Monday, November 19, 2012

Warde Manuel on ACC (Not Much), Kevin Ollie (A Lot)

Warde Manuel wasn't going to come down to the Paradise Jam until later this week to watch the UConn women play. But after the Huskies' dramatic double-overtime win over Quinnipiac Sunday night, he decided to make the trip down for Monday's championship game.

Here's some of what he had to say:

(on rumors of UConn being courted by the ACC)

“It’s really too soon for any comment. There are too many unknowns, what’s going to happen, what’s going on. We’ll monitor the situation, figure out what it means to us as time progresses.”

"I’ll make sure UConn is in the best position to be successful for my coaches and student-athletes.”

(on the job Kevin Ollie has done so far)

“He’s unbelievable. I'm very, very proud. He’s doing a terrific job in all aspects. He’s a super guy doing a great job. He couldn’t have had a better four games, a better script in his first four games. I’m proud of him, proud of the team and the effort they’re putting forth. What you see on this court, he’s been talking to student-athletes about. It’s a great thing to see.”

"The guys are responding to him. He’s different than Jim. He’s had to work and get them to understand the way he displays his intensity is different. That’s a good thing to see, particularly when there’s a transition from a Hall of Famer.”

“I don’t want him to worry that I’m watching him and scrutinizing every step. I’m cheering for the team … at the same time, I’m observing him, watching how he’s handling things.”

“It was very impressive, down by 10 with four minutes to play. To see what he got out of the breaks, different motivation, plays he designed. You don’t just roll the ball out and say, ‘Shabazz, Ryan, go score.’ He’s designing the plays, and he and the staff are impressive to watch.”

(on whether the short-term contract Ollie's working on is hurting on the recruiting trail. UConn lost out on highly-touted guard Brandon Austin to Providence on Monday)

“I want us to be in the best position, but as I’ve said before, you never know what hurts you in recruiting. Jim Calhoun, in his prime, lost great recruits. Kevin is going to win a lot in the recruiting wars, and he’s going to lose some, whether he’s been there one year, 10 years or 20 years ... I’ve been around quite a bit with some great coaches who have lost some kids, and you never know truly. You put your best foot forward, and the student-athlete makes the choice to go somewhere else for a different reason.”

(Manuel said he'd like to make a decision on Ollie's future before the season is over)

“Whether I make it before then or not remains to be seen. I don’t have any timetable.”

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