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Postgame Quotes

Jan. 14, 2013

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January 14, 2013
Connecticut vs. Louisville
Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie

It was a game of runs.  They came out in second half - I don't know what Pitino said to them, but he must have said something.  They played very, very hard in the second half.  They took it to us.  They shot 60 percent in the second half.  There were a lot of layups.  We didn't get back on defense.  We didn't play with the force that we were playing with in the first half, with the intensity we were playing with on the defensive end.  They did a really good job.  Pitino is a great coach.  He had them come out and play like Louisville is supposed to play.  They pressed us, we gave up the basketball - we had 10 turnovers in the second half.  We didn't handle their pressure. 

We have to go back as a coaching staff and reassess this and come back and get ready to play, going down to Pittsburgh.  That's going to be another tough team. 

We're going to get better.  I want to praise Louisville, they came out with a great effort.  But our guys didn't respond when they came out and had that run. 

Most of the time our guards take the challenge.  In the second half, man to man, we didn't take the challenge. 

We've just got to focus in on what we have to do.  We have to make shots.  In those types of games, you can't draw it, you've got to make plays.  They're flying all over the place.  We do have the guards to make plays but, unfortunately, we didn't make enough tonight. 

Give credit to Louisville.  They're a great team and they deserve to be number one.  They've got talent, they play hard, they play together, whoever is open they get the ball to him.  And then they have two amazing guards.  Siva and Russ are two damn good guards, and they put pressure on our offense and our defensive side the whole night.

The crowd was wonderful the first half.  They got behind us even the whole game.  I kind of disappointed we couldn't give them a win because they were so great out there giving us that lift that we needed.

On Louisville's press

They do a great job.  They try to get the ball in the wrong person's hand and make that person dribble and make plays.  They took it out of our two guards' hands and we didn't do a good job responding.  We had some careless turnovers that led to fast break points for them.  And they converted. 

On Dieng

It's a great luxury when you've got Dieng back there at the rim.  So when we did get some penetration, he was there to clog things up and be at the rim.

On Smith

Our guards have got to play better....The help was there, but sometimes he just discarded the help.  He's a great player.  We tried to corral him, we tried to do some different things.  We went to zone, I think that slowed him down a little bit...He gets it off the backboard and he's flying. 

UConn Player Quotes

Shabazz Napier

I think in the first half we came out with a game plan; we kind of executed it well.  In the second half, we got away from it.  I think Louisville played us much better in the second half. We weren't able to get to the middle of the zone where we were creating our offense most of the time.

We gave up the lead and they just ran with it.

I had to do my best to keep my composure. As a leader, the team is looking at me for a little comfort.  I wasn't able to give them too much.

On Peyton Siva and Russ Smith

Both of their guards are so electric and fast.  Peyton is so good off the pick-and-roll. He's kind of hard to guard coming off the pick-and-roll.  Russ got open shots for Chane [Behanan].  In the second half, we didn't play as well as we should have.

Omar Calhoun

They have a great coach.  He did a good job of getting those guys going, coming out strong in the second half.

I knew I had to step up today to give us a chance to win.

On Louisville's defense

They're strong and quick.  They're always moving and active.  They move like they're on a string.  You always have to be aware and watch what you're doing playing against them.

We were just struggling.  They did a good job defensively, moving and keeping us from getting to different areas we wanted to get to on the court.

[In the second half], they just started going a little harder, moving a little quicker.  They definitely picked up the energy. We just weren't fighting as hard as we should have been.

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

We are real excited to get a road victory because Connecticut has certainly been playing great basketball indicative of snapping the Notre Dame streak.  We did a good job of weathering a Peyton Siva storm with him out.  Once he came back and we weathered that storm, we played much better defense and much better offense.

On holding UConn without a field goal for 9 minutes in 2nd half

Our goal was to limit them to one shot and not let Napier and Boatright have good looks.  We found that in the last 10 minutes of play 82% of their shots come from Napier and Boatright.  So in the end, we wanted to make sure they didn't beat us.

You played a great schedule so you're very deserving of that.  Why don't you hold on to that for a little while.  It's going to leave you, but you're going to play for it at the end which is the most important thing.  So, hold onto it for a while.  Louisville, with it's great tradition - one of the top 7 traditions in all of college basketball, has never been number 1 in the regular season.  I was blown away by that.

On the improvement in the team's defense with Siva back in

The defense, believe it or not, is 50% cerebral.  It's knowing what the other team is going to do.  And he is a very, very smart basketball player.

On UConn

I think they have one of the premier backcourts in the country.  I said this many times, I think Kevin Ollie -- I'll be long dead - but he's going to be an unbelievable coach.

Louisville Player Quotes
UConn v. Louisville
November 4, 2012

Peyton Siva

We held Shabazz to 2 points in the 2nd half and Boatright had 11 in the game.  We just tried to contain them.  They are one of the best backcourts in the nation. 

I made stupid fouls in the 1st half - trying to play too anxious...In the 2nd half I just tried to play out there and not even worry about it.  I knew I had 2-3 fouls but I just tried to play the same way, play smarter, and it worked.

On the success of the press in the 2nd half.

Our press helped us a bit but our half-court defense is what stepped us up.  We got a lot of deflections.  We got a lot of steals.  In the 2nd half we felt a lot better than the 1st half. 

I told my teammates, "I apologize for those two fouls and getting them in that situation."  I'm their point guard.  Russ (Smith) did a great job of leading us.  It was my turn to lead us in the 2nd half.

On being on the bench for 16 minutes in the 1st half

It was terrible on the bench.  It didn't even feel like I was their to help my teammates out.  But then I snapped out of it.  I tried I tried to give them some encouraging words and I knew the 2nd half was going to be an entirely different half.  They did a great job.  They played their hearts out and kept attacking.  In the 2nd half we put all the pieces together and we made our runs.

Russ Smith

On facing a tough UConn backcourt

We approach every game the same way.  Every game is going to be a tough match-up like tonight was. It was Peyton and myself and then it was Shabazz and Boatright and it was going to get a little over-hyped.

On being ranked #1 

It didn't really hype me up, per se, because I've been on losing teams, I've been on winning teams.  I'm more just in the middle of everything.

On weathering the 1st half without Peyton

We just had to stay within reach.  Peyton is the senior leader of this team, the captain, and he gets us going.  The perks of having him are  what he did in the 2nd half.  We were able to jump out on them.  I'm just glad he didn't foul out in the 1st half.