Kevin Ollie: "There's got to be some changes"
Tough to win conference games against good teams on the road. Tougher when you shoot 8-for-18 from the foul line, play sporadic defense and don't show enough fight until it's a little too late.
That pretty much explains UConn's 66-58 loss at Tulsa Tuesday night. Once again, the Huskies got off to a slow start and had to try to claw back from a deficit. A disturbing trend. On this night, it just wasn't quite enough.
Here's what Kevin Ollie and some players had to say about it all:
How much stock can Ollie take in his team rallying from a 15-point second-half deficit to make it a two-possession game late?
“No stock. No stock. I like how they came back, but you can’t get down by 15 and keep digging that hole. They played hard, but at the end of the day, it’s easy when you’re down by 15. There’s no pressure then. We’ve got to start playing hard, and playing consistent, for 40 minutes. That’s how we’re gonna win games. We didn’t do it. We haven’t done it. We’re gonna have to start, and that starts in Stanford. I’m gonna have to find some guys that are gonna do it.”
(on whether he considered fouling Tulsa down five points with about 55 seconds left)
“I wanted to get one stop. I knew I had a timeout, and if we came down and scored, I would have fouled then.”
“There’s got to be some changes, because we come out and keep seeing the same thing. I don’t know who the changes are gonna be. I’ve got to sit down and assess the tape. There might not be any changes. I’m gonna figure that out with my coaching staff, and we’re gonna go forward.”
(on allowing Tulsa too many drives to the basket)
“We can’t rely on Amida all the time. I thought our guards didn’t do a good job controlling the dribble all night. They were running a simple three-down play that we run, too. Woodard was just coming off and getting wide-open 3’s, getting going. Our defensive principles weren’t up to our standards. Credit them, for making us move our feet. We just didn’t respond tonight the way we have responded on the defensive end. That’s been one of our staples.”
“We have to play at a Level 5, and I thought we were at a Level 3, at best.”
(on the foul shooting)
“There’s no explanation. You’ve got to go up and make free throws. I can’t sit up and make them for you. Lack of concentration, I don’t know. We’re just not making them. One game we make them, one game we don’t make them. I have them shoot free throws over and over again. We’ll try to figure that out. We need to make more free throws to win games. You can’t go 8-for-18. All our losses kind of generate around free throws, missed 3-pointers. You can’t win games in this conference, or win out-of-conference games, by missing 10 shots at the free throw line. Wide-open shots, with nobody around you. We’ve just got to do a better job.”
DANIEL HAMILTON, who had a career-high 16 points and 12 rebounds:
“It’s tough. I think we’ve just got to stop starting off slow. We’ve just got to get off to a better start. We’ve just got to be motivated from the beinning. We play like that from the beginning, the way we played at the end, we most definitely win that game.”
“We’ve just got to put our mind to it, be motivated and have that leadership of just playing tough, getting going from the beginning.”
“If we get out to a good start, it would be hard to beat us.”
“Sometimes I try to make plays that aren’t there. I’ve just got to sometimes back it out and realize that it’s not high school.”
TERRENCE SAMUEL, who scored a career-best 12 points and played hard all night:
“You’d always rather win ... we always come out slow. It showed today. We weren’t able to get the chance to come back today.”
“I feel like we’ve got to prepare better, starting from the day before the game into the hotel, right before we leave. We’ve just got to do certain things differently before the game.”