Two games after putting together his best performance of the season, scoring 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a win over Temple, UConn junior forward DeAndre Daniels will miss the Huskies’ game against Houston on Thursday night due to a sprained ankle. The news was first reported by Andrew Catalon of CBS Sports.
Daniels suffered a high ankle sprain in the first half of UConn’s win at Rutgers on Saturday night, playing the second half but leaving the RAC in a walking boot. Head coach Kevin Ollie said on Wednesday that Daniels, who hadn’t practiced since suffering the injury, was probable for Thursday’s game.
The matchup with Houston is the second this season, with the Cougars beating the Huskies on New Year’s Eve in the American opener for both. The Huskies, faced with an opponent that was without three starters, did not show up with the intensity needed to win such a contest and trailed by as many as 20 in the first half before fighting back only to fall four points short.
Houston’s TaShawn Thomas proved to be a handful for UConn, scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds with Jherrod Stiggers (17 points) and Chicken Knowles (13) proving problematic off the bench. Houston’s lost four of its last six games but this has the potential to be a difficult game for UConn, especially with Daniels sidelined.
With the junior unable to play more playing time is likely for Lasan Kromah and Niels Giffey, with both already being key members of the UConn rotation.
Auburn junior point guard Kareem Canty, the team’s leader in both points and assists, has missed the Tigers’ last two games as a result of a suspension handed down by head coach Bruce Pearl for a violation of team rules. Thursday night Canty announced via Twitter that he will be turning pro, ending his Auburn career with less than one full season of play.
In 21 games this season Canty averaged 18.3 points and 5.3 assists per contest, shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 36.1 percent from three. Given Auburn’s lack of perimeter depth Canty had ample opportunities to score from the point guard position, but he struggled in the four games following standout performances in wins over Kentucky and Alabama.
Auburn’s lost six straight since beating the Crimson Tide, most recently falling 71-45 at Tennessee Tuesday night. Without Canty, Bruce Pearl called upon TJ Lang and Bryce Brown as the perimeter starters in that game with Patrick Keim and New Williams playing a combined 33 minutes off the bench. They’ll continue to see those minutes moving forward.
As for next season, Auburn brings in four-star point guard Jared Harper and currently injured point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen will be available as well.
Canty began his college career at Marshall, playing the 2013-14 season for the Thundering Herd before deciding to transfer. Canty committed to Auburn in mid-April of 2014, only to change his mind in favor of USF before making the switch back to Auburn.
Canty’s name wasn’t showing up in early draft projections, and making this decision while in the midst of a suspension likely won’t help matters when it comes to getting selected.
Tonight’s schedule. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
UConn (KenPom: 19, RPI: 46) at Temple (KenPom: 95, RPI: 69), 7:00 p.m.
Florida State (KenPom: 37, RPI: 38) at Syracuse (KenPom: 39, RPI: 44), 7:00 p.m.
VCU (KenPom: 32, RPI: 40) at UMass, 7:00 p.m.
Arkansas-Little Rock (KenPom: 41, RPI: 63) at Louisiana Monroe, 8:00 p.m.
Northern Kentucky at Valparaiso (KenPom: 22, RPI: 48), 8:00 p.m.
No. 4 Iowa at Indiana (KenPom: 24, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
No. 11 Oregon at Cal (KenPom: 44, RPI: 32), 9:00 p.m.
Washington State at Colorado (KenPom: 56, RPI: 29), 11:00 p.m.
Gonzaga (KenPom: 33, RPI: 66) at Portland, 11:00 p.m.
Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s (KenPom: 26, RPI: 52), 11:00 p.m.
Oregon State (KenPom: 81, RPI: 31) at Stanford (KenPom: 104, RPI: 71), 11:00 p.m.