Monday, January 5, 2015

UConn's chillin' in Florida, looking for a Sunshine State sweep

After practicing at Tampa Prep on Sunday, UConn practiced at the University of Tampa on Monday afternoon (both are a lot closer to the Huskies' downtown hotel than the USF campus). And by the way, the facilities at the University of Tampa are absolutely beautiful and state-of-the-art -- especially considering it's a Division II program.

Of course, the Huskies face USF on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Here's the game capsule, and here's some video and quotes off of today's practice:


(on Amida Brimah's "two" blocked shots vs. Florida)

“I don’t want to get fined or anything, but those stats were not right. I saw where he made three blocks in a row, and they just gave him two (for the game). It is what it is, you can’t go back and change them. But I just want him to continue doing what he’s doing.”

(on Brimah's 10 rebounds)

“That was accurate. Not only 10 rebounds, he was just snatchin’ them. He was snatchin’ ‘em at the rim, they weren’t just falling to him. I think sometimes with Amida, they just fall to him and he gets lucky. But this game, he was going over the rim and grabbing them, being strong, against some big-time players. I was happy to see that. Of course you wanted to see him score a little more, but we have scorers.”

(on USF guard Anthony Collins)

“We know how good a player he is. He doesn’t shoot it outside all the time, but he can just control the game. Very smart, very heady, gets everybody involved. We’re really gonna have to contain him, pressure him.”

(on USF's first-year coach Orlando Antigua)

“He’s putting his stamp on it. I think he’s got three starters back, so it’s kind of hard to put a stamp on it. I know they’re working hard, they’re staying in games. Orlando’s gonna be a great coach, comes from great pedigree, different coaches he’s been under -- especially (John) Calipari. They know how to win. I think he’s gonna get the right players in here, and he’s gonna build a great program.”

(on building team chemistry during this five-day stay in Florida)

“We’ve been together beforehand (in) Puerto Rico ... my main job as a coach is to get them to have team chemistry. Hopefully, we’ll just keep building on it and keep tracing the lines that we’ve already drawn around our team.”

“Nice weather, hanging out in the pool, doing different things like that -- it’s great to see our guys bond like that. Hopefully, it contributes to them bonding on the court, talking more.”

(on not dropping to 0-2 in league play, as UConn did last year)

“It was a helluva climb we had to take upon. We want to win the day, win every day in practice, then come in and win a game. I think we’re getting to that point where we’re winning every day in practice. we’d love to be 1-1 going back up to Connecticut. I hear it’s gonna be like four degrees when we get off the plan, but it’ll be a little warmer being 1-1.”

(on packing it in against the Bulls, who don't shoot well from outside)

“They’re a load down inside, so we want to make sure we control the inside, not give up offensive rebounds, not give up strong positions, fire out on their shooters but understand who are the shooters and who aren’t the shooters. Then we’ve got to rebound the basketball. Just like teams are doing to us, they don’t want to give us layups. They want us to prove it from the outside, and we’re going to have to continue to get better. I know Orlando is getting those guys in positions to make shots. We just don’t want them to have their breakout game against us.”


“We’ve got a good opportunity to get back on track.”

(on Collins)

“He’s a great floor general. Everybody knocks his jump shot, but when he has time to set his feet, he can knock down a 3. He runs his team extremely well, he’s the enine of that team. As long as we can stop him from going off and controlling the whole game, we’ll be in good shape.”

(on what the Huskies have been doing this week)

“Relaxing. I’ve been connected to the ice machine, 24/7. We’ve just been chillin’, man, enjoying the weather, sitting back watching TV, guys playing spades all week. Just chilllin’, relaxin’.”

(on Brimah's 10-rebound game)

“Coach has been on him all year. (After) the Temple game (six rebounds in 29 minutes) he dogged him in the locker room. I knew he was embarrassed. He came back and responded with 10 rebounds. Coach couldn’t even get it out before he said, ‘I had 10 rebounds,’ in the locker room. It was good to see that.”


“The main thing is just getting better, at the end of the day. Winning or losing shouldn’t affect how hard you go. The main thing is just maintaining a level 5.5, and everything else will take care of itself.”

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