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Junior Shabazz Napier and newcomer R.J. Evans had two different perspectives on UConn cracking the Associated Press top 25 poll on Monday.
Let's start with Napier.
Napier has played on a national championship team and been on ranked teams before.
So he took a ho-hum approach to UConn going from not receiving a vote to entering the poll at No. 23 after shocking No. 14 Michigan State on Friday in the Armed Forces Classic in Germany.
"As a junior, that number means nothing to me," Napier said.
Napier added that he looked at the rankings differently as a freshman.
Take Evans, a Norwich Free Academy graduate from Salem.
Evans spent four years at Holy Cross where rankings were as foreign as the Russian language.
In his first year with the Huskies, Evans is clearly excited about being on the 23rd-ranked team.
"I've never been ranked before, so it feels good to me," Evans said. "It probably doesn't feel any different to these guys.
"It's good. It shows that people are watching us and they liked how we played. … As any basketball player, we want to climb the rankings now. We want to get higher."
First-year coach Kevin Ollie had this to say about the ranking:
"We're just going to be UConn…," Ollie said. "Whatever position we're going to be in, that's the position. We can't control that. We can't control not being in the top 25… It really doesn't matter to me. We want to go out and play UConn basketball."
It is the first time UConn resided in the top 25 since Jan. 23, 2012.
The ranking just might give Vermont, UConn's opponent in tonight's regular season home opener at Gampel Pavilion, an extra bit of motivation to try to pull off an upset.
Not that the Catamounts needed it.
-- Check out attached video of Ollie's post-practice press conference.
Today’s American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal doubleheader is underway here at the XL Center in Hartford. A crowd in the 12,000-13,000 range is expected for the UConn-Tulsa game. Tip-off time is 5 p.m.