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NCAA Basketball Connecticut Huskies

Connecticut Won’t Have An Easy Time With Harvard

Wesley Saunders

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I shouldn’t refer to them as ranked anymore, but the No. 17 Connecticut Huskies have lost two straight games in Texas, the first to a short-handed Houston Cougars team and the second to the SMU Mustangs. In both games, the Huskies looked entirely lost on offense and defense and seemingly didn’t have an identity on either end. On Wednesday, Harvard comes in to Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut and they will bring a 13-1 overall record along with them.

If you’ve tuned in to an UConn game this year, you might notice that they have absolutely no inside presence. This forces coach Kevin Ollie to constantly use small lineups, which results in a lack of rebounding. In fact, their 35.3 rebounds per game ranks 201st in the nation. Ouch.

Harvard’s only loss came against Colorado. They aren’t a rebounding powerhouse either by any means at just 36.3 per game, but that average will definitely go up after their contest vs. UConn.

The Crimson have four players who average over 4.9 rebounds per game, including Kyle Casey with 6.3, Steve Moundou-Missi with 6.0, Wesley Saunders with 5.4 and Jonah Travis with 4.9. The Huskies only have one player averaging over 4.9 rebounds per game, and that is Shabazz Napier with 6.5. He leads the team in minutes, points, rebounds, assists and steals.

My prediction: the Huskies will get back on track and get the win, but it will be a single-digit margin. Saunders will eat up the Huskies on the interior and be the top scorer in the game, but the Huskies will be too strong at home overall and pull off a 68-60 victory. That said, they shouldn’t take this game lightly by any means.

Dan Karpuc is the Connecticut Huskies beat writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.

Looking to go to the game? Grab your UConn basketball tickets now to see how they fare against Harvard!