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Defending champs come to Sun Dome

After winning the NCAA tournament last season, UConn has fallen to 7-5 in the 2014-2015 season. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

After being stomped by the Mustangs on New Year’s Eve, the men’s basketball team quickly rebounded with a victory against East Carolina on Saturday for its first conference win. 

USF looks to gain ground in the AAC when it takes on a UConn (7-5, 0-1) that is not playing nearly as well as last season, when it went on to win the national championship. 

The Bulls will have to pay special attention to Guard Ryan Boatright when facing the Huskies. The 6-foot senior averages 17 points per game and has the ability to drive to the basket and shoot 3-pointers. 

Both USF and UConn are very low among national averages in points per game, which indicates that scoring early and quickly are important to winning the game. The Bulls average 67.5 points per game, which ranks them 189th among all Division I teams, while UConn averages 67.6. 

The Bulls have yet to find their rhythm shooting the three, which is something they have struggled with the last two seasons. 

Senior guard Corey Allen Jr. leads USF in three-point percentage, with 35 percent made. Junior guard Anthony Collins is second on the teams with 29 percent. 

The Bulls are shooting a dismal 27 percent on 3-pointers on the season, with only 3.7 made per game. This is not a big step up from last year, when the Bulls shot 26 percent from three-point range. 

USF will have to rely on sophomore forward Chris Perry to carry the load in the post, where he averages 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. The second leading rebounder is guard Nehemias Morillo, with 5.8 per game. There has been little to no production from the center position this season for the Bulls. The starting center from the beginning of the season, Jaleel Cousins, has averaged 2.7 points and two rebounds a game. 

The Huskies struggled in their non-conference schedule, with losses to West Virginia, Texas, Yale and No. 2 Duke. 

The Bulls (7-8, 1-1) will take on the Huskies at the Sun Dome on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.