MEN’S BASKETBALL GAMEDAY
No. 15 UCONN vs. ST. BONAVENTURE
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
Records: UConn 8-2, St. Bonaventure 8-1
Radio: UConn Sports Network, 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, Sirius-137, XM-206, SXM App-965, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM), WATR-Waterbury (1320 AM), WILI-Willimantic (WILI 1400 AM)
KEEP AN EYE ON
Can he, Lofton?: Kyle Lofton, the Bonnies’ leading scorer (17.4 ppg) and best player, has missed the team’s last two games after suffering a high ankle sprain in a Dec. 1 win over Coppin State. Typically, this is an injury that keeps players out for several weeks. But Lofton told NJ Advance Media earlier in the week that he’ll have hundreds of family and friends in the Prudential Center crowd, and that he hopes to play on Saturday.
“It would be like a dream come true,” he said.
Right now, Lofton is “day-to-day,” according to Bona head coach Mark Schmidt.
“We’ll see what happens (Saturday) if he wakes up and feels better,” Schmidt said on Friday afternoon.
Lofton played with Akok Akok at Putnam Science Academy and has known R.J. Cole since they were AAU teammates more than a decade ago.
Defense never rests: The Bonnies held UConn’s Big East brethren, Marquette, to 30 percent shooting in a Nov. 21 win and have limited foes to under 35 percent shooting four times this season. That’s a concern for UConn, which is down two of its top three scorers and shot just 39.3 percent from the floor on Wednesday at West Virginia and a mere 3-for-21 from 3.
Some of that has to do with St. Bonaventure senior center Osun Osunniyi, currently 12th in the nation with 3.3 blocked shots per game.
Still, St. Bonaventure’s last four opponents have averaged 76.7 points per game. The last two of those games (narrow wins over Buffalo and Loyola, Md.) were without Lofton. The Bonnies lost to Northern Iowa 90-80 at home on Nov. 27.
Long in the tooth: St. Bonaventure is one of the nation’s oldest teams this season. The team’s 11 scholarship players are an average age o 21.1, with four players 23 years old and another (Lofton) 22.