Ollie talks Huskies, Bearcats, etc. (video)

UConn coach Kevin Ollie and his Huskies met with the media after practice Wednesday at Gampel Pavilion.

Cincinnati visits the XL Center Thursday night. It will be UConn’s final game in Hartford this season.

Check out the attached video for Ollie’s remarks.

 Some news, notes and quotes from practice:

 -- The post-practice talk dealt with several topics, including bouncing back from a disappointing performance on Saturday.

“It was disappointing because we dropped the ball,” sophomore Ryan Boatright said. “We had played so well against Syracuse and we played so bad (versus Villanova). I feel like we owe ourselves and the fans a better performance.”

-- UConn faces another Big East team with a talented backcourt. Sean Kilpatrick (18.0), Cashmere Wright (13.3) and JaQuon Parker (10.9) lead the Bearcats in scoring.

“Every (Big East) team has got great guards…,” Ollie said. “You can go right down the list. We’re going to have to come in and make sure we contain the dribble and play hard and play with effort and play with the attitude that will allow us to come out on top.”

 -- The backcourt of Boatright and Shabazz Napier will have to play better for the Huskies than they did in Saturday’s loss. They combined for six points and 10 turnovers.

Boatright spent Tuesday watching game film.

“I felt so bad about it I went in there and really, really studied and watched every single play over and over again,” Boatright said.

For more about Boatright’s film session check out my story in Thursday’s paper and on the website.

 -- Napier had an interesting theory about UConn’s rebounding woes against Villanova, which owned a 41-25 edge.

“Last game there was too much pressure to get rebounds,” Napier said. “The whole week was just stressing about rebounds. I felt like there was too much pressure put on all the big guys just to rebound. Too much (pressure) on certain people, it weighs them down and they’re not capable of playing the way they can play because they’re so worried about rebounding.

“We want Tyler (Olander) to score and play good defense but we want him to rebound. But we stressed it too much and it weighed him down a little bit. It weighed DeAndre down a little bit.”

If Napier and Boatright produced offensively, rebounding and turnovers would have never been an issue, according to Napier.

“I just think because me and Boat didn’t play so well offensively, rebounding and turnovers became a big deal.”

 -- UConn has been a terrific free throw shooting team this season. In Big East action, the Huskies are tied for first with Syracuse at 75.3 percent.

“They’re doing a great job concentrating, getting there, and knocking it down, “Ollie said. “That’s how we’ve been overcoming our rebounding issues, knocking down free throws, shooting a good percentage and a low turnover rate.”

Niels Giffey (88 percent), Omar Calhoun (80.0), Napier (78.2) and DeAndre Daniels (75) are the team’s top free throw shooters overall.

-- Reserve Leon Tolksdorf made an unexpected splash by sinking two 3-pointers versus Villanova. Could that lead to more minutes for him on Thursday?

Probably not.

“I don’t go in and say Leon is going to play a set amount of minutes,” Ollie said. “It’s a feel thing. I thought we needed a spark. I brought Leon in and I wanted some effort and he contributed.

“He’s making my drive back (home) to Glastonbury a little more interesting.”

 -- Former Husky Donny Marshall practiced with the team on Wednesday. He wore No. 23, playing the scout team role of Kilpatrick.

 -- For regular updates, follow me on Twitter @GavinKeefe

 

 

 

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Short-handed Huskies prepare for NIT opener

UConn is limping into its NIT opener against Arizona State tomorrow night in Storrs.

NIT selects UConn to 32-team field

   Prior to its impressive American Athletic Conference Championship tournament run, UConn looked more like an NIT than NCAA post-season team.

Post-game breakdown: Tulsa

  UConn associate head coach Glen Miller didn’t plan on getting much sleep on Saturday night.

Pre-game preview: Tulsa

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.

Post-game breakdown: USF

  UConn did what it was supposed to do on Thursday night.

Pre-game preview: Cincinnati

 Two of the American Athletic Conference's biggest rivals will battle tonight in tournament quarterfinal action at the XL Center in Hartford.

AAC honors Hamilton (rookie), Lenehan (scholar-athlete)

  Daniel Hamilton had a long list of people to thank after becoming the sixth UConn player to receive a conference rookie of the year award.

Brimah earns top defender award

  UConn sophomore Amida Brimah was named the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year today.

Three Huskies earn All-AAC honors

  UConn placed three players on All-American Athletic Conference basketball teams.

AAC tournament pairings set

  The pairings are set for American Athletic Conference Championship tournament.

Post-game breakdown: Temple

  The regular season is officially over for UConn.

Pre-game preview: Temple

  UConn is back on the road for its regular season finale.

Post-game breakdown: Memphis

  UConn suffered a crushing 54-53 loss to Memphis Thursday night at Gampel Pavilion, spoiling Senior Night.

Pre-game preview: Memphis

  UConn is finally riding a nice wave of momentum after a bumpy regular season.

Post-game breakdown: SMU

  The Huskies secured a signature victory that they so desperately needed.