A marquee non-conference showdown will take place on Tuesday night when Indiana and Connecticut square off in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Hoosiers and Huskies are two of the premier programs in college basketball, with nine national championships between the two sides. Both schools are led by young coaches, with Dan Hurley at Connecticut and Archie Miller at Indiana.
Connecticut looking for signature winConnecticut is off to a 6-2 start this season, opening the year with a 22-point win against Sacred Heart. The Huskies’ first loss of the year came in a nine-point decision against Saint Joseph’s—a game in which Connecticut was favored by 13.5 points. Their best win of the season came in the following game, where they picked up a win against then-No. 15 Florida. Since then, the Huskies have picked up wins against Buffalo, Miami, Maine and Iona, while losing in double overtime to Xavier. They have not played a game since last Wednesday’s 80-62 victory at home against Iona, which marked their third win in a row.
The Huskies are led by senior guard Christian Vital, who is scoring 14.8 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding with 8.3 per game and is second in assists with an average of 3.0. Vital has been one of the best shooters on the team, connecting on 15 of 43 attempts from beyond the 3-point line. Connecticut operates by committee, though, with four other players in double figures. Junior center Josh Carlton is scoring 12.4 points and grabbing 7.9 rebounds. Freshman guard James Bouknight is adding 11.4 points and 4.0 rebounds. Junior forward Tyler Polley is contributing 10.5 points per outing. Junior guard Alterique Gilbert is also in double digits, logging 10.1 points per contest. He also leads the offense with 4.6 assists per game.
Indiana hoping to bounce backIndiana had not lost a game until Saturday, where the Hoosiers were beaten by 20 points on the road against a desperate Wisconsin team. Prior to that defeat, Indiana was 8-0, picking up wins against Western Illinois, Portland State, North Alabama, Troy, Princeton, Louisiana Tech, South Dakota State and Florida State. Outside of the Hoosiers’ 80-64 win against then-No. 17 Florida State, they had not been tested. Wisconsin provided a second-consecutive challenge—one that proved to be too much for Indiana. The Badgers did what they wanted offensively, shooting 53.6 percent from the floor. Indiana turned the ball over 12 times, while Wisconsin only gave it away four times in the game.
The Hoosiers also boast a balanced lineup, with four players averaging double digits. Senior guard Devonte Green leads the way with 14.8 points per game and 3.2 assists per game. He has been extremely efficient from the 3-point line, making 15 of 29 attempts from downtown. Green started the season on the bench with an injury, but he has played in six games since returning. Freshman forward Trayce Jackson is scoring 14.8 points per game as well, adding 8.7 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Justin Smith is adding 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. Junior guard Aljami Durham is scoring 13.1 points and contributing 2.9 assists. Sophomore guard Rob Phinisee is ‘doubtful’ for Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury.
- 5-0 ATS in its last five games following an ATS win
- 4-1 ATS in its last five games as an underdog
- 19-7 ATS in its last 26 games overall
- 9-23-1 ATS in its last 33 neutral site games as a favorite