Friday, January 2, 2015

Ryan Boatright: 'If I'm not able to be 'Boat' ... there's no reason to be out there"

Ryan Boatright spent the bulk of his New Year's Eve in his apartment with ... trainer James Doran.

Doran gave Boatright some extensive treatment after Boatright had suffered a deep thigh contusion in an overtime loss to Temple earlier in the day. In fact, he was almost there long enough to watch the New Year's Eve ball drop in Time Square with the senior guard.

Boatright's had some extensive rehab -- treadmills, etc. -- over the last couple of days, but hasn't practiced. The thought process is why risk anything in practice, just try go see if he can go in the game.

Right now, that looks like about a 50/50 proposition.


“I’m pretty banged up still. I’ve been getting better each day, and that’s all we can really ask for. It’s a quick turnaround, but I’m getting better every day. Rehab is helping.”

“I’ve been kneed there plenty of times in my career. I thought it was just a regular knee to the thigh. Then I was trying to stretch it out and I felt it tightening up faster than normal. At halftime, James was doing whatever he was doing, I said, ‘I’ma try to go.’ Then the first play of the second half, it was like, ‘No.’”

“My intentions are to be the best I can to play, to be out there. But, it’ll be a game time decision. I feel when I wake up, try to warm it up, stuff like that, get out there and get some shots and stuff. If I’m not able to be ‘Boat’ and be out there and put the ball in the hole, there’s no reason to be out there just to break the press.”

“The player I am, it’s just hard to tell by doing stuff like that. I’ve got to jump and plant and do all types of quick movements, versus just running steady on a treadmill.”

“It’s pretty bad. It’s a bad contusion. I’ve been kneed there plenty of times in my career, but this is the worst I’ve had.”

Asked if he'd play Boatright if he were only, say, 50 percent, Kevin Ollie responded: “I won’t play him if he’s 50 percent. But I think he’s gonna be better than that. I want his mentality to be there ... and physically, that he can jump and be explosive, like he can be. He can do his pull-ups, but if he has any limitations with that, it’s probably not worth it to put him out there. Maybe that contusion turns into something that’s gonna linger throughout the season. If he’s at 50 percent, definitely not. But if he’s 65-70 percent and he’s still got a little doubt in his mind, then I’ll listen to Boat. Because I trust him. It’s hard to take him out of games, because I know he’s not that he doesn’t want to compete. He wants to compete every time he puts that UConn jersey on, if he’s allowed to do that.”

If Boatright can't go, sophomore Terrence Samuel will have a much bigger role:

“I’ve got to run the offense better and be more vocal," Samuel said. "I’ve got to be a leader. I didn’t do that last game, so I kind of personally took it on myself. I’ve just tried to focus on that in practice, being more vocal and leading the team.”

More Ollie:

(on Daniel Hamilton)

“He bounced right back. I know it was difficult for him missing those free throws, but, it happens. If you play basketball enough, you’re gonna be in those situations. We want him to respond with courage, and I think he did that. He’s a tough young kid, and he’s gonna bounce back from it and get better from it.”

“We need another scorer. We need Rodney to play the way we know Rodney can play. It definitely opens some things up for Boat. Daniel’s in a spot where he’s trying to make every play. That’s a tough spot for a freshman. We need somebody to take the load off of him.”

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