G: 13 Shabazz Napier -- 18.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G: 11 Ryan Boatright -- 13.7 ppg, 4.9 apg
G: 21 Omar Calhoun -- 10.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg
F: 02 DeAndre Daniels -- 8.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F: 10 Tyler Olander -- 5.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg
QUOTING MARK GOTTFRIED
NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried On UConn
"It's going to be a great opportunity for us again to play on a national stage in Madison Square Garden against a great program like UConn. So, I think our guys will be very excited about it."
"Napier and Boatright at the guards are very talented and DeAndre Daniels is somebody that we looked at that we really liked. He's a very talented guy as well."
"They seem to be a guard-oriented team that is really quick."
"I think Kevin Ollie is trying to instill that in teams. They are really getting up in guys, getting after them. That will be maybe a little different than we've seen."
"I think those guys are excited about Kevin coaching them. They want to play well and hard for him."
"As you watch them, different guys are playing different minutes in some games... I think like a lot of us he's trying to figure out exactly how they should play and who should play, those type of things."
"When we watch them, I think they are very talented... a very talented team."
Shabazz Napier -- UConn's leading scorer, Napier is dynamic off the dribble and can score in a variety of ways. He is leading the team in 3-point shooting (38%) and is very good at getting to the free throw line.
Ryan Boatright -- With Napier handling the scoring, Boatright is proving he can both score (13.7 ppg) and create for others (4.9 assists per game). A crafty player, Boatright runs the show for the Huskies.
The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team (6-1)
makes its first-ever appearance in the Jimmy V Classic, challenging North
Carolina State, the team most closely associated with late coach Jim
Valvano, in Madison Square Garden. The game will be the second game
of the Jimmy V Classic doubleheader, following Georgetown vs. Texas.
Both games will be televised by ESPN.
UConn, led by the guard tandem of junior Shabazz Napier (18.6 ppg)
and sophomore Ryan Boatright (13.7 ppg, 4.9 apg), is coming off a 61-53
win over New Hampshire Thursday.
North Carolina State (4-2), ranked No. 18 as of the Nov. 26 polls, suffered
a 79-72 loss at Michigan on Nov. 27. The Wolfpack is led by freshman T.J.
Warren (15.3 ppg) and senior Richard Howell (14.2 ppg).
FIRST V CLASSIC APPEARANCE
appearing in the Jimmy V Classic for the first
time since the event’s inception in 1995, the
only team in the 2012 Classic making its debut.
North Carolina State appeared in the 2002
Jimmy V Classic, bowing to Gonzaga, 69-60,
in the event’s final season at The Meadowlands
in East Rutherford, N.J. Georgetown played
in the 2009 Classic, topping Butler, 72-65 at
Madison Square Garden. Texas has been in two
Jimmy V Classics, losing to Arizona, 91-83, in
2003 and defeating Villanova, 67-58, in 2008.
The event was held at The Meadowlands for
its first eight years, then moved to Madison
Square Garden, where it will celebrate its 10th
year with tonight’s doubleheader.
UCONN AT MSG
UConn has an overall record
of 57-50 in games it has played at Madison
Square Garden. Under Coach Jim Calhoun
in the past 26 years, the Huskies’ record at
the Garden was 51-35 and they have won
eight championships in the building --- the
1988 NIT Championship, as well as BIG
EAST Tournament Championships in 1990,
1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2011.
Under Coach Calhoun, UConn was 8-8 in
16 regular-season games against St. John’s,
35-19 in BIG EAST Tournament games,
and 8-8 in other tournament play there. In
UConn’s last appearance at Madison Square
Garden, they lost to Syracuse, 58-55, in the
quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on
March 8, 2012.
UCONN ON ESPN/ESPN2
will be playing its 236th game on ESPN/ESPN2
since 1986-87, the start of the Jim Calhoun era.
The Huskies have a record of 147-88 (.626)
in those games. UConn is 1-0 on ESPN this
season, having topped Michigan State, 66-62,
in its season opener. Tonight’s game is one
of 10 regular-season UConn games which be
be televised on ESPN/ESPN2 and one of 14
regular-season UConn games on the ESPN
family of networks this season.
UConn was among
“Others Receiving Votes” in both the the AP
Top 25 poll and the ESPN/USA Today poll for
the week of Nov. 26. The Huskies had been
ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in
the ESPN/USA Today poll last week. It was
the second consecutive week the Huskies
were in the AP poll.
That was the first time
the Huskies had appeared in the AP poll since
Jan. 23, 2012, although they were included
in “Others receiving votes” in the poll of Jan.
30, 2012. Until the poll of last Jan. 30, the
Huskies had been ranked in the AP Top 25
for 28 straight weeks dating back to Nov. 29
of 2010. The 28-week streak was the fifth
longest in UConn history.
