ARIZONA at UCONN
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. Where: XL Center Records: Arizona 5-2, UConn 6-1
Radio: UConn/IMG Sports Network, WAVZNew Haven (1300 AM), 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford
KEEP AN EYE ON
Jalen’s jellin’: Jalen Adams is leading the Huskies in scoring, and doing so efficiently. He’s shooting at an impressive 56.5 percent, largely on mid-range jumpers and transition layups. His 3-point shooting isn’t great (32.1 percent, including 1-for-8 the past three games), but Adams is freer and easier on offense, thanks in no small part to more weapons around him — particularly point guard Alterique Gilbert.
“With Alterique coming back, the whole defense isn’t watching me take the ball up the court,” Adams noted. “I can get off the ball a little bit, Alterique can maybe score or just set the offense up and it’s me coming from out the corner to score. It’s just a whole different attack for our team. It gives everybody more freedom and more wiggle room to create.”
Re2pect for Jeter: Chase Jeter isn’t just what many Marlins fans want to do to their new owner to get him out of town. It’s also the name of Arizona’s talented, redshirt junior center. Jeter, who sat out last season after transferring from Duke, will present problems for the Huskies’ big men.
“His length, and what their frontcourt guys do a great job of — positional defense, stepping in and taking charges,” said Hurley. “All our perimeter guys have got to make sure we’re getting in the paint, landing, playing off two feet, because they don’t really challenge as much at the front of the rim as they do position themselves to take charges. That’ll be an adjustment.”
“Jeter’s a skilled guy,” Hurley continued.
Raising Arizona: UConn is 5-1 all-time against the Wildcats. Even more impressive is the fact that in every past meeting, Arizona has been ranked. On Dec. 2, 1999, No. 6 UConn defeated No. 2 Arizona, 78-69 in Chicago. A year later, the 15th-ranked Huskies topped No. 5 ‘Zona in Gampel. On Jan. 26, 2002, No. 25 UConn edged the 10th-ranked Wildcats 100-98 in Tucson. In the 2011 Elite Eight, UConn held off Arizona at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Arizona finally got its first win of the series last Dec. 21 in Tucson, when the 18th-ranked Wildcats beat unranked UConn, 73-58.
This year’s matchup will be the first time that neither team is ranked.