Sunday, December 2, 2012

R.J. Evans a Maybe; UConn Offense a Work in Progress; Tyler Olander on His Struggles

Watching the latter part of UConn's practice today, it's obvious that the Huskies' offensive sets are far more complex than thye've been in recent years.

It's also obvious that UConn players are sometimes having trouble remembering all the intricacies -- the screens, cuts, hand-offs, etc. That was apparent on Thursday night against New Hampshire and again today at Gampel Pavilion.

“Offense takes time," Kevin Ollie explained afterwards. "I just want them to move aggressively, share the basketball, pass and cut. Just know that if you give a ball up, you can get it back. We just want to make sure we’re connected. I don’t know if they picked it up well or not. It didn’t show that well against New Hampshire. We’ve been watching film … we’ve got to continue to better. We’ve got a lot of new players, different players, different roles. Offense takes time, and we’re just really working on timing, execution, making sure we’re making good passes, not turning the ball over.”

A few different times, Ollie had to raise his voice and/or walk a player through what he should have (but didn't) do on a previous offensive set.

“I can’t just say, ‘Go harder on offense,'" he noted. "It takes time to teach it and for guys to be prepared, and that you just can’t do it in these two hours. You’ve got to take it home to your dorms, you’ve got to understand where you’re supposed to be at. Hopefully they’ll do that, and they’re getting better.”

*** No one on UConn has struggled to get in the flow -- on either offense or defense -- more than Tyler Olander lately. The 6-9 junior has been plagued by foul trouble, fouling out of three of the Huskies' past four games, and is averaging just 5.4 points per game thus far.

"I believe in him – that’s the main thing," Ollie reiterated. "And he’s got to believe in himself, and I think he’s doing that.”

Here's what Olander said about his recent struggles:

*** Meanwhile, R.J. Evans participated in non-contact drills today and may graduate to full-contact for tomorrow's practice. As for Tuesday, he says trainer James Doran tells him it'he'll be a game-time decision.    

*** We'll have lots more notes, quotes, video, etc.on NC State, Jimmy V, MSG and other stuff tomorrow.

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