How to Watch
Time: 4:00 PM ET
Radio: 97-9 ESPN
Location: Harry A. Gampel Pavilion
Records: UConn 7-1 | Grambling State 3-5
Kenpom Rankings: UConn – 27 |Grambling State – 329
Another UConn non-conference game, another sub-300 KenPom team, but that doesn’t mean the Huskies can sleepwalk through this matchup. They tried that against Maryland Eastern Shore, and the Hawks came out unafraid and played UConn tough for 40 minutes. Will the Huskies play a complete game against Grambling State before they take on West Virginia and St. Bonaventure ahead of Big East play?
Grambling State is led by guards Danya Kingsby (12.1 ppg, 45.8% from deep), Cam Christon (11.3 ppg, 41.9% from three, 4.9 rpg), and forward AJ Taylor (10.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.5 bpg). After that, their depth gets a little murky, although Tra’Michael Moton has shown flashes early this season, but will need to be more consistent for the Tigers to pull off the upset.
The Huskies boast far more size, speed, depth, and athleticism, but Tyrese Martin is out with a wrist injury. Adama Sanogo left the game early against Maryland Eastern Shore and is now expected to miss a couple weeks. Even still, the Huskies should dominate this matchup. Will they? We need to see a complete game from this team, especially before the Huskies enter league play.
RJ Cole has been this teams savior, but it’s unfair to ask him to play hero every night. He is now leading the team in minutes per game, points per game, and assists. He is also second in FT% (beyond Polley), and shooting just shy of 42% from beyond the arc. Cole is also getting it done on the defense end. He has drawn key charges and his second on the team with 1.4 steals per game. I have faith will continue to step up when the team needs him. However, with all this talent on the bench, it seems like some nights you just have to keep going until you find the hot hand (that is, besides RJ Cole). That has not been the strategy of late. With two injured starters, their depth will be tested and so will the freshmen.
I hope the team got some rest after the UMES game. The team looked tired and sluggish after the double OT win against Auburn. They narrowly lost to Michigan State and have since gutted out two ugly wins against VCU and UMES.
Maybe someone will see their chance off the bench against Grambling State and provide the spark that has been missing the last few games. A well-rested and focused Huskies team should come out and put this game away by halftime. If they do that, then maybe we can see all that depth and the freshmen can play through some mistakes in the second half. Huskies roll, but it might be ugly.