Monday, November 5, 2012

UConn Ready for Its Trip to the Rheinland

UConn heads to Germany tomorrow night for Friday's bout with No. 14 Michigan State in the Armed Forces Classic on the Ramstein Air Base. Here's their tentative itinerary

The Huskies met with the media today at Gampel. Here's some video of what they had to say, including a truly hilarious clip where Niels Giffey confides that his teammates are asking him to teach them pick-up lines in German. Shabazz Napier also proves he gets it and understands the perspective the trip to Germany should bring:

Also, Kevin Ollie continues the point on how UConn hopes to learn from this trip and maybe even mature a little more after seeing the sacrifices our military goes through every day:

A few other notes and quotes from today's media gathering:

Ollie on what UConn's "Teutonic Trio" (my words, not his) of Giffey, Enosch Wolf and Leon Tolksdorf bring to the table for UConn:

“They play hard, aggressive, they play together. They give us those things you can’t coach. Niels does a great job playing great defense, Leon is going to be a great shooter for us, Enosch is just coming back, gives us a big body in there that we’re going to need in these games coming up.”

“I’m very happy for them. Hopefully, they go out there and play very, very well, and accomplish the things we want to accomplish.”

Ollie on Michigan State:

“First and foremost, they’re good on defense. Just like, when I came here for Coach Calhoun, they’re good on defense and rebounding. They’re going to be aggressive, they play up to nine or 10 guys, they all play hard and understand their role. They’re coached very well by a coach I have a lot of respect for Tom Izzo – how he gets his guys to play each and every night, the same way. They definitely have an identity.”

Giffey on the trip to his homeland:

“I don’t think any international player gets the chance to go back and play with their college team in front of their family, in their home country. It’s going to be a unique experience going back there. It’s going to be a great experience to be on an Army base, too, just to see the soldiers and the way they live there.”

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