Ollie, Huskies react to Newtown tragedy, etc. (video)

Basketball took a backseat on Sunday.

The Huskies spoke about the Newtown tragedy after practice in Storrs.

"It's a horrific crime," coach Kevin Ollie said. "It's unspeakable what happened down there. Our hearts go out to them."

Check out the attached video of Ollie's post-practice comments.

There will be a moment of silence prior to Monday night's game against Maryland Eastern Shore at the XL Center in Hartford. UConn is asking fans to be in their seats by 6:50 p.m.

Each game jersey will have a special patch featuring a rectangle with a green background, a black outline and the letter "SH" in white. Sandy Hook Elementary School colors are green and white.

Other bench personnel will wear green and white ribbons. 

"We're going to show our respect to the community," junior Tyler Olander said Sunday. "I think we're going to wear a patch in honor of Newtown, the boys and girls, women, and all the families that are impacted by this. We're going to show our support any way possible."

The Huskies attended a candlelight vigil on Sunday night in Mansfield.

Some other reaction and news from practice on Sunday:

-- Junior Shabazz Napier grew up in the Boston area. He remembers children dying because of gun violence.

"My hopes and prayers go out to the family…," Napier said. "I just want people to understand life is too short. Sadly, that's an example for it. I still feel like I'm dreaming. I really don't believe it's true. It's just a shock."

-- Focusing on basketball will be tough to do, according to Napier and Olander.

"It is difficult," Olander said. "Basketball is just a game.

"There's so much more in life. I have little cousins, family members, and a nephew. Just the thought at such a young age they could be taken away at any moment, it's just great than basketball. So you really have to take time to think about all what's going on.

"But, at the same time, we do have to play a game."

-- In basketball news, Ollie talked the deteriorating Big East and Saturday's announcement that the seven catholic schools –Providence, DePaul, Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's and Marquette – are leaving the conference.

"We've got a great president and we've got a great AD and I know they're working feverishly to get us in the right situation for our program to be the best….," Ollie said. "We're going forward and trying to do what's best for our university.

"You can't blame them. We will miss them. But we have to figure out what we're going to do and I think we're going to do that soon.

Ollie said this is not the time to hold a pity party. UConn has to be prepared for the next step.

When asked what he tells recruits, he said: "You tell recruits that we're a great university. Our brand is still strong. We're going to keep going forward. We've got a great president. We've got a great AD and we've got some great players. And we've got a terrific coaching staff."

Then Ollie laughed about the coaching staff remark.

"Scratch that," he added.

Ollie, who has a seven month contract, also is telling recruit that he plans to be at UConn "for a lifetime."

"That's the only thing I can say because that's what I believe. … It's not all up to me. But it is up to me to have these guys ready to play and have our recruits believe that."

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