Saturday, February 16, 2013

UConn Coach Kevin Ollie: 'We Need to Hit People'

A few of the more interesting quotes following UConn’s disappointing, 70-61 loss to Villanova on Saturday:

I could be very wrong, but Kevin Ollie seemed to be directing this specifically at a player or two without naming any names:

“We need effort. We need to hit people. We need to have an attitude that it’s my rebound, nobody else is going to get it. I’m willing to knock people over. I told them, they’ve got to see it.

“And it just doesn’t start in the game, it starts in practice. It starts as you walk. When you get to the scorer’s table, when you walk for a jump ball, they should see that intensity on your face. ... You’ve got your chest out.

“It starts more than just talking, it starts with your body. How you’re talking to yourself. I’m getting 10 rebounds today. that’s the key to life. I don’t think we were in that state of mind today. We have to get back there.”

Shabazz Napier, on the team’s chances of a Big East regular-season crown taking a big hit with the loss:

“We’ve just got to understand that we’ve still got a lot of games left. We’ve got to go out there and play with the toughness we didn’t play with today. It’s always hard to play in the Big East, you can lose on any given day. Our goal is to try to win the Big East season championship. You never know, that’s still maybe up in the air. If we continue on the travel we’ve been going on, I think we’ll be OK, we’ve just got to sharpen some edges up.”

Napier on how tough it is for UConn to win when he and Ryan Boatright combine for six points and 10 turnovers:

“Especially when we don’t find other ways to help the team. Offensively, we weren’t there today. We’ve got to find other ways to help the team.”

Napier did have 10 assists, but just two points. All four of Boatright’s points came in the final 51 seconds, when the game’s outcome had been determined.

Niels Giffey:

“We missed Enosch (Wolf) out there. He’s just a big body, getting a couple of rebounds for us, gives us good minutes. He changes shots – he might not block too may shots, but he changes shots just by his presence.”

Jay Wright (who's as classy as Jim Boeheim isn't):   "I don't know if it's the last time around for the Big East or not, but it's been great coming up here. This is special basketball country up here. We've had some great games against UConn I I have so much respect for Coach Calhoun, I got to see him before the game, and I really appreciate that he came to say hello. I think he's one of the all-time greats. Kevin Ollie is doing a really good job here. That's why this was a very good win for us, because I think we beat a very good team."

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