UConn men's basketball anxious to bounce back

Published on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 20:09

Journal Inquirer

To say that the players and coaches on the UConn men’s basketball team were disappointed in the team’s Big East opener is an understatement.

The good news for the Huskies is they don’t have to wait long for another opportunity to prove themselves in what looks like an extremely difficult conference.

“We have 19 more of these. We’re one of the best teams in the league,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said after Saturday’s 57-53 loss to Providence. “We struggled shooting the ball (Saturday). It’s a disappointing loss to a team that’s going to play at the top of the league. We’ll see them again.

“We’re vying for a Big East regular season championship. So we have to watch the film, we have to make corrections, and we have to get ready to go to Marquette and go get a win. This league this year is going to be much difference than last year’s league.”

Indeed the Huskies (9-3) are now in Milwaukee for tonight’s game against Marquette. It’s just their second true road game of the season and their first in conference play.

UConn enters the game, wing Tyrese Martin said, with a renewed focus. He spoke of the leadership he and teammate R.J. Cole were set to display following the loss to the Friars.

“Practice being leaders. Both of us have to set the tone in practice. It can’t always be the coaches trying to rev us up. This team is too old for that. It stops now, going forward,” Martin said.

Marquette (8-4) lost its Big East opener to Xavier on Saturday.

UConn won both games with the Eagles last season, including a 65-54 triumph in Milwaukee after star James Bouknight was injured in the first half. Tyler Polley had 23 points off the bench in that one.

Speaking of Polley, the Huskies could use a big game from the fifth-year senior. He and most of the other UConn shooters struggled mightily against the Friars.

UConn get some help in the post today, too. Center Adama Sanogo, who missed the team’s last four games with an abdominal injury, could return tonight.

Hurley told the New Haven Register late Monday night that Sanogo might play some limited minutes tonight.

“He’s got a shot,” Hurley said. “It was encouraging. He was able to practice (Monday). He’s got to see how he feels (today).”

With or without Sanogo, the Huskies want to feel better about themselves heading into the holiday break.

“Go get a good road win so we feel good going into Christmas,” Hurley said. “This is just the first of many, many big games. We’re going to get healthier and we’re going to play better.”

Posted in New Britain Herald, UConn on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 20:09. Updated: Tuesday, 21 December 2021 20:12.