Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UConn Lucky to Have a Player Like Lasan Kromah

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Lasan Kromah is a very valuable player to have on a college basketball team. He's talented, versatile, experienced and unselfish. He understands his role and isn't clamoring for minutes or to be in the starting lineup (though, reading between the lines, it sounds like he wouldn't mind seeing a little more PT).

Here's what Kromah had to say afterwards:

“Any way I can help my team out – points, defense. Tonight, it was a little bit of offense and defense, so it felt good.”

(on his role)

“It’s a little different. Right now, I’m coming off the bench and I’m a guy that sparks energy and everything. I’m fine with what I’m doing right now, just improving every game, every practice.”

“I like the role. Any role that coach wants me to do, I’ll be happy to do. So, playing defense, I’m with it, whatever he needs me to do.”

“I’m just coming in, whether I play 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes, five minutes, just come in, work hard and see where it gets me.”

“We just need to have that mentality, when we have a team down, we need to keep going, and even add more energy and really increase the lead.”

*** Oh yeah, about that last thing. Once again, the Huskies displayed a disturbing inability to put a team away after building a big lead. They led by 15 late in the first half yet by just three early in the second. They led by 17 late in the game, but Loyola had a chance to pull within six in the game's final minute.

Kevin Ollie: “When you get a 15-point lead, I want the lead to go to 25. So, no, I’m not jumping for joy, but I am jumping for joy that we’re 7-0.”

Asked if he was still happy with the win, Ollie got a little testy: “You know I’m not happy, when we give up 20 offensive rebounds. But I’m happy that we came out with a win. I’m happy that it’s Thanksgiving, and we’re 7-0. I’m very happy about that.”

*** Back to Kromah, Karl Hobbs recruited him and coached him for two years at GWU. So, it's no surprise Hobbs was instrumental in getting Kromah to UConn. 

Here's what Hobbs had to say about Kromah after the game:

“The way he played tonight, I’ve been waiting on this kind of breakout for him. That’s the type of player he’s been, the type of guy that, because of his versatility, he’s going to get three or four rebounds a game, three or four steals a game, he’s always been able to score. He’s always been a guy that makes an impact on the game. He makes an impact in a lot of different ways, even if he’s not scoring, he’s guarding the other team’s best player, or he’s getting a key rebound or a key steal. He does those little things that help you win.”

“He’s always been a tremendous defensive player. He uses his length and size, and he can guard different guys. He can guard point guards, a two-guard, the three-man. He’s starting to really show that. I think, as time goes on, as he begins to get a little more comfortable with the offense and things like that, I think he’s only going to play even better.”

“It wasn’t really a whole lot to sell (on UConn). No. 1, I recruited him and we had already established a great relationship. With Lasan, he wanted to go and be somewhere his senior year, someone he trusts, someone he felt understood him. That was the key with him coming here.”

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