Two different perspectives (Napier, Evans) on UConn's ranking, plus video

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.

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Post-game breakdown: Bryant University

Here’s your post-game breakdown of UConn’s 66-53 season-opening victory over Bryant University:

Pre-game preview: Bryant University

College basketball season is finally here.

Purvis suspended for season opener

Redshirt sophomore Rodney Purvis has been suspended for UConn's season opener against Bryant University on Friday.

Ollie talks about his concerns and team's progress

UConn coach Kevin Ollie talked about the state of the Huskies during a Puerto Rico Tip-Off conference call on Wednesday morning.

Notes, quotes and observations from exhibition opener

Some notes, quotes and observations from UConn’s exhibition opener:

Pre-UConn exhibition news, starting lineup

UConn's starting lineup for tonight's men's basketball exhibition opener is out.

Boatright, Brimah, Hamilton earn AAC preseason honors

 UConn’s status as defending national champion apparently carries some weight.

Calhoun suffers knee injury

UConn junior Omar Calhoun suffered an injury to his right knee during practice on Sunday.

A Champions Center dedication and celebration

Before First Night festivities started today, UConn dedicated its $39 million basketball facility located next to Gampel Pavilion.

Calhoun talks about his documentary, ESPN contract, etc.

Jim Calhoun may be retired from coaching.But he'll never entirely leave the spotlight.

Enoch commits to UConn

UConn received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-10 power forward Steven Enoch of Norwalk on Saturday night.

Calhoun to join ESPN as analyst

Jim Calhoun has never been at a loss for words.That's a good thing when you're a television anaylst.

Ready, set, travel

UConn's toughest opponent this season may be jet lag.The defending national champions will be traveling all over the country.