Jan. 8, 2014
January 8, 2014
UConn vs. Harvard
UConn Head Coach Kevin Ollie
It wasn't a big time offensive game, but I've very excited. I'm happy for my team. We just grinded it out. We couldn't make a shot, but we stuck together, and we were connected.
We gave up a couple of bad possessions the last part of the game, and they just stayed together. That last stop is what UConn basketball is all about. We gutted that one out and I'm proud of my guys.
Our recovery is getting better. Down in Houston, we couldn't recover in a couple of instances, but we recovered tonight. Every run they had, every three-pointer they had, we challenged them and we played our type of basketball.
Defense wins, guys. When we can hold a team to 35 percent - including giving up four or five baskets at the end - that's a good percentage. I'll bet on UConn any day when we have a team shooting that bad.
It wasn't the best offensive game, but that doesn't matter. We got a win. Now we're focused on UCF and we're going to try to get our first American win. We will if we play like this.
That's a hard team to guard, because they make you play, most of the time, 35 seconds....It's exactly what we needed. This team is going to test your discipline. We wanted to be competitive, but we also wanted to stay in our principles. If you're going to play a team that challenges you in those areas, this is the team...They've got some big time basketball players over there.
On Amida Brimah
We've got to keep Amida out of foul trouble. If we can get that under control.... The Big Fella is working. Every day he comes to work. Every day he has enthusiasm, energy, and he just wants to get better.
On DeAndre Daniels
Those rebounds were crucial for us because they allowed us to get out on the break and kind of stop the bleeding....DeAndre has to be a big rebounder for us. Eight rebounds should be his minimum. That should be his minimum when he's playing 31 minutes. He can do it once he focuses on it.
Junior guard Ryan Boatright
I think we came out and were thinking too much and weren't playing the way we're accustomed to playing. We came out a little sluggish again and they came out and they were ready to play. They wanted to beat us. Once we went back in the locker room, we knew we had taken their best punch and we had to come out with a whole other demeanor. And that's what we did from the jump.
Was it a must win?
That was definitely a must win. If we had lost 3 straight it would have been terrible for us. That win gives us our confidence back, our swagger back, and puts us on the positive end of things.
On the close end to the game
You have to play all the way to the end. Myself, I missed three bottom ends of the 1-and-1s. I think DeAndre missed a free throw, and we weren't really playing any defense from the get go. They were just coming down and getting straight to the basket. We had to stay together and figure out a way to close out that game.
Senior guard Shabazz Napier
On making key three-pointers at the end of the game I felt like the first three-pointer I made was a slightly open shot. I felt good taking the shot. The second one was down on the clock and I felt like if I gave him a hard step I was going to be open. I was fortunate enough to be given a lot of space. I tried to knock it down and I made it.
On Harvard not having Wesley Saunders
We played against Houston and they didn't have 3 of their starters, so we didn't think it was going to be an easy task. We knew they were going to play as tough as they possible can and they definitely did that.
Was it a must win?
Of course, but we really just needed to get back on track in the sense of playing the way we usually play. ...We played like we had too much on our shoulders.
On the last possession of the game
We told each other all we had to make was one stop to win the game. We switched on the ball screens and just stayed close to the 3 point shooters and didn't give them anything.
Junior forward DeAndre Daniels
In the second half our scoring and our defense got even better inside the paint.
It was a must win for us. We took two losses in conference play, so we needed this win very bad.
I think the offense will come. We just have to keep moving the ball. We need to stay in our offense and let it come to us. I think that's what we did in the second half.
On the last play of the game
Our main goal was to not let anyone get an easy, open look at the 3-point line, not to foul if somebody shoots a three-pointer and to switch everything. And I think Ryan Boatright got the tip and that's what won us the game.
UConn guard Lasan Kromah
That's what we expect ourselves to do - to really play hard on defense, to score and to come out with the win. We're not going to act like we haven't been there before. We really came out to be consistent and to keep building on it during the season.
Are you feeling more comfortable in your role?
I'm definitely feeling more comfortable. I've had a chance to be out there more, showcase what I can do and really help the team out in more areas - rebounds, assists, and everything.