Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ryan Boatright Has Been More Than Alright for UConn So Far

Gotta like what we've seen from Ryan Boatright thus far this season.

Sure, he's only averaging 12 points per game, after averaging 15.4 a year ago. But he's playing far more in control, within himself, than he did his first two seasons in Storrs. And he's playing a much better all-around game.

Witness Thursday's 72-70 win over BC. Boatright scored just nine points on 2-for-8 shooting, but he pulled down five rebounds, doled out a team-high four assists and had as many blocked shots as Amida Brimah (two), including the biggest of the night, on Lonnie Jackson's last-second 3-pointer that could've won the game for BC.

“I knew there were only 2.2 seconds on the clock," he reported. "I knew when the big dude came in the middle, he held it for at least for a second. I knew as soon as my man got his hands on the ball, he was gonna try to chuck it up. I just tried to contest it and stay away from body contact as much as possible. He tried to sell it. I thought he was going to call it, the way my fouls were going. But, thank God he didn’t call it.”

It's not easy going for a block on a play where you know you can't foul.

“I think with a little more time on the clock, it would’ve been tough to go for the block," Boatright added. "But there were only two seconds on the clock. If two people touch it in two seconds, he has to put it up there right away. He didn’t even think about it, he just caught it and chucked it … I don’t think he thought I could get up that high that quick. I surprised myself, I got up there pretty fast.”

As for Boatright's improved all-around game, here's what Kevin Ollie had to say:

And here's what Boatright had to say:

“I’m just slowing down. I’ve really matured, really watched a lot of film over the summer, trying to become a pure point guard, because that’s what I’m going to have to be at the next level. I’ve learned that getting my teammates the ball early boosts their confidence and makes my job a lot easier. I know I can get to the basket and score when I need to. But having my teammates’ confidence really helps the team and gets everybody going.”

*** So whatta ya say these two teams get together more often?

“I’d love to renew the rivalry, but I’m not the guy who’s going to, per se, make the schedule," said Ollie. "We’ll sit down as a group, me and my coaching staff, my great AD Warde Manuel, and we’ll come up with a great schedule for our fans to come and watch. I’d love to renew it, but that’s not up to me totally.”


“I’ve had a lot of great conversations with Brad Bates about different things. We’ve known each other for a long time, he played at Michigan before I did, we were in the MAAC together. We’ve talked since he’s been there. There’s nothing that is going to be in the works at this present time, but we’re leaving the door open. We have great relationships, we have great respect for BC and what they’ve done. The past is behind us, we’re moving forward. It was a great game tonight. I think we’ll be a great rivalry again in the future for our fans, but we’ll see where it goes in the future.”

Even Boatright chimed in: “If they want to consider it a rivalry, it’s always good to have a rivalry. I think having that game or that feel, with that label on it – ‘rivalry’ – will bring a lot of fans out. It’ll make it a great game. Any rivalry is great to me.”

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