Saturday , Mar , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

UConn seeks perfect home record against Louisville

(Sports Network) – The second-ranked Connecticut Huskies seek to close out
their season with a perfect home record, as they play host to the
Louisville Cardinals in Big East action from Gampel Pavilion. Jim
Calhoun’s squad has gone a perfect 15-0 this season at home and comes into
the season-finale tied with Villanova atop the league standings. The Huskies
have won four straight games, including a 66-53 victory at South Florida on

The Cardinals clinched a spot in the Big East Tournament with Wednesday’s
67-60 win over Marquette. Still, Rick Pitino’s team has disappointed in
2005-06, going just 6-9 in Big East play and a disturbing 1-7 in true road
games. This is just the third all-time meeting between these two teams, with
UConn claiming victory in both prior meetings, including a 71-58 decision
at Freedom Hall in late January.

The Cardinals shot just .333 from the floor in the game against Marquette, but
grabbed a whopping 52 rebounds in getting past the Golden Eagles. Taquan Dean
led the offensive charge with 19 points, despite shooting a ridiculous 4-of-21
from the floor. He did go 8-of-8 from the charity stripe and added nine
rebounds and four assists to his stat line. Terrence Williams and Juan
Palacios both recorded double-doubles in the victory. Williams finished with
11 points and 13 rebounds, while Palacios chipped in with 11 points and 10
boards. Brandon Jenkins posted 12 points as well, while grabbing seven boards
and doling out four assists.

Offensive firepower has been a problem for this team in 2005-06. The
Cardinals are shooting a rather bland .427 from the floor, leading to just
under 70 points per game (69.9). Dean is the epitome of that, hitting for a
respectable 16.4 ppg, despite shooting well under 40 percent from the
floor (.376). Center David Padgett (11.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) was lost for the
season recently due to injury and his presence down low will be missed in
the postseason. Jenkins (11.8 ppg) and Palacios (10.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg) will need
to elevate their games to keep the Cardinals moving forward.

The Huskies on the other hand are healthy and ready to enter the postseason
with a full head of steam. The team has been able to get it done at both ends
of the court this season, averaging 81.1 ppg, while allowing just 64.2. In
addition, the team is one of the top rebounding squads in the nation, hauling
in 45 rpg and boasting of a +10.7 rebounding margin. Sophomore Rudy Gay has
been sensational, leading the team in scoring (15.7 ppg) and steals (50),
while ranking second in rebounding (6.8 rpg) and third in assists (59). Rashad
Anderson is the team’s resident sniper, hitting 42.4 percent from long range,
en route to 13.3 ppg. Forward Josh Boone is next in line in terms of scoring
(10.8 ppg), while leading the team in rebounding (7.1 rpg). Point guard Marcus
Williams runs the show, with the ability to both create his own shot (10.4
ppg) and get others involved (8.5 apg).

In the win over South Florida, Boone led the way with a double-double
consisting of 17 points and 15 rebounds. Denham Brown added 16 points, while
Gay chipped in with 10. Williams finished with just eight points, but dished
out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds in the victory.