Tuesday, January 6, 2015

UConn gets nice bench contributions in win over South Florida

Pretty nondescript game for UConn. A win is a win is a win. Good production off the bench, with Rakim Lubin and Sam Cassell, Jr. making some rare contributions, along with Omar Calhoun and Terrence Samuel.

Some video and quotes:


(on production from Lubin, Cassell)

“They haven’t even been getting in the game. I want them to be ready. I keep telling the guys to stay on-call, because you never know when your name is gonna get announced.”

“Rock’s been doing a fabulous job in practice, his talking, his staying engaged. Sam’s been doing the same thing, and Omar’s been coming along. It’s good to have a bench that’s deep and can come in and give us a lift. That’s what we needed in the second half. It was like we were sleep-walking out there in the first half, couldn’t make a shot. When I inserted those guys, the rhythm of the game picked up. I think it really bodes well for us in the future.”

“It was definitely a business trip for us. Now, we’ve got to come back and continue to move forward.”

“Our guards gotta do a better job of containing the ball, because we can’t keep relying on Amida back there.”

(more on Lubin)

“I mean, I haven’t played him. I see it in practice, where he’s talking and just staying engaged. Kentan went through it last year, where you’re not playing, you can get down on yourself. I see Rock continuing to work, continuing to talk to his teammates and not get down and be on-call. It gives you the trust that I can assert him when I need him. He’s not getting down on himself or pointing the finger at anybody. He’s just looking in the mirror, saying, ‘What can I do to help this team?’ To help this team now is to be in practice and push Kentan and Amida, and also push yourself. I was very proud of him coming in and giving us that lift the way he did.”


“It felt good to be home, that’s all.”

“I definitely felt like we needed a lift. We needed to pick things up intensity-wise and toughness-wise. I had to get in there, get a few boards and stuf like that.”

(on not playing at all the previous two games)

“It’s pretty difficult, but whatever it takes for the team to win. If KO wants me to sit on the bench or play 20-30 minutes, I’ll do what it takes.”

(on his jump shot late in the first half)

“I have no problem. Wide-open jumpers like that, I’ll take that. That’s what Coach wants, he wants us to play. Wide-open jumpers, you’ve got to take them.”

“It’s basketball. When you get out there, you’re still here to play basketball. You’ve just got to stay ready.”


“I’ve always been telling Sam, ‘Stay ready.’ I sit next to him on the bench before the game starts. We tell each other, we’ve got to prove ourselves off the bench and help the guys out. I’m just glad to see him come out and finally hit a shot, especiall an and-one.”

“We’re just playing more confident, each and every one of us. Omar, he’s coming along, he’s playing with so much confidence right now. Sam, you just tell him to stay with it. We’ve just got to produce off the bench.”


(on the bench players)

“They came in and did what they’re supposed to do. We came out flat, they came in and changed the game. They played hard, they picked up on the defensive end and changed the whole tempo.”

(on well-balanced effort)

“It had to be. They did a great job doubling me. I’m hurt, so I can’t really be the player I am. We needed guys to step up. They came in and took care of their minutes.”

“I was glad we were winning by that much, I didn’t have to play that much at the end.”

“We live off the defensive end. I don’t think we’re as talented scoring on the offensive end, so we’ve got to pride ourselves on the defensive end.”

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