Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ryan Boatright Can't Watch ESPN Much Anymore Because of That 'Daggun'' "Journey to the Tourney" Ad

No doubt, Ryan Boatright had the quote of the day today. The kid can't watch ESPN anymore, and I'm right there with him (though, for me, it has more to do with the station's obnoxious love affair with the NFL than anything else).

When asked prior to UConn's practice (in preparation for Wednesday's bout at the Garden with St. John's) about how frustrating it is knowing that UConn can't play in the postseason, especially at this time of year, he replied: “I don’t even like watching ESPN half the time. I see the daggun’, ‘Journey to the Tourney’ commercial every other commercial. I get irritated, so I turn the TV off.”

Here's the video:

That's "daggun'" as in Roy Williams' pet saying. Maybe it's "daggone," or "daggum." Not sure. But Boatright's point was clear: with March Madness seeping back into the national lexicon over the next couple of months, it's tough for UConn to be on the outside looking in.

“It’s definitely frustrating," Boatright continued, "especially when you work hard every day, you put the work in that we put in, and you see other schools that aren’t even doing as well as you and they’re getting a chance to play in the tournament. It’s frustrating, but we knew going into the season that we weren’t going to be able to (play in the postseason). We’re alright.”

Added Kevin Ollie: “I imagine if you look at it that way, it gets frustrating. We’re trying to emphasize the positive things – you’ve got a good record in the Big East, you still have that opportunity to win that conference championship, which is very elusive. That’s the first and foremost goal, anyway – for any season – to win that conference championship.”

“I don’t see this team dwelling on the negatives.”

*** At the Husky Run back in October, Shabazz Napier noted that the Huskies might relish the chance to play spoiler.

"Why not go out there and hurt someone else’s postseason?," he said at the time. "We’re going to do our best to win every game possible, and realize we’ve still got a chance to win a championship – the regular season championship."

Certainly, St. John's (at 14-8, 6-4 Big East) is a team that needs to build a resume for NCAA tourney consideration.

On Tuesday, Napier added: “You kinda think about (being the spoiler). The first thing you think about is trying to win the game. After you win the game, that’s probably the second thing you think about. I just wanna go out there and play them with utmost respect and try to win a game. Especially playing for the last time in Madison Square Garden, it’s something special for the whole team … If we win, just think about that we spoiled it a little bit for them.”

*** Red Storm freshman Chris Obekpa leads the Big East and is second in the nation in blocked shot at 4.50 per game. UConn, of course,heavily recruited the 6-foot-9 center from Long Island. Omar Calhoun put the hard sell on Obekpa after committing to the Huskies.

"I tried to," Calhoun said. "It didn't work too well, but me and him are close friends. He knows how to time blocks and jump. He’s definitely someone like me likes playing with.”

Enosch Wolf will have to go up against Obekpa on Wednesday night.

“He’s a good defensive player," said Wolf. "I’ve just got to stay solid, try to maybe outsmart him a little bit. I know he’s really athletic.”

*** Naturally, Calhoun (a Brooklyn native) was recruited hard by St. John's, as well.

“Coach (Steve) Lavin’s a great guy," he said. "St. John’s is a great school. Everyone looks at St. John’s if they’re from New York.”

*** Seen at Gampel today: Taliek Brown (he's taking courses to get his degree) and SNY honcho (and Mets owner) Fred Wilpon.

*** UConn's bout with Syracuse on Feb. 13 will be ESPN's 7 p.m. game. Brent Musberger and Bob Knight are expected to be on the call.

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