A Boat Show for UConn, and a First Technical for Kevin Ollie
Boatright was literally kissing babies, signing autographs and posing for photos for some 20 minutes after the game. It seemed like hundreds of people from Aurora were in the house for him Saturday night. Here's the video proof:
He certainly had an extra spring in his step, as Kevin Ollie noticed.
“Yeah, especially when he hit that 35-footer, then he came down and shot another one," Ollie quipped. "I said, ‘Ohh, man.'"
Boatright also had that behind-the-back pass to Omar Calhoun for a layup, as well as a terrific dunk in traffic.
"It was a great opportunity for him to play in front of everybody," said Ollie. "He was really one of our catalysts, when we were struggling on offense to get to the rim. He made some shots, and he played some great defense in the second half. Nobody played good defense in the first half.”
*** Meanwhile, Ollie got his first 'T' as coach of the Huskies. Here's his explanation:
Incidentally, Shabazz Napier said he congratulated Ollie on the 'T' after the game.
*** Calhoun continues to play with a sprained right wrist suffered early in the Villanova game a week earlier. He still managed to hit a pair of 3-pointers – as well as a lefthanded layup – to finish with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
“I can play through it,” he said. “Shooting is the only way it affects me.”
*** Ho-hum ... 28 points for Napier. Kid's been unreal (though Georgetown's Otto Portr wrapped up Big East player of the year honors Saturday afternoon). UConn's guard trio of Napier, Boatright and Calhoun shot 22-for-35 from the floor (9-for-16 on 3's) to combine for 62 points.
*** The press doesn’t always sit as close to the student section as we did tonight, so maybe most student sections are as bad as DePaul’s. But I doubt it.
The “fans” – at least about 20 of them – were nasty and derisive all night, sometimes downright homophobic and X-rated. It’s one thing to be clever and funny like the Cameron Crazies. It’s another to be fat, drunk and stupid (which is no way to go through life, as we know).
“They were getting into our managers and into some other players. We kinda shut them up,” said Napier.
And for students to taunt UConn players with “No postseason”? From a school who hasn’t made the tournament seemingly since the days of George Mikan? No. Just … no.
“They are bad,” Napier continued. “I came here my freshman year and they were ripping into our walk-ons, so I can only think about what they were saying about our new walk-ons.”