(Photo credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
While fifth-ranked UConn has recorded three lopsided victories to start the season, Indiana has cobbled together three single-digit wins to improve to 3-0 for the third straight year.
The Huskies and Hoosiers will look to continue their good fortune at the other's expense on Sunday afternoon whenthey meet in the Empire Classic at New York.
"We haven't put a perfect game together," Indiana coach Mike Woodson said following his team's 89-80 win over Wright State on Thursday. "The game before this game we made our free throws. We didn't make them tonight. The three-ball has been a major concern. We haven't shot the three-ball very well. So, I figure if you put all those together, boy, life might be pretty good. "
Oregon transfer Kel'el Ware followed up his 20-point performance in the Hoosiers' 72-64 triumph over Army on Sunday with a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds on Thursday.
Ware, who is listed at 7-foot and 242 pounds, collected 18 points and nine rebounds in Oregon's 83-59 setback to UConn at the Phil Knight Invitational last November.
"I'm looking forward to playing the (Huskies)," Ware said. "They're a tough team and we're just going to have to go and compete. I'm with a new team now, they have a new team, so we just have to compete."
The Hoosiers feature three other players averaging in double digits: Malik Reneau (15.0), Xavier Johnson (14.0) and Trey Galloway (12.0). Reneau also is contributing a team-leading 4.0 assists per contest.
The group will face a stern test in the Huskies, who have recorded an average margin of victory of 39.0 points.
Cam Spencer sank a career-high seven 3-pointers to highlight his 25-point performance in UConn's 87-53 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday. Donovan Clingan had 17 points and Alex Karaban added 14 in the wire-to-wire win.
Those efforts did little to forge a smile across the face of Huskies head coach Dan Hurley, however. His expression changed for the better when he was asked about the program's 20-game nonconference winning streak.
"Thanks for saying that because I'm so mad right now," Hurley said.
So what had Hurley in such a huff? Well, his team's performance on the boards, for starters. And don't even get him going on the play of his non-starters.
"Just to see us on the backboard in the first half of that game (versus the Delta Devils) and even the second half of the Stonehill game, on the glass, those physicality plays," Hurley said. "We gave up 32 percent from the field, we had 20 assists, we shot 54 percent, we made 11 3s and I'm (angry) because that's not championship-caliber basketball."
As for the non-starting contingent, it totaled just 11 points from the floor versus Mississippi Valley State.
"It's gonna take those guys time," Hurley said.
Hurley said Friday that freshman Stephon Castle is going to miss "some time" due to his knee injury.
--Field Level Media