The UConn Huskies will embark on a trip to San Juan to compete in the Puerto Rico tip-off beginning on Thursday. Their first opponent will be the Charleston Cougars of the Colonial Athletic Association. Also competing in the Puerto Rico tipoff include the Boston College Eagles, Dayton Flyers, George Mason Patriots, New Mexico Lobos, Texas A&M Aggies, and West Virginia Mountaineers.
The Huskies are the favorite to take home the title in Puerto Rico, though they will have to play much better than their showing on Friday evening against Bryant. The Huskies won 66-53, but trailed by six – 34-28 – at the half and needed a big run midway through the second to ultimately win. Ryan Boatright led the team with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, filling up the score sheet for UConn. Center Amida Brimah looked good at times, chipping 12 points, 5 rebounds, as well as 5 blocks.
Missing was Rodney Purvis who was suspended for the first game of the year due to his participation in a summer basketball league. It was yet another sign of the NCAA’s decaying ability to do anything correct, but the transfer had to sit out a game and wait a few more days for his Huskies debut.
Following Puerto Rico, things don’t get much easier for UConn as they will host the 10th ranked Texas Longhorns at Gampel Pavilion. According to Easy Seat, UConn Huskies men’s basketball tickets for the Texas game have an average ticket price of $139 with a get-in price of $59. It’s the most expensive game of the season at Gampel and arguably the biggest non-conference game of the year for UConn. They’ll have very difficult matchups with Duke (neutral site) and Florida (in Gainesville) so this could ultimately be their biggest win on the resume entering conference play. With a conference expected to have very few Final Four contenders, the Huskies will need to do as well as possible in non-conference play to get recognized by the committee this year.