Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ryan Boatright "85 percent" for Yale game; Rodney Purvis, Omar Calhoun seem less likely

Some notes, quotes and video from after UConn's practice on Thursday:

Ryan Boatright participated in practice fully for the first time all week. Here he is putting up a few shots:

Will he play tomorrow? Game-time decision.


“I feel like I can play (Friday). But it’s a game-time decision. I want to make the best decision for my health. When I wake up in the morning and it’s super-stiff and I can’t go ... I’m gonna see how I feel around 6 p.m. (Friday).”

“When I woke up the next morning, I anticipated it was gonna be crazy, super-stiff, I couldn’t move. Actually, when I woke up in the morning -- I think it was my mother and my grandmother putting prayers up, because when I got up, I could actually walk. It was better the next day than the night that it happened.”

“We dropped two straight, we can’t afford to drop three. We can’t overlook anybody. We’ve got to take it game-by-game. We can’t look forward to the next game. We’ve got to come out (Friday) and compete. We’re gonna get Yale, get Coppin State ... then we’re gonna go get Duke.”


(on Yale)

“They’re a senior-laden team, and juniors. They’re kind of like our team last year -- experienced guys that have been playing together for a while. I expect a great matchup.”

Ollie said Boatright is "about 85-percent" to play on Friday.

As for Rodney Purvis and Omar Calhoun:

“Rodney limped around in practice today, but he went full-speed. We’re gonna assess all of them (Friday), and it’ll be a game-time decision.”

“Whatever Omar feels like he needs to do to get back on the court and feel 100 percent, I’m just waiting for him to give me that nod. I think the doctor’s already cleared him, it’s just mentally if Omar’s ready to get back on the court. I’m not in Omar’s head.”

Calhoun practiced on Wednesday but didn't go on Thursday.

More Ollie:

“We’ve pretty much got five new starters. Ryan was a starter last year, but he wasn’t our primary ballhandler. Him being in that role is something he’s got to get comfortable with. He’s doing an amazing job.”

(on the team's improved rebounding)

“They’re going after the basketball. Kentan is doing a great job. Daniel at the three-spot is averaging seven rebounds, and I think Boatright is averaging about six. I don’t know what it is with my guards, but they’re rebounding the basketball, starting with Kemba, Shabazz, and now Ryan. They’re getting in there, getting rebounds. We want Amida’s rebound totals to go up, too. Amida can’t play 30 minutes and get two rebounds, three rebounds. He’s gonna have to start rebounding the basketball better, and that’s gonna make us an even more dangerous rebounding team.”

(more on Yale)

“They’ve been there, they’ve been in the grind, they know how to play, they’ve been running their system for four years. They understand what they have to do on a day-to-day basis. Duren is a great point guard, they slot him over to the two-guard. He can play off the basketball, he’s got a great handle and a great shot. And Sears is just a monster. We remember him from last year. He really dominated us inside, then he stepped out. Coach Jones puts both players in a good spot to succeed. That’s what a good coach does.”

(on if he's surprised that Boatright is back so quickly)

“I’m not surprised about that. I can hardly take Ryan out of practice. That’s not a guy I think is gonna have an injury that lingers on. He’s gonna get out here and play. It’s his last year, he’s pretty much given everything he can give to this program. Ryan isn’t gonna sit out. I’m gonna have to drag him out of here to get him to not play in games.”

(on Boatright having never missed a practice before this week)

"That’s just amazing, for him, going so hard ... we ask him to do so much. He does a great job of getting his body ready. That’s what a professional does.”


“I’m feeling alright. I just feel like I can’t catch a break. I started off practice today and busted my nose. I’m just staying strong through it all. I’ll be back soon. I’m gonna try to give my ankle a try tomorrow. It felt good in practice today. We’ll see how I wake up and feel in the morning.”

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