Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kevin Ollie: "There's No Way to Sugarcoat" UConn's Loss to Cincinnati

Let's just say Kevin Ollie wasn't pleased Thursday night's loss o Cincinnati and just leave it at that.

“They just played hard," he said of the Bearcats. "In the second half, they established themselves in the paint. Justin Jackson and (Sean) Kilpatrick just took over the game."

Did Kilpatrick take control of the AAC player of the year race with this one? Maybe, though it's still too early to start handing out awards.

“Just a hell of a performance by him," said Ollie.

As for his own team:

“We started going one-on-one, then we settled for a bunch of 3-point shots ... You give up 52 percent, that’s bad. There’s no way to sugarcoat it ... They just took it to us in the inside. Thirty-four points in the paint, that’s the game. We rebounded with them, but we can’t give up 52-percent shooting in the second half.”

As for Shabazz Napier's 5-for-19 (2-for-12 on 3-pointers) night, that included three air balls and an ill-advised 22-footer with 30 seconds left?

“Hopefully, he keeps learning," said Ollie. "But you’ve got to keep getting to the rim, put the onus on the ref in that situation.”

Lasan Kromah had 13 points and was about the only Husky to consistently take the ball to the hole aggressively.

“He was aggressive, he played like I wanted him to play. Niels (Giffey) played (well). But, other guys gotta step up.”

*** DeAndre Daniels was penciled into the starting lineup, but suffered back spasms shortly before tip-off and was a late scratch.

Daniels noted that his ankle is "fine."

Daniels' absence from the lineup came as a surprise to Napier.

“I didn’t even know until I saw him in the second half," Napier insisted. "I know his back was hurting, so I figured he wasn’t going to start. But when I saw he didn’t play in the first half, then I realized that.”

*** As for Napier's own rough night:

(on is long trey attempt with 30 seconds left)

“I was just trying to get up a shot, trying to get at least two-for-one. Myself, I think I’m gonna make the shot. I just didn’t follow through the right way, and it came up short.”

(on Kilpatrick)

“They ran a lot of plays for him, a lot of screens. He got a lot of open shots, and when you give him opens shots, he’s supposed to make them. He definitely played well in the second half.”

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