North Florida is in the Northeast trying to avoid a polar vortex on the court Sunday at 1 p.m. The Ospreys (4-9) face the UCONN Huskies (4-5) in Storrs’ Gampel Pavilion, after snapping a six-game skid with a win over Thomas University Thursday night.
SNY will televise the matchup, as the Ospreys try for a third straight year of defeating a big-time basketball program. If UNF can play like they did against LSU, Syracuse and Arkansas, an Ospreys’ win is not insane.
It is the inaugural meeting. They will play in Storrs, where UCONN is finishing up final exams this weekend. With tests and the snowy weather, will fans stay home? The Ospreys are 0-3 against the American Athletic Conference all-time – losses to Memphis, UCF and Tulsa.
Dallas Moore, Dallas Moore, Dallas Moore. Bruh. He has at least 30 points in four of the last five games. Moore was No. 6 on SportsCenter Thursday night for his sliding cross-over dribble to a made floater. He’s a one-man AND1 mix-tape. The last ASUN player to have six straight 20-point games was Ty Greene (UNF fans should remember that name) from USC Upstate.
It could be a number of things for the Huskies. They need to get the Ospreys in foul trouble. If they can mess with Romelo Banks and have Amida Brimah flowing, North Florida will have a scoreless drought or two.
UNF should stick with the usual: Dallas Moore (#14), Aaron Bodager (12), Garrett Sams (11), Wajid Aminu (2) and Romelo Banks. The only change we could see before ASUN play is Chris Davenport in for Aminu. But at this point, Davenport could be seen as a better spark-plug sixth man.
The Huskies have used five different starting lineups. It should be Christian Vital (#1), Jalen Adams (2), Rodney Purvis (15), Steven Enoch (13) and Amida Brimah (35).
About the Huskies:
UCONN is talented, and they have good size. However, they have only been playing eight guys lately. Three significant injuries have contributed to the Huskies’ struggles. Two opening season-losses to Wagner and Northeastern have sort of defined this season for UCONN. Three of the Huskies’ four wins have been by three points or less. But UCONN did beat Syracuse 52-50 – a team the Ospreys played tight – two games ago. Will the AAC preseason favorite come out flat, considering they last played Saturday, Dec. 10?
Chris Davenport was back on the bench for North Florida on Thursday. If he sees action in Storrs Sunday, he could provide an extra boost. Of course the Osprey senior needs to avoid turnovers, which he still leads North Florida in even though he has not played the last six games.
It will be either Jalen Adams or Rodney Purvis for the Huskies who will go for a high-scoring afternoon. If both achieve it, it’s safe to say the Ospreys will take another L.
How UNF Can Win:
Prior to the season, we thought this was the most winnable big non-conference game behind LSU. The Ospreys cannot beat themselves. UCONN is in a down year due to injuries and lack of experience. It’s more than feasible this is a game that Dallas Moore puts on his already-long list of accolades.