Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Great Debut for Kevin Ollie, UConn

Wow. Just ... wow.

As Kevin Ollie has been doing his entire basketball life, he proved the doubters wrong again last night. UConn's 66-62 win over Michigan State was an incredible way for Ollie to kick off his coaching career. The Huskies appear loose and unfettered under Ollie. Their dedication to run the ball was obvious early (though they weren't able to do much of it in the latter half). If this team continues to play hard and loose, push the ball up the floor and commit to defense, it will be a very fun team to watch.

And there's no doubt the players love their coach. When they surrounded Ollie during his postgame interview with ESPN's Andy Katz, it reminded me of when the 1998 Yankees surrounded Tim "Rock" Raines while he did an ESPN interview talking about Darryl Strawberry's recent cancer diagnosis. It was all about unity. Talk about a team the Huskies should try to emulate.

Wish I'd been at the game. Hopefully, that was the last UConn game I'll miss this season. The Huskies are slated to arrive at JFK around 4:50 p.m. today (Saturday) and be back on campus around 9. I'm guessing they'll have Sunday off, but on Monday they'll be practicing for Tuesday's regular-season home opener at 7 p.m. against Vermont.

Two days later, they'll be back on long (seven-hour) flight down to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam, where they'll start off on Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Wake Forest. Two more games over the next three days will follow for the Huskies.

It's a grueling 10 days of basketball -- five games on two continents and a U.S. territory -- but I'm guessing that the Huskies will have plenty of bounce in their step after last night's huge upset win.

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