Basketball

Time, TV and what you need to know

Time, TV and what you need to know

No. 7 UConn vs. Georgetown

What: Big East Tournament Quarterfinals

Or: Mohegan Sun Arena

Recordings: UConn (22-5, 16-1 Great East), Georgetown (10-18, 4-15)

TV: FS1

KEEP AN EYE ON

More Paige: A week has passed with Paige Bueckers back in the UConn lineup. The sophomore returned to the field in UConn’s win over St. John’s on Feb. 25. Limited to 15 minutes per game, Bueckers had 10 points, five rebounds and six assists in 26 total minutes on the court. UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he expects Bueckers to play more this weekend in the tournament.


“Today she had a really, really good day. It’s the best she’s seen since she’s been back,” Auriemma said after practice on Thursday. “I don’t see her playing. 35 minutes three games in a row, let’s put it that way. I can’t tell you exactly how many minutes, but it will be over 15.”

UConn rotation: With his 11 available players healthy – Aubrey Griffin remains out for the season after undergoing back surgery in January – Auriemma has a deep roster. His rotation is nine deep with the ability to substitute multiple players at once. It’s a luxury the Hall of Fame coach says he hasn’t had in years.

“It’s been five or six years since we had the ability to put so many good players on the pitch. I hope it will pay off,” he said.

The question is which five players will start and in what order will the bench empty? With Bueckers back in the last two games, Auriemma used all nine players in the opening 15 minutes of the game. His early trips to the bench included replacing three to four players at a time. After forcing so many players out of games this season due to injury and illness, having depth gives the manager plenty of options.

“We’re usually pretty chilly this time of year and maybe we weren’t able to rest the guys like we wanted to, but we still found ways to do it,” Auriemma said. “The advantage is you build a lot of stamina by playing a lot of minutes, so I think our players, we’re fine, whether they play 40 minutes or they play 25 minutes, I think they’ll be fine. And then three games in three days, I think you’re going to need everyone. At least you’ll want to play against everyone.

Explore the Hoyas: Georgetown, the No. 9 seed, beat No. 8 Providence, 68-55, in the first round on Friday. The Hoyas were led by graduate guard Milan Bolden-Morris with 18 points and junior forward Graceann Bennett with seven rebounds. The win was Georgetown’s first in the Big East tournament since the 2019 quarter-finals.

UConn has only faced the Hoyas once this season after the teams’ initial meeting on Jan. 5 was canceled due to COVID-19. The Huskies beat Georgetown, 90-49, Feb. 20 at XL Center and were led by Christyn Williams (19 points, five assists) and Azzi Fudd (12 points, five rebounds). Nika Mühl, who was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year, had a career-high six interceptions as UConn scored 39 points on the Hoyas’ 30 turnovers.

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