Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kevin Ollie: UConn is 'Learning How to Win'

UConn faces South Florida on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Storrs. It may not be the most gripping matchup of the season, but it's still worth a watch. I mean, how many more puff features on Ray "Deer Antler" Lewis (such a model citizen) and the Harbaugh brothers can you stomach before that football game starts around 6:30 p.m., anyway?

Here's a little of what Kevin Ollie had to say after Saturday's practice:

"Practice was good today. They had a day off yesterday and we didn't go that long, with a 2 p.m. game tomorrow, but it was a great practice. The guys were engaged."

"One thing I can testify (to) with this group: They're learning how to win, learning how to find a way. To get outrebounded by 31 and still win is a great momentum-builder for them as a group."

(on South Florida)

"They have a great defensive team ... Anthony Collins is a tremendous point guard.  He leads by example. I've never seen anyone dribble as low as he does. He gets in the thick of the defense, finds their shooters, makes plays ... they run a ton of screen-and-rolls ... that's something we went over and we'll keep emphasizing it ... They're not looking to score quickly. I think they average 53 points per game in the Big East. Can we have the patience to stay in each possession?"

(On DeAndre Daniels)

"I'm just expecting him to continue to grow. I'm seeing him get better, hitting some goals I expect him to hit and star making new goals. I'm looking for consistency from him and I think we're starting to get that ... That play he got (against Providence) after Shabazz threw it to him, with two guys hanging over him, to get the and-one and show that emotion, that's something I want to see from him."

(on playing vs. zone defenses)

"I saw a lot of positive things on tape (vs. Providence) against that zone defense we started exploiting."

Ollie said Ryan Boatright (ankle, knee) and Tyler Olander (flu) are both doing fine.

"I'm looking for (Olander) and Enosch (Wolf) to step up. We need that from our bigs ... With Tyler, I expect him to get more rebounds, hit more people. That's what I demand, and that's what he demands of himself. He's gonna get better."

*** Meanwhile, in more pressing news, my daughter scored her first basket today. She's only 6, but it's never too early to start recruiting. Right, Geno?

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