expect the 6-foot-9 stud to once again show out especially with LIU’s issues in defending the paint. What I’m also looking for is to see if Jalen Gaffney, RJ Cole, and Tyrese Martin keep up their hot shooting from 3. Each is shooting at least 50 percent on at least six tries from deep this year.
Prediction: UConn 99, LIU 65