IONA at UCONN

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Gampel Pavilion

Records: Iona 2-2, UConn 5-2

TV: SNY

Radio: UConn/IMG Sports Network, 97.9 FM-ESPN Hartford, WAVZ-New Haven (1300 AM), WICC-Brideport (600 AM), WINE-Danbury (940 AM), WGCH- Greenwich (1490 AM)

KEEP AN EYE ON

NATIONAL NEWS: Christian Vital has made 18 straight free throws and is 29 of 30 for the season, good for a 96.7 percentage that ranks fourth in the nation. He also ranks fourth in steals per game at 3.29.

Meanwhile, freshman forward Akok Akok ranks 15th in the nation at 2.86 blocks per game and is 21st in total blocks with 20.

SID IS BACK: After sitting out Sunday’s 64-40 win over Maine, forward Sid Wilson has looked good in practice and is expected to return to the floor on Wednesday night. Wilson injured his left knee on a blocked shot in a Nov. 24 win over Miami, but after initial fears it might have been more serious, the injury turned out to be simply a deep muscle bruise.

“This will be an athletic, fast-paced, very aggressive game,” Dan Hurley promised, “So, this will be a good game for Sid.”

I-ZONE-A: Dan Hurley hasn’t been overly enamored with how his team has attacked zone defenses this season, and UConn figures to see more zone on Wednesday night. The Gaels mix in a healthy dose of 2-3 and matchup zone defenses, along with the occasional man-to-man sets. For the Huskies, that means penetrating the lane and hitting outside shots.

“Mostly everybody on the court can shoot the three-ball,” noted Tyler Polley, the team’s top 3-point shooter this season at 40 percent, “so that can get teams out of a zone.”

FINISH WHAT YA STARTED: But it’s not just the Huskies’ 3-point shooting (33 percent) that has Hurley concerned. In fact, he’s more concerned with the team’s 44 percent shooting on 2-point attempts — particularly at the rim.

“All the shots we missed against Maine, we had some really weak finishes at the rim,” said Hurley. “If you’re gonna go to the basket when you play at UConn, you’ve got to try to attack the front of the rim like you want to dunk the ball.”

PROBABLE STARTERS

IONA

Player

Pos.

PPG

E.J. Crawford

G/F

16.7

Asante Gist

G

10.7

Ben Perez

G

2.0

Tajuan Agee

F

16.0

Dylan van Eyck

F

3.3

UCONN

Player

Pos.

PPG

Christian Vital

G

14.6

Alterique Gilbert

G

9.9

Tyler Polley

G/F

10.0

Josh Carlton

C

11.4

— David Borges