Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kevin Ollie: 'It's a talented group. I'm not gonna lie to you guys.'

A few UConn notes to get you through your weekend:

*** Kevin Ollie has been contacted by several NBA teams regarding Ryan Boatright.

"Boat is gonna create his own chance," said Ollie. "And if they're not gonna open the door, he's gonna kick it down."

"I want him to look at what team fits him the best. That's what I want him to look at, not just the guaranteed money."

*** Ollie doesn't think it'll be a challenge meshing all the new players together this season.

"I'd have a little more trepidation if we didn't have some talented players down there and I'm trying to piece things together. This group is very, very talented."

"It's a talented group. I'm not gonna sit here and lie to you guys."

*** Shonn Miller is a "rebounding magnet ... very cerebral, able to pick up on things quickly."
UConn's new guard, Sterling Gibbs, meets the media

*** Sterling Gibbs is "just a basketball player. He plays at a pace you can't get him out of, which is something I love."

"He's not a Ricky Moore, as far as pushing the ball. But he's also a very smart player throwing the ball ahead."

*** Sam Cassell is going to see a doctor on Tuesday, hoping to get a clean bill of health and can start playing the following week. He's been doing just about everything except full-out basketball in recent weeks.

*** Amida Brimah needs to "eliminate some of those foolish mistakes that he did. Some of them were trying to take charges, or illegal screens 35 feet from the basket ... It happens, but I think it happened too much for him. Freshman, sophomore year, I'll lay off, but junior year, you've got to eliminate some of those mistakes and stay on the court. I think he's heard that a lot from me, he's aggravated from me saying that -- which is a good thing."

Brimah is up to 233 pounds now, and the Huskies would like him to get to about 235-240 by October.

He will also be one of the team's captains for a second straight year. Ollie will look for one or two more players to join him as captain.

*** Omar Calhoun is out with a toe injury. He's currently sporting a boot and hasn't been able to train with the coaching staff.

*** Ollie on Terrence Samuel, Rakim Lubin transferring: "Sooner or later, it's gonna happen. They felt they had a better situation playing a little more in another program."

"I thought Terrence played a lot of minutes. I stuck with him, but he stuck with me, too. He allowed us to win a championship. He played a pivotal role. You hate to see him go, because that team was something special to me. Not because we won the national championship, but that year prior, to stick by me in the lean times, I've got a special place in my heart for that team."

*** On AAC: "I think the only significant player that left our conference is Boat ... Everybody's back. That's why I think it's gonna be a great league."

"We've got to continue to schedule out-of-conference games. A lot of our AD's and programs in the bottom half have got to start getting some guarantee games also, so they can start getting wins. We talked about that a lot in our conference meetings. That's what they're looking for -- the strength of the whole conference, and not just the top four teams."

*** Ollie on UConn's own schedule: "Early on, we're gonna really be tested and see what this team is made out of. Which is good."

*** It's still to be determined whether Nnamdi Amilo will be back on scholarship this season.

"A 7-footer might parachute in," Ollie joked. "But if we don't have that, I'm definitely gonna put him on scholarship."

*** Ollie on Terry Larrier: "Wow. Ooooooh, he is so good. Man, he is fantastic. He's long, he's athletic, he can shoot the ball, runs the court, great person to be around. His teammates love him."

Larrier is already best friends with Daniel Hamilton. But they go at it hard on the court.

"That's a nice little competition right there," said Ollie. "That's big-time right there."

*** Ollie on recruiting: "I think we've done some good things. We're not Kentucky. People want us to be Kentucky. We're not gonna just get all the All-Americans. We have to continue to establish relationships and pick the right people ... I think we've got some nice momentum. A lot of people didn't know what we were doing, and that's a good thing. I do like to move under the radar and surprise some people. A lot of people maybe were disappointing with not getting Diamond (Stone) and not getting such-and-such, but as a coaching staff, we have to have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D to get things done."

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Blogger Neal Ward said...

I think you did just fine and I am excited for 2016. Got a feeling team is going to very very special. Historic? Stay tuned.

June 28, 2015 at 10:12 AM 
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