CINCINNATI – UConn and Cincinnati get started in here at Fifth Third Arena in about a minute or two. Let’s set the scene.
DeAndre Daniels was out of UConn’s starting lineup.
Daniels, who was out stretching with teammates an hour before the game, participated in the UConn shoot-around Thursday morning, and it looked like he would be starting the game. But apparently he had a setback in the moments leading up to the game and Niels Giffey was listed as the starter. Daniels is dealing with back spasms and the high ankle sprain. But UConn’s starting lineup was Giffey, Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, Lasan Kromah and Amida Brimah.
Daniels was dressed and on the bench but limping as the game was about to start.
The Bearcats are going to have 6-foot-9 freshman Jermaine Lawrence for the first time since Jan. 4. He has been out with an injury; his return gives them a little more depth up front.
Your officials tonight: Mark Whitehead, Mike Roberts and Les Jones.
The ‘Cats’ Sean Kilpatrick is the American Athletic Conference’s leading scorer, averaging 19.4 points. Within conference play, Napier leads with 21.5 points per game.
Cincy legend Oscar Robertson comes to most of the games here. Will be looking for him tonight. Buzz is Andre Drummond is coming; the Pistons are home Friday night.
A few of the Huskies were honored before the UConn women’s game against SMU this week for their academic excellence. Shabazz Napier, Lasan Kromah, Leon Tolksdorf and Niels Giffey were all honored for getting a 3.0 GPA last semester. Walk-on Pat Lenehan was honored for his 4.0.
Huskies walk-on Tor Watts is in street clothes tonight; he injured his ankle playing the final minutes against Houston last week.
UConn flies from here to Orlando on Friday morning, and will prep there for their game against Central Florida on Sunday night at 6.
I was on The Bower Show talking about the game earlier today, you can hear that here.