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Pre-game preview: Vermont

By Gavin Keefe

Publication:

Published November 13. 2012 6:00PM   Updated November 13. 2012 6:22PM

Game time is approaching at Gampel Pavilion for the UConn-Vermont game.

UConn is shooting to extend its perfect record in regular season openers at Gampel to 24 straight games.

Here's some pre-game info:

Probable starters

UConn

6-1 jr. guard Shabazz Napier (25 pts)

6-0 so. guard Ryan Boatright (13 pts, 4 assists, 5 steals)

6-5 fr. guard Omar Calhoun (1 pt)

6-8 so. forward DeAndre Daniels (12 pts, 8 rebs)

6-9 jr. forward Tyler Olander (4 pts, 6 rebs, 4 blks)

Vermont

6-2 jr. guard Sandro Carissimo (11 pts)

6.4 jr. guard Candon Rusin (4 pts)

6-6 jr. forward Brian Voelkel (5 pts, 7 rebs)

6-7 jr. forward Luke Apfeld (16 pts, 4 rebs)

6-8 jr. forward Clancy Rugg (4 pts, 6 rebs)

Pre-game appetizers

-- UConn earned its first top 25 ranking (No. 23) on Monday Jan. 23, 2012.

--Vermont returns three starters from a team that went 24-12, won America East championship and earned fifth NCAA tournament bid, reaching second round.

-- In season opener, Catamounts rallied from 16-point deficit against Siena, winning 54-53 on Carissimo's layup with eight seconds left.

"They beat Siena and I know they feel good about themselves," coach Kevin Ollie said. "We've got to go out and play."

-- Olander and Vermont freshman Ethan O'Day (9 pts, 6 rebs) were high school teammates at E.O. Smith in Storrs. O'Day, a 6-9 forward, comes off the bench.

"I know him really well," Olander said. "He actually lives right around the corner from me. We used to hang out all the time. It's going to be fun playing with him."

-- Voelkel, a preseason All-America East pick, has led the conference in rebounding the last two seasons.

-- Player to watch: Omar Calhoun. He had just one point in the season opener after averaging a team-high 22 points in the two exhibition games. He went 0-for-2 from the field and had two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes playing against a tough defender in Branden Dawson.

"He just didn't get in the flow, and we discussed that," Ollie said. "I didn't see intensity on the defensive end. And I want him to get better on that end, because he's going to be a great defender for us. … He understands what I'm looking for. He's such a great kid. He's going to bounce back."

-- Series history: UConn leads, 46-8. Won last six meetings including 89-73 Nov. 17, 2010 in Hartford.

-- Follow me on Twitter, @GavinKeefe, during the game.

-- Check back later for post-game breakdown.

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