Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's Senior Night on Thursday for Ryan Boatright, Pat Lenehan

Barring any NIT games, Thursday night will be the final game at Gampel for seniors Ryan Boatright and Pat Lenehan. (Also walk-on Dan Guest and managers Nicholas Blanco and Colin Oehrle).

UConn will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of Gampel at halftime. A few players from that team are expected to be there. Also, Senior Night festivities can be streamed through this site.

Obviously, Boatright and Lenehan have had divergent paths over their respective UConn careers. But for very different reasons, both have made their mark on the program. Here's what some of what they (and Kevin Ollie) had to say on Wednesday:


“It’s definitely been fast. There’s been a lot of traveling. We’re trying to play our best basketball right now. Hopefully, we can leave Gampel with a great win (Thursday) night and give the fans their money’s worth, because they’ve really given us a lot of satisfaction this year.”

(on Boatright's legacy)

“Just staying with it, never giving in. There were a couple of opportunities where he could have given up, bailed out on the program. But he stayed committed, and it was a beautiful thing to see him mature. His body language, what he was telling himself, his leadership qualities. He was always a leader, but it’s the way you go about being a leader. I think he’s really changed his ways, changed his mindset from the first day he came into Storrs until now. I think he’s got a great future ahead of him. I thank him and his family for letting me be a part of it my four years with him.”

(where Boatright ranks in UConn's pantheon of guards)

“I don’t compare guards. I don’t think another guard has been through as many ups and downs as he has. To stick with it really puts him up there with the best of them. I’m not gonna compare, but he’s done some things that he and only Shabazz ... have accomplished. Really just give him a lot of praise for sticking with us, especially when everybody was saying the program was on the brink. He and Shabazz and that crew we had two years ago, I really thank them for believing in me as a coach.”

(on Lenehan, and junior Nnamdi Amilo, balancing books with basketball. Lenehan was accepted to Harvard Medical School on Tuesday, and he's already been accepted at Johns Hopkins, Duke and Columbia)

“To do that, that’s just hard work, dedication, touching the lines on the court and off the court. They’ve meant so much to this program. Just being a selfless worker, relentless.”

“It is a lot to juggle, but I think it lets him get his mind off it, too. I know he stays up pretty late, doing whatever he’s doing. I can’t pronounce some of the things he’s doing. I know he’s getting it (done) ... He’s gonna do some great things outside of basketball, but it’s been great to have him a part of our program for four years.”

“They’ll do whatever the players want. They make sacrifices. That’s what our program is built on -- sacrifices. And those guys are right on the top of the list.”

(on how to beat Memphis)

“Get back on transition. They got, like, five or six dunks. They were flexing their muscles on us. We’ve got to get back on defense, stop Crawford and those guys from getting easy buckets. They

“They did a nice number on us. We’ve got to be ready for a great challenge. Nichols might not play, but they’ve got some great players coming in off the bench.”

“They’re a desperate team, and we’re a real, real, real desperate team. We’re gonn ahave to play like that from the tap.”

(on reminding his team how desperate it is)

“I don’t have to tell them, they already know. We don’t have to tell them that. If we have to tell them that right now, we might as well not show up.”

“Every game is different. To beat SMU, to beat ECU at their place, it’s been a tough place ... I really like our consistency on both ends. We played probably our (most complete) game against SMU, on the offensive and defensive end. Scoring 84 points agianst that team is quite a feat. I respect them so much, their defensive prowess.”


“Four years flew by so fast, man. I’ve learned so much up here, it’s surreal that tomorrow’s the last Gampel game.”

(on UConn, Gampel)

“Unbelievable place, best place I’ve ever played in my career. The fans, the support of the state of Connecticut, and just playing for KO. That’ll definitely be missed, also.”

(on how he's improved)

“Definitely, so many areas: the game of basketball and, more importantly, as a person. I’ve grown so much, I’ve matured so much, I’ve learned so much. I’m a totally different person than when I got here when I was 18.”

(on hardships he's been through)

“Everything happens for a reason. That was the road and the plan that God had. It worked out for me, and I’ve just walked in his faith. I’m glad I ended up here. It’s been a hell of a career.”

“It’s just made me stronger. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’ve been through a lot, I’ve just grown from everything that I’ve been through. It’s just made me stronger.”

“This will always be my second home. I’ll always be a part of the UConn family, and they’ll always be a part of me.”

(on his mom, Tanesha, who'll be at the game)

“She’s gonna be bawling. She’s a crybaby.”

(on Lenehan)

“Pat’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever met as a person. I’m glad that he was a part of our program and a part of the team. He’s an unbelievable teammate, even better person. He made us better every day. Congratulations to Pat with medical school, everything he’s got going on. I wish him the best of luck.”


“It’s hard when you’re looking from the outside in, to see what you have to do as a student-athlete, playing for a school like this. Especially this year, with the way we travel. It’s not easy. We miss classes, it’s not easy to get work done when you’re flying somewhere or on the road. You really have to be on top of your game all the time. I’m not saying it’s an excuse that we don’t get stuff done, but you really do need to have very efficient time management, in order to get done things other students get done here.”

(career highlight)

“Definitely being with the team for the national championship last year. That was just a dream come true.”

(toughest guy he faced in practice)

"Probably Shabazz. I didn’t have to guard him too much. But when I did have to guard him, I never guarded anyone like him. Obviously, he’s an unreal player.”

“It’s not easy. I’m not saying that it’s harder than being a real player. But we have to come out here every day, we’ll play defense some days for an hour straight. It’s tiring, we don’t have many subs, we don’t go through two rotations like they do. It can be tough, but the bottom line is, all of us as walk-ons, we recognize that it’s a privalege to be out here. We just have to suck it up and work through it if it’s hard.”

(on receiving a scholarship)

“It was nice, a recognition for the work that me and Nnamdi put in last year, and me the year before that. At the end of the day, it was really generous for Coach Ollie and the UConn program to do that for us. But at the same time, it didn’t change my role at all, didn’t change my mentality.”

(no plans set in stone, waiting to hear from Yale, Penn, will soon make some re-visits)

“This is the first time I actually feel like I’m being recruited for something.”

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe some fine nba teem could take anticoach to beez scout

March 6, 2015 at 9:37 AM 

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