UConn drops to fourth in Associated Press top 25 poll

Jan. 2—The UConn men's basketball team finished last week by suffering its first loss of the season.

That coincided with the team's first drop in the Associated Press' top 25 poll of the year.

But there's a silver lining for the Huskies: they're still in the top five.

UConn dropped two positions to fourth in the latest poll, which was released Monday. The team finished with 1,342 points and received one first-place vote.

The Huskies (14-1, 3-1 Big East) fell to last week's No. 22 Xavier 83-73 in Cincinnati Saturday.

UConn had tied the game at 71 thanks to an Andre Jackson layup with 3:54 to play. But the Musketeers, who moved up to 18th this week (531 points), closed the game on a 12-2 run to take home the win.

UConn's 14 straight wins to begin the season were the most since the 1998-99 team won its first 19 games en route to winning the program's first national championship.

Purdue (1,524 points, 60 first-place votes) maintained its top ranking for the fourth consecutive poll this week.

Houston (1,417 points) and Kansas (1,351) each moved up a position into second and third respectively. Arizona (1,334) completed the top five.

Besides UConn and Xavier, fellow Big East schools Marquette (20 points), Providence (14) and Creighton (1) were in the "others receiving votes" section of the poll.

The Big 12 and the SEC each had five teams represented in the top 25 while the Big Ten had four and the ACC had three.

UConn returns to action Wednesday when it travels to Providence. Tipoff at Amica Mutual Pavilion is set for 8:30 p.m. (FS1).

Karaban named Freshman of the Week

For the third time in the 2022-23 campaign, redshirt freshman Alex Karaban was named Big East Freshman of the Week, the conference announced Monday.

The 6-foot-8 forward out of Southborough, Massachusetts averaged 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two games for the Huskies last week. He posted 15 points, six rebounds and a season-high two steals in UConn's 74-66 win over Villanova Wednesday at the XL Center in Hartford.

Karaban has played in all 15 games for the Huskies this season. He's averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 27.0 minutes per game.

Teammate Jackson was named to the conference's weekly Honor Roll, which was also announced Monday.

The 6-foot-6 junior guard posted averages of 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals last week. On the season, Jackson is averaging 6.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 12 games.

Xavier's Jack Nunge, whose week included scoring 15 points against UConn Saturday, was the league's Player of the Week.

Umoja Gibson (DePaul), Stevie Mitchell (Marquette), Devin Carter (Providence) and Tyrese Samuel (Seton Hall) were also named to the Honor Roll.

For coverage of UConn football and men's basketball as well as area high school and local youth sports, follow Adam Betz on Twitter: @AdBetz1, Facebook: Adam Betz — Sports Writer, and Instagram: @AdBetzJI.