Rodney Purvis: "Whoever's hot that night, we've got to feed him the basketball"
As for UConn ...
Houston may be 0-8 in the American Conference, but UConn isn't about to take the Cougars lightly. Not after New Year's Eve a little over a year ago. And not with a starting five that Kevin Ollie calls "probably up there with the most talented five in the conference."
Here's some of what Ollie, Rodney Purvis and Kentan Facey had to say from the team hotel on Saturday afternoon, after the Huskies practiced at the Toyota Center, the Houston Rockets' home arena. Particularly interesting what Purvis said when asked if the team needs to find a "second scorer" to compliment Ryan Boatright.
“I don’t know, I just feel like honestly, that last game was tough for anybody to score a basket, if you want to say it like that, as far as the second scorer or whatever. Looking at the stats, Ryan had zero in the first half, I had two, I think Omar (Calhoun) had two. They guarded us really well. Our offense as a team was really not that good ... This is a team sport. There’s no second scorer, first scorer or anything like that. Ryan can’t go out there and win a game by himself, I can’t go out there and win a game by myself. Nobody on our team can go out and win a game by themselves. It’s a team effort.”
"Whoever's hot that night, we've got to feed him the basketball."
(On what Ollie's been preaching in practice the last couple of days)
“A little bit of everything. The main thing is coming out early, being physical and hitting somebody. That’s what he’s been preaching the last couple of games. Delivering the first blow.”
“Some people just aren’t naturally physical or rough, so you’ve got to help them. We’re trying to make it a team thing, so all of us can be on the same page, same the share level of physicality. That’s it, really.”
“Lack of consistency, really. We’ve all got to stay consistent. Do things that will help our team, and just play the right way, make the right plays, give up yoursel for your teammates, play unselfish. And hit somebody. If we deliver the first blow, I think we’ll be fine.”
(on how the last couple of practices have gone)
“Pretty good. But you’ve got to transfer it over to the game. That’s where we want to get better connected with that. Hopefully, we can start that (Sunday) afternoon.”
(on what he saw about his team's effort against Cincinnati on the game film)
“It wasn’t at a Level 5. So, we’ve got to get better at that. We’ve got to get to a Level 5 for us to compete in games and win in games. When you start the game off and you have five straight tunrovers, you give up three offensive rebounds, it’s not even a game yet until you start establishing your presence. That’s when it turns into a game. We didn’t do that. That’s got to change.”
“We’re not looking at their record. They’ve been in a lot of games. They’re getting better each and every day.”
“They have a lot of plays. They draw plays that you’ve never seen. (Kelvin Sampson's) got probably 100 plays that we’ve been looking at. You can’t go over all 100 of them, you’ve got to stick with your principles.”
“Their starting five is probably up there with the most talented five we have in our conference. They’re not deep on their bench, so that’s one thing we’re gonna try to get into that bench. But that starting five is gonna pose a lot of challenges.”
“I think he’s gonna be a great coach. He’s already been proven, every stop he’s been at -- NBA experience. I think he’s gonna give a wealth of knowledge to his guys, coaching them on and off the basketball court. Being prepared for life, I think that’s what he brings that’s most important.”