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Postgame Quotes - UConn 63, SMU 52

Jan. 25, 2018

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Head Coach Kevin Ollie

Opening Statement

It was a really good effort. I thought they were outrebounding us and that was the focus we came into the second half with and I thought we did an awesome job correcting that. We played solid basketball for 40 minutes. I was happy with our guys, our freshman stepped up, I think they had a combined 23 rebounds together and they played in some crucial times and they came through for us. I just thought the defense was solid for 40 minutes, I was very proud of our execution and to hold that team that was shooting 47% for the entire year to 28%, it shows guys were locked in so I was proud of this win, huge win for us and now were going to practice tomorrow and get ready for Temple.

On coming back after the first time out

No, we scored a basket, Jalen got a dunk. It’s a play that we run, we worked on it in practice and Jalen got the dunk and it was an easy basket and then we got it going after that.

On the growth from the freshmen

I’ve seen a lot. I mean [freshman forward] Josh [Carlton], I think he had seven rebounds in the second half I believe. He’s been playing well, [freshman forward] Isaiah [Whaley] was a little bit frantic in the first half, he settled down. [freshman forward] Tyler [Polley] came in and played some huge minutes for us, didn’t score much but hit a big time three when we needed it and set up the game. Those three freshmen are going to be some really good players in a UConn jersey.

On the ball movement

The ball movement was pretty good. Like I said, [sophomore guard] CV [Christian Vital] took some shots a little bit by half court but other than that we were alright but like I said he played hard, [junior guard] Jalen [Adams] moved the basketball. We’ve been struggling with assists but to get 13 and 9, we’ll take that. We need to keep building on that though and keep moving the basketball and moving bodies. That’s the one thing though, the ball was moving but our bodies were moving too so I’m very proud of the guys.

SMU Head Coach Tim Jankovich

On tonight’s loss

There’s so many factors that go into winning the game and losing the game but when you shoot 28% you just can’t make a shot when your shooters have a really rough shooting night it makes it awfully tough so we just went completely cold. I mean we were cold the whole night, I mean come on we missed a lot of shots and I don’t mean that to take away from UConn. UConn played very well. But this is a pretty simple game tonight. We rebounded well enough to win, we turned the ball over few enough times to win, we shot enough free throws to win, we made enough plays to win and we shot beyond horribly and that’s what lead to that. When you’re on defense and it just stops and stops your confidence builds, you’re on the run and that’s how you get on the run and they broke the game open and that gave them confidence when they figured out, hey I think these guys are going to go five minutes without making a shot so I thought we had a lot of good shots. I did think this, once we got down we pressed and started forcing. But other than that, we’re making extra passes, we’re giving up shots, it’s just uncharacteristic. I mean look at them look at the numbers, I don’t think we’ve shot this poorly in 2, 3, 4 years but you always have to give the other team credit.  

Christian Vital, G

On going down 8-0 to start the game:

"Just like we need to get out to a better start, we need to regroup, you know we have historically, at least the past two seasons, been known for getting off to slow starts. It was another slow start for us, but the difference was we stayed with it tonight and picked it up. We all got connected and we finished up the game the right way."

On Tyler Polley:

"I was just talking to Tyler, even yesterday in practice, you know, find out Terry (Larrier) is going to have his surgery, like listen you need to step up and be confident in yourself. You are going to get a lot of minutes and be confident in yourself. I am just glad he made the plays that he did. I am happy for him."

On developing trust with the freshmen:

"I think that is always something, you know, when you haven't done anything at the certain level that you are at, at the moment, you know you can go through as many practices as you want, but getting out on the court and that would build up your confidence."

Josh Carlton, F

On building confidence: 

"Coach is just trusting us to put us in the lineup and that helps us out with our own confidence, so the more confidence we have the more coach trusts us and the less mistakes we are starting to make."

On his rebounding in the second half:

"Coach made emphasis that they were out rebounding us 23-13 at the half, we just tried to turn it around and hit the boards hard and make sure that we take advantage of the boards in the second half."

On his 12 rebounds:

"I was just making sure I was keeping my man boxed out and whenever the ball went up off the rim I just went out and grabbed it."


 

 

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