Sunday, February 23, 2014

Video and Quotes off UConn's Loss to SMU

Some video and quotes off UConn's 64-55 loss to SMU on Sunday:


“I thought both teams defended like crazy. We made some shots in the second half. We didn’t want them to get out in transition. We wanted Connecticut to have to score against us in the halfcourt. The first half was kind of ugly, both teams had 11 turnovers. But we did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the second half. Our shot selection was much better. And, for the most part, I thought we rebounded better.”

“I keep reading where we haven’t beaten a quality team on the road. Not many teams beat a quality team on the road. Figure that one out.”

“We needed to get over the hump, because I think a lot of our kids maybe kind of needed that. Down the stretch, we missed a whole bunch of free throws. We did that the other night against Temple, missed seven in a row in the last two minutes. It’s just a learning process for us. But we beat a great team. So much tradition here, great crowd. We had to play our best by far on the defensive end to do this, and I think we did.”

(on why he doesn't like coaching against Kevin Ollie, whom he coached with the 76ers for two seasons)

“I marveled at the job he did last year. I don’t think he got any credit for what he did last year. They can’t go anywhere, he takes over for … shoot, I walked on his street (Jim Calhoun Way) … and he kept that group together, playing at a high level.”

“He’s here for the right reasons. A lot of guys that are coaching now aren’t here for the right reasons.”

(on seeing Rip Hamilton before the game)

“I’ve been calling people about signing him, because he’s never been out of shape a day in his life. He’s one of the guys I love, because all of coach Calhoun’s guys are so competitive. Except Emeka (Okafor). Emeka’s just a talent and the greatest guy, fun to be around, but he’s not one of those guys that grew up wanting to play every second of every game. I love being around him, but Rip wants to be great. He’s such a fierce competitor. I can’t believe he’s not playing for somebody. I’m getting on the phone as soon as I leave here.”


“Tough game by us. Coach Brown had those guys ready to play.”

“We outrebounded them, but you can’t shoot 29 percent. I look at my starters, man, a lot of missed shots.”

“You’ve just got to play more solid, on the offensive and defensive end. You’ve got to be a tougher minded team, and we weren’t that today. Larry Brown and SMU have a good group of guys over there. They play hard, and they play together.”

“They’re tough defensively, but you’ve got to move the basketball. We made them even tougher by staying on the first side. But they are tough defensively. They’re long, they’re aggressive. Nic Moore is a tough, heady point guard. They’ve got the bigs back there, and they go 9, 10 deep. And everybody that comes off is long and athletic. They play hard and they know his system. And they trust each other.”

*** Is SMU simply a tough match-up for UConn, for whatever reason?

Ryan Boatright: “Nah, it’s not a tough match-up. We just missed a lot of shots. We make half of those shots that we put up, it’s a whole other game … We make two, three more shots, it’s a whole other game.”

Niels Giffey: “I wouldn’t say that. They are well-coached, they’ve got an NBA coach. It’s a tough question. I don’t think they’re a particularly bad match-up for us, I just think that it kind of shows our weaknesses in this game and the game down there was just a totally different game. We had a bad attitude down there, didn’t approach the game the right way. But I think today, everybody was in the right mindset. We just weren’t able to move the ball and attack the paint the way we wanted.”

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