UConn faces Rutgers with 2 game losing streak

Kevin Ollie and the 12-5 Huskies will take on Rutgers today in Hartford.

Kevin Ollie and the 12-5 Huskies will take on Rutgers today in Hartford.

John F. Silver

Nothing like a two-game losing streak to dour the mood of effervescent UConn coach Kevin Ollie.

It’s been eight days since the Huskies’ 69-61 loss to Pittsburgh and the layoff hasn’t made things any easier.

UConn hosts Rutgers later today as it resumes the Big East schedule after a lifetime off.

Ollie, after practice on Saturday, isn’t using the layoff as an excuse or any other malady such as injuries or lack of depth.  The Huskies will be ready.

“I hope so, if not they will be on the bench and we will get someone else in there,” Ollie said. “Hopefully they are ready.

The Huskies will have their work cut out against Rutgers’ three-guard lineup with Eli Carter leading the way for the Scarlet Knights at 15.6 points per game. Myles Mack averages 13.2 points per game for Rutgers.

Rutgers likes to play a three-guard attack and then an athletic and small forward in Dane Miller at 6-6.  That’s similar to what the Huskies do with Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun in the backcourt with 6-foot-8 DeAndre Daniels manning the power forward slot.

“They’re like a mirror image of us,” Ollie said. “They play three guards; they have a versatile (forward) with Dane Miller, like we have in  (Daniels). They have a couple of good post players.”

Napier, who is nursing a shoulder injury, is expected to play.

Rutgers is coming off a two straight losses including a 72-60 loss at St. John’s. The Scarlet Knights are 12-6, 3-4 in the Big East.

Gameday links

UConn Hopes Napier Is Healthy For Rutgers Game Sunday (Hartford Courant)

Rutgers at UConn (Capsule)

Kevin Duffy: Upgrading non-conference schedule will keep UConn from slipping from prominence (CT Post)

UCONN MEN’S BASKETBALL: Huskies hoping for ‘full-blast’ Shabazz Napier against Rutgers (NH Register)