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Brief Hartford preview

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HARTFORD HAWKS (1-2)

Conference: America East

2006-2007 Record: 13-18, 6-10

Probable Starting Lineup

G Joe Zeglinski 15.0 ppg
G Rich Baker 10.0 ppg
F Michael Turner 7.7 ppg
F Warren McClendon 15.3 ppg
F Anthony Minor 1.3 ppg

What to Expect

Second-year head coach Dan Leibovitz is a former Temple assistant who stresses a strong zone defense. Accordingly, how Hartford's opponents have shot the ball from the outside has been the deciding factor in each of the Hawks' first three games. St. Francis of New York and Quinnipiac both used the outside shot to overcome deficits and eek out narrow wins, while Sacred Heart, the preseason favorites in the Northeast Conference, hit just 7-of-28 shots from beyond the arc on their way to a 70-55 defeat.

Warren McClendon, a 6-6 transfer from The Citadel, leads the Hawks in scoring at 15.3 ppg, but he won't have faced a frontcourt nearly as intimidating as the one he'll see tomorrow afternoon. Sophomore point guard Joe Zeglinski is the team's leading returning scorer and is off to a stellar start through three games, dropping 15 a contest while playing an average of 39 minutes a night.

Leibovitz is looking for someone to step up and replace junior Jaret Von Rosenberg, who has been out with a twisted knee. Anthony Minor has started the last two games, but has been largely unproductive. He might be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Morgan Sabia, who came off the bench to score 14 points and grab six rebounds in the win over Sacred Heart.

Final Assessment

Hartford may be able to keep things close early if Louisville is struggling to hit from the outside, but even missed shots will pose a problem for a team that won't start anyone taller than 6-7. David Padgett could very well continue his consecutive made field goals streak, as he'll likely be relatively unchallenged in the paint. Hartford does have some guys who can hit from the perimeter, so if the Cardinal defense is lacking then it will show.

This is the first game of the season for the Cards, and they are going up against a team with the benefit of three games under its belt, but there's no reason for this game to be in doubt after halftime.

CC Prediction: Louisville 79, Hartford 57