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.
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.
Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.
Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.