Gameday: Wake Forest vs. UConn

Checking in from St. Thomas, where my mission to find shaving cream is finally complete.

I arrived last night at around 5:15, roughly the same time as UConn. With the exception of an hour-plus delay on my connecting flight from Puerto Rico, the trip went well. And any frustration with the delay was erased when our pilot stopped the plane to let an iguana cross the runway.

Good times.

Anyway, on to the stuff that matters. UConn hosts Wake Forest tonight at 6:30 in the opening round of the 2012 Paradise Jam. As recent history tells us, the Huskies’ performance in tropical tournaments often sets the tone for the remainder of the season.

Wake Forest vs. No. 23 UConn

WHAT: Paradise Jam first-round game

WHEN: Friday, 6:30

WHERE: University of Virgin Islands

RECORDS: Wake Forest 1-0, UConn 2-0

ON THE AIR: CBS Sports Network (Kevin Eschenfelder, Larry Conley, Kristen Kenney); WTIC 1080 (Joe D’Ambrosio, Wayne Norman)

UP NEXT: TBA vs. Iona/Quinnipiac


Cody Miller-McIntyre G 6-3 Fr.: 4-star recruit scored 10 pts vs. Radford

C.J. Harris G 6-3 Sr.: Leading returning scorer in ACC (17.6 ppg)

Travis McKie F 6-7 Jr.: 11 pts, 9 rebs vs. Radford

Devin Thomas F 6-9 Fr.: 10 pts, 8 rebs vs. Radford

Tyler Cavanaugh F 6-9 Fr.: 6 pts, 4 rebs vs. Radford

Madison Jones G 6-1 Fr.: 2 pts in 17 min. vs. Radford

Arnaud Adala Moto F 6-6 Fr.: 10 pts, 4 rebs, 3 steals vs. Radford


Shabazz Napier (AP)

Ryan Boatright G 5-10 So.: Team-high 5.5 apg

Shabazz Napier G 6-0 Jr.: Leads team with 19 ppg

Omar Calhoun G 6-5 Fr.: 1 pt vs. Mich. State, 12 pts vs. Vermont

DeAndre Daniels F 6-8 So.: 9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Tyler Olander F 6-9 Jr.: 6.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4 bpg

R.J. Evans G 6-3 Sr.: 11 pts in 17 min. vs. Vermont

Niels Giffey F 6-7 Jr.: 3.5 ppg in 16.5 mpg

Enosch Wolf C 7-1 Jr.: 12 min. this season, 13 all of last year

Phil Nolan F 6-9 Fr.: Scored first career basket vs. Vermont

Leon Tolksdorf F 6-8 Fr.: Scoreless in 7 min. vs. Vermont


TRACKING OMAR: UConn’s freshman sensation has dominated against inferior competition (two Division II opponents and Vermont), but struggled against Michigan State. “I just want him to go out and play his brand of basketball — and that’s in attack mode,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “It was good for him to see that ball go in the basket (versus Vermont).”

SCORING SHABAZZ: Believe it or not, Shabazz Napier, who averaged 5.8 assists a year ago, has just three in two games so far. He’s playing off-the-ball, and it appears his job is to score (19 points per game) rather than distribute.

GROWING UP FAST: Both UConn and Wake Forest rely heavily on inexperienced players. The team that gets the biggest contributions from their freshmen just may be the one that advances to the Paradise Jam semifinals.