On paper, it seems like another early season game whose sole purpose is to prepare the Big-Time College Basketball Program for the impending conference grind. But for coach Kevin Ollie, there are no gimmes. So when the University of Detroit comes to Gampel Pavilion Thursday night, his Huskies will need to be at their best.
"They're a scrappy team," Ollie said of Detroit, via the Hartford Courant. "They're a rebounding team, they throw it off the backboard and go get it. … We're going to have to bring our 'A' game."
This will be UConn's first game on campus this season.
"The whole game is different here," said junior guard Ryan Boatright. "The feel of the ball is different, the scenery is different behind the baskets. It's just better playing here."
Despite the homecourt advantage, the Huskies still have to perform. And for Ollie, that means slowing Juwan Howard Jr. (yep, that Juwan Howard), a 6-6 forward who has double figures in points and rebounds in Detroit's first two games.
"He's a crafty player," Ollie said, "not an explosive player, but he has a lot of pump fakes, a lot of stuff to his game. We're going to have to stop him and he's going to have to see a lot of different bodies."
And while Detroit was picked to finish eighth in the Horizon League, they have been a dominating presence on the boards, something the Huskies have struggled with dating back to last season.
"We scored 80 points (against Yale in the last game) and I was pleased with that," Ollie said. "If we get those rebounds, we can execute our fast break even more."
Thursday's game is the first of four for UConn in the 2K Sports Classic. On Saturday, the Huskies face Boston University, next Thursday it's Boston College, and then either Indiana or Washington on Friday.