HOUSTON – Happy New Year to everyone back home. Hope you’re planning to have some fun this evening. Stay safe. … Hear there’s some snow on the way.
Anyway, we set the scene here at ancient Hofheinz Pavilion, where UConn will be playing Houston at 9 p.m. in the first American Athletic Conference game. Not expecting a big crowd tonight, and an hour before the game there are just a handful of folks here as the Huskies and Cougars shoot, about 45 minutes before the game.
Three of the Cougars top players, Danuel House, L.J. Rose and J.J. Richardson have been out with injuries, and although they have been cleared and practiced a little this week, none are expected to play at this point. That would leave Houston with a very inexperienced team to handle the ball against the Huskies’ defensive pressure.
From the buzz, it sounds like UConn will stick with the same lineup that started against Eastern Washington – Amida Brimah, Niels Giffey, DeAndre Daniels, Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. But let’s call that tentative. We’ll update here and on twitter (@AmoreCourant) is it changes between now and game time.
This building was opened in 1969, and it shows its age. One thing I noticed on the way in – Houston has a very impressive baseball stadium next door, looks like a minor league ballpark.
UConn got to town late Monday night, but had a morning shoot-around “to get their feet moving,” as Kevin Ollie likes to say. They were back at their hotel about noon.
Duke Edsall, brother of Randy, is one of the officials tonight. He has done UConn games before.
Enjoyed going on with Kevin Nathan on WTIC-AM 1080 SportsTalk this afternoon, and also with Joe D on the pregame show. Thanks to both of them for having me.
Had the thrill and pleasure of interviewing the great Elvin Hayes before the game, that will be up on our main website and in the Wednesday Courant, as will all our coverage of the game. Enjoy the game.