This may be
Kevin Ollie’s first season as the head coach
of UConn, but that doesn’t mean that the
Huskies’ coaching staff lacks head coaching
Between Associate Head Coach
Glen Miller, Assistant Coach George
Blaney, and Assistant Coach Karl Hobbs,
the UConn staff boasts a combined 57 years
of head coaching experience and a combined
total of 860 victories. Plus, every member of
Coach Ollie’s staff --- also including Director
of Basketball Administration Kevin Freeman
and Assistant Director Ricky Moore --- owns
a UConn National Championship ring.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Shabazz Napier was named the first BIG
EAST Player of the Week of the season.
Napier led the Huskies to four victories to
open the season, averaging 20.8 points and
3.3 rebounds in wins over Michigan State,
Vermont, Wake Forest, and Quinnipiac. It is the
first such honor for Napier, who was named to
the All-BIG EAST Preseason Second Team.
Napier has been
outstanding in the second half of UConn’s
seven games so far this season. The junior
guard from Roxbury, Mass., is averaging a
robust 14.1 points in the second half of play,
plus overtimes, in UConn’s seven games. He
is also shooting an impressive .500 from the
floor (27-54), .440 from 3-point range (11-25),
and a sizzling .919 from the foul line (34-37)
in the second half. Overall, Napier leads the
Huskies in scoring at 18.6 points per game.
WINNING AT THE LINE
the home stretch in games, UConn has been
very impressive at the foul line. In the last 10
minutes of games plus overtimes, the Huskies
are 63 of 68 (.926) from the foul line. In the
last five minutes of games plus overtimes, the
Huskies are 54 of 57 (.947) from the line.
LAST TIME OUT
UConn won its second
consecutive game and sixth in seven games
this year with a grind-it-out 61-53 win over
New Hampshire. The Huskies outrebounded
a team for the first time this season, 43-40,
but the Huskies had their worst shooting night
of the season at 36.8 percent.
Still, they held
New Hampshire to 30.6 percent and never
lost the lead. Sophomore Ryan Boatright
led the scoring with a season-high 19 points,
while freshman Omar Calhoun added
career-highs of 16 points and 8 rebounds.
Junior DeAndre Daniels had 10 rebounds,
UConn’s first double-figure rebounder in a
game this season.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
held New Hampshire to a just 30.6 percent
shooting in its 61-53 victory on Nov. 29,
the sixth time in seven games this season in which the Huskies held their opponents
under 40 percent. UConn held Michigan State
to 37.5 percent shooting for the game, on
its way to a 66-62 victory. Against Vermont,
the Huskies were even more stingy, holding
the Catamounts to 30.0 percent shooting.
Quinnipiac was the third opponent in four
games held under 40 percent shooting,
hitting just 39.4 percent. Even in the loss to
New Mexico, UConn held the Lobos to 39.6
percent from the floor. UConn held Stony Brook
to 37.7 percent in the game before playing
New Hampshire. For the season, UConn is
holding opponents to 37.6 percent and 63.7
points per game. UConn held opponents to
under 40 percent shooting in three of its final
four games last year and 19 times during
SECOND IN PARADISE
After opening the
season with four stright wins, the UConn
basketball team suffered its first loss in the
championship game of the Paradise Jam
against New Mexico on Nov. 19 in the U.S.
Virgin Islands. The Huskies bowed, 66-60,
to take second place in the tourney. UConn
erased a nine-point deficit with 7:00 remaining
and took a 55-53 lead, only to allow a 9-0 run
by the Lobos which sealed the result. Junior
Shabazz Napier led the Huskies in scoring
for the fifth straight game with 23 points, while
sophomore Ryan Boatright had 13 and
freshman Omar Calhoun contributed 10.
UConn and Quinnipiac traveled nearly 2,000
miles to stage an epic battle in the semifinals of
the Paradise Jam on Nov. 18, with the Huskies
finally prevailing, 89-83, in double overtime.
In a game that featured 19 lead changes and
16 ties, UConn rallied from a 10-point deficit
with 4:57 remaining in regulation time to
force the game into overtime, only to lose a
4-point lead with 19 seconds left in the first
In the second extra session, junior
Shabazz Napier opened the scoring with
a three-pointer and the Huskies never lost
the lead, securing the win from the foul line down the stretch.
The Huskies tied a school
record with 39 made free throws (39-of-45)
and hit 23 of their last 24 from the line.
Napier scored a career-high 29 points, 25 in
the second half and overtimes. Meanwhile,
sophomore Ryan Boatright added 18
points and freshman Omar Calhoun had
17. Quinnipiac had five players score double
figures, led by Dave Johnson’s 16.
UConn athletics contributed to this report.