UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Gameday: Vermont at UConn

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Follow the action as the Huskies battle Vermont.

One game into 2012-13 schedule and UConn has already been stripped of its “underdog” tag.

The Huskies knocked off Michigan State Friday, then checked in at No. 23 in the AP poll Monday. Tonight, UConn gets  a visit from Vermont, which certainly isn’t Michigan State, but isn’t a slouch, either. The Catamounts won the America East last season and were tabbed as the favorites once again this fall.

“It’s like Coach (George) Blaney told me earlier today, ‘it’s easy to get up for Michigan State on national television,’” said senior guard R.J. Evans, who played 28 minutes in the opener. “Now we have to get up for Vermont and come out collectively with energy.”

Here’s a rundown of the rosters tonight:

Vermont at No. 23 UConn

WHEN: Tonight, 7

WHERE: Gampel Pavilion

RECORDS: Vermont 1-0, UConn 1-0

ON THE AIR: SNY (Eamon McAnaney, Ronnie Perry); WTIC-AM 1080

UP NEXT: Friday vs. Wake Forest, 6:30 (Paradise Jam, CBSSN)

VERMONT

Sandro Carissimo G 6-2 Jr.: 11 pts, 3 rebs vs. Siena

Candon Rusin G 6-4 Jr.: Transfer from Marist expected to start

Brian Voelkel F 6-6 Jr.: Team-high 7 rebs vs. Siena

Luke Apfeld F 6-7 Jr.: Team-high 16 pts vs. Siena

Clancy Rugg F 6-8 Jr.: 1-for-6 from field vs. Siena

Trey Blue G 6-3 Sr.: 2 pts, 2 rebs vs. Siena

Ethan O’Day F 6-9 So.: 9 pts, 6 rebs vs. Siena, HS teammate of Tyler Olander

Josh Elbaum G 6-3 Jr.: 2 pts, 4 rebs vs. Siena

UCONN

Ryan Boatright G 5-10 So.: 11 pts vs. Michigan State

Shabazz Napier G 6-0 Jr.: Game-high 25 pts vs. MSU

Omar Calhoun G 6-5 Fr.: 1 pt vs. MSU, 44 pts in 2 exhibition games

DeAndre Daniels F 6-8 So.: 12 pts, 8 rebs, 3 blocks vs. MSU

Tyler Olander F 6-9 Jr.: Career-high 4 blocks vs. MSU

R.J. Evans G 6-3 Sr.: 6 pts, 2 rebs in 28 mins vs. MSU

Niels Giffey F 6-7 Jr.: 1-1 on 3-pointers vs. MSU

Enosch Wolf C 7-1 Jr.: 11 mins vs. MSU, second-highest total of career

Phil Nolan F 6-9 Fr.: DNP vs. MSU

Leon Tolksdorf F 6-8 Fr.: DNP vs. MSU

*After a terrific preseason and some high praise from yours truly, Omar Calhoun disappeared against Michigan State, scoring just one point and attempting two field goals in 25 minutes. “He just didn’t get in the flow,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “We discussed that. One thing I didn’t see from him was the intensity on the defensive end. I want him to get better on that end because he’s going to be a great defender for us.”

* As nasty as it looked, Ryan Boatright’s ankle sprain doesn’t seem too serious. The sophomore guard, who played through the injury, said the ankle was “tender and swollen” Monday. He participated in all but one drill and should be a full-go tonight.

*R.J. Evans has surpassed expectations thus far, logging 28 minutes and providing some valuable leadership against Michigan State. He appears to be an extension of Ollie: Even though it’s his first (and only) year at UConn, the Huskies listen when Evans speaks.

“I feel real comfortable with my teammates and I know they feel comfortable with me,” Evans said. “We have a mutual respect for each other and I feel like because we’re so close, we can talk to each other any way on the court.”

* Neither Phil Nolan nor Leon Tolksdorf saw the floor Friday. Then again, starters Tyler Olander and DeAndre Daniels didn’t get into foul trouble. Perhaps the pair of freshmen will make their debuts tonight.

*Long Beach forward Jordan Bell announced via Twitter that he’ll make a decision today between Oregon, Auburn and UConn. I’d say it’s unlikely he commits to UConn for a few reasons: The Compton Magic, his AAU team, has repeatedly said that Bell would decide between just Oregon and Auburn. Also, Bell’s visit to Storrs was blocked by administration because he hasn’t yet taken the SAT. If UConn won’t let him visit without the SAT, I doubt he’d be able to commit. But I could be wrong. We’ll find out at 6 p.m. today.

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