Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kevin Ollie, Ryan Boatright Feel UConn Will Bounce Back Thursday Night vs. Cincinnati

Kevin Ollie wasn't overly pleased with his starting 5 as they played defense during a 5-on-5 drill late in Wednesday's practice

"We can go through the motions and get our (butt) kicked again," he shouted at DeAndre Daniels, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, Omar Calhoun and Ryan Boatright.

Later, when asked if his team's been practicing well since Saturday's 70-61 home loss to Villanova, Ollie said: "Yup. Not enough, though. We’ve got to get better, and hopefully we can continue to do that. But we’ve got to be at another level."

Here's a few more notes 'n quotes from Wednesday's practice, in advance of UConn's 7 p.m. bout with Cincinnati on Thursday at the XL Center (the team's last game of the season in Hartford):


on how 'Nova keyed in on and shut down Boatright and Napier on Saturday:

"I don’t think they were the first team that really honed in on our guards. I think every team's been doing that. But they’ve got to adjust, they’ve got to make improvements … Offensively, they’ve got to choose their spots, they’ve got to use their teammates. I think it’ll be a learning experience. I think they’ll take from the Villanova game and be better.”

on how Boatright's been in practice this week:

"He looked real good. Everybody’s going to have tough games like that. We watched tape, and I thought he performed very well in practice. That kid’s been through some adversity in his life. That’s not the first time he’s been through adversity. I believe that he’s going to respond very positively."

on the spark that Leon Tolksdorf gave vs. 'Nova, popping off the bench for a quick pair of 3-pointers:

“I thought we needed a spark. I brought Leon in, I wanted some effort, and he contributed. He’s making my drive back to Glastonbury a little bit more interesting when I’m thinking about (playing time)."

Take that, Andre Drummond and Arinze Onuaku: UConn and Syracuse are tied for tops in the Big East (league games) in foul shooting at 75.3 percent apiece. Ollie said it's a tribute to ...

“(Hard work and) getting the right guys on the free throw line, of course. Our guards are shooting almost 80 percent, Niels (Giffey) and DeAndre are shooting well. Those guys got the ball in their hands most of the time. They’re doing a great job.

“That’s how we’ve been kind of overcoming our rebounding issues: knocking free throws down, shooting a good percentage and having a low turnover rate.”

Indeed, the Huskies have been even better at the line when it really counts. In the last 10 minutes of all games, plus overtimes, UConn is 187-for-225 (83.1 percent) from the foul line. In the last five minutes plus overtimes, the Huskies are shooting 83.9 percent (151 of 180).

Will Enosch Wolf return this season?

“I have no idea. He’s suspended indefinitely. I said my comments to him, and my comments to the paper, and I’m sticking by them.”


on 'Nova game:

"We played so bad, I feel like we owe ourselves and the fans a better performance ... I wasn’t Ryan Boatright that game. I just had a bad game. It happens to everybody in basketball. You’ve got to bounce back and move on."

Boatright said he's pretty tight with Cincy leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick. The two attended the CP3 and adidas Nation camps together this past summer.

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