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Will Boatright play against Temple?

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published January 20. 2014 4:00PM   Updated January 20. 2014 4:56PM

UConn may be without starting guard Ryan Boatright for Tuesday's game against Temple.

Boatright has been home in Aurora,Ill., since Sunday. His family is mourning the death of Boatright's cousin, Arin Williams, who was shot last week in Boatright's hometown.

Coach Kevin Ollie said Monday there's a 50-50 chance that Boatright, the team's third leading scorer at 12.3 points per game, will return in time for the American Athletic Conference game at the XL Center.

"When he left, he said he wasn't going to be back," Ollie said. "But then we talked and he might be back, so it's a 50-50 decision. I'm planning on him not being back."

Boatright has appeared in more consecutive games (63) than any UConn player on the roster. He's tied with junior DeAndre Daniels with 48 straight starts.

The absence of Boatright could mean increased playing time for freshman Terrence Samuel, who's seen limited action in 10 games. Graduate student Lasan Kromah, a 6-foot-6 swingman, also may spend more time in the backcourt. Sophomore Omar Calhoun is another option.

And, of course, senior Shabazz Napier will log his usual marathon minutes. Napier was named to the AAC weekly honor roll.

-- Ollie also had a few interesting things to say about his ejection in the second half of Saturday's loss to No. 18 Louisville at Gampel Pavilion.

He said that he hasn't heard from any of his mentors. Former coach Jim Calhoun attended the game but left at halftime to prepare for a family vacation.

"Jim's in Cabo," Ollie said. "He's on the golf course, hitting golf balls. I will hear from him. I know he's seen the incident. But let him be on vacation and when he gets back we'll have our usual talk."

But someone important did call Ollie about his sideline behavior. Ollie got upset when senior Niels Giffey drew contact while firing up a 3-pointer but didn't get a call.

"I heard from my mother," Ollie said. "She said calm down a little bit. That's the best mentor of all."

Ollie appreciated director of basketball operations Kevin Freeman playing the role of peacemaker. Freeman escorted Ollie to the locker room.

"He just stopped me," Ollie said. "And he did his job. I wasn't going to punch anybody. I just wanted to get my money's worth. Kevin did a good job restraining me so I didn't overreact, which I did a little bit when I ran down the baseline.

"Hopefully we can move on and (referee Michael) Stuart can move on from the decision from the game and we can all be better for it."

Ollie added: "That's still a foul."

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