Jan. 27, 2013
January 27, 2013
The game was filled with ups and downs, but we played hard, we played aggressively on defense. I put a couple of goals on the board and we achieved those. We improved. It’s about wins and losses, but it’s really not about wins and losses. It’s about growing as a team, improving as a team.
We were plus four on the backboards, which I love to see. We held them under 40 percent, which I love to see. So, that’s improvement. Now, we have to be consistent. Now we have to go to the next game and the next game and start stringing them together.
The defensive effort is one thing that we stressed throughout this week of practice, and I thought we got it from everybody. It was a team win….Everybody who played contributed. It’s good to get off that schneid and get a win, especially after a long time off. The kids played hard and played with a lot of heart today.
It was more than just points today. It was his leadership. Especially with Boatright getting into foul trouble. He had to play most of the point in the first half and he did a remarkable job….He makes timely shots, he makes winning plays. That’s why I love the kid. He’s getting better as a leader. He’s improving each and every day about that. We always say ‘you’re not born a leader, you make the choice to be a leader.” He is really making a definite choice to be a leader on this team. It’s not going to be perfect. He’s going to have his times, which we all know because they’re young adults. But he is really making a constant effort to try to lead….What he gave us in practice this week was remarkable.
When I look up versatility in the dictionary, I see Niels Giffey’s picture by it. I call on him to play the three, the four, two, one, he just steps up and does it. I love him to death. He played an excellent game.
On Giffey’s steal and three-point play
That one was crucial. And then he went up strong. And that’s what we’ve been telling Niels. Niels is so athletic, and sometimes he goes in, but not with force. He went up with force. He went right through Judge and got the foul. We always talk about playing through contact…It really energized us and propelled up to a nice victory.
DeAndre played an excellent game, coming in and getting rebounds, playing aggressively.
I thought Enosch stepped up in the second half, just being big. I thought we were going into our second game with no blocked shots, and then he came up and got three for me in the second half. I’m very proud of him.
UConn Men’s Basketball vs.
On play of Niels Giffey
[Niels Giffey] is always that guy that’s going to give us a spark no matter what. He comes off the bench; he’s ready to play. [He] could be starting but he understands that he needs to come off the bench. He enjoys that role.
On his shoulder recovering
I wasn’t thinking too much about my shoulder. I was just excited about how well we were playing defense……….Some shots were too short or too strong because I was trying to figure out how to compensate with the pain a little bit.
On taking big shots
I’ve always had that since I was a little kid. I always wanted to be the guy to take the shot. Sometimes I make the shot; sometimes I don’t.
On his “traditional three point play” with 9:54 left
Those are the kind of things I can do that elevate the whole team
We don’t really have a [power forward] this year, so DeAndre and I are filling the spot. With guys like [Ryan] Boatright in foul trouble, I can play the two. I can do it offensively and defensively.
On slow start in the second half
We just had to punch back and keep playing our game.
On Niels Giffey’s defense
Some of those steals were key during the game. It was very close and we needed them. It was a big part of winning the game.
If I stay focused, good things are going to happen.
My work ethic is what has developed the most for me. I feel like I have a real good work ethic.
January 27, 2013
Connecticut vs. Rutgers
Rutgers Head Coach Mike Rice
I’d like to give UConn a lot of credit. They have struggled at times to score in spurts. They found ways at the end to really put the foot on the gas and run away with it.
Our team continues to struggle with carelessness, both offensively and defensively, whether it’s 4 out of 5 possessions having turnovers – two of them being in transition – or careless with scouting reports, how we defend things, and consistency. There are times I think this team is ready to break out of it and then there’re times when we get in our own way.
Earlier on we scored enough to get it in the last 4 minutes to where anything happens in the last 4 minutes of a Big East game. Right now we can’t do that because of the fact that we keep blinking. We keep getting in our own way. In the Big East they’re too good – the guards were too good tonight – that we couldn’t get into the last 4 minutes.
What happened down the stretch on the offensive end?
We didn’t make any shots and were very careless in turnovers.
Jerome had an energy to him and started off making some shots. We can’t have one of two players. We need four or five players. Our balance has gone out the window because guys are too inconsistent. I appreciate Jerome and his game, but you need more for victory in the Big East.
We're pressing right now. We’re not playing very well.
On Shabazz Napier’s impact on the game
The game’s slow to him. When he wants to go fast, he goes fast. When he wants to get a shot, he gets a shot. He doesn’t rush things. From last year, he’s really matured his approach and how he runs his team.
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