Feb. 3, 2013
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February 3, 2013
Connecticut vs. USF
Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie
I don’t know what to say about that first half. Fifteen points, we couldn’t make a shot, had good looks. The crowd stuck with us like no other. I thought they were probably going to walk out, but they were right there…giving us that push forward that we needed. And they were wonderful. I thank them so much for staying behind us, and staying behind this team like they’ve been doing the whole season. In the second half we started playing better. We started getting the ball to the rim, we started attacking. I think we made 24 free throws in the second half….We started attacking the rim and not settling for the three-point shot.
The defense was wonderful again. Holding a team down to 34, 35 percent is wonderful in the Big East.
It was a patient game. We had to be patient on offense and defense, and we didn’t do that in the first half. In the second half we started getting UConn shots. And it was a good thing to see.
On finding ways and learning how to win
We’re finding different ways. Every game, we’re finding different ways. I always like that left-hand column going up high, and 15 and five, we’ll take that. We shored up our rebounding a little bit, but then it was the missed shots. At the end of the day, they started believing in each other, believing in the coaching staff, and they got it done. It’s just a wonderful team. It’s a team that takes you on some rides, but eventually they pull it together. Once again they came out on the winning side. It’s just the heart that they show. It’s not going to be perfect. You knew it wasn’t to be perfect going through the Big East, but us getting wins is something they’re learning how to do.
On Shabazz Napier
He just makes remarkable shots. He’s just got that belief in himself, that it’s a certainty, that he’s going to have confidence that it goes in. He’s committed to that shot and he’s going to knock it down. If he misses, he shakes it off. It’s a wonderful thing if you have that confidence as a basketball player, to step up in big moments. And he’s not scared to fail, and that’s the great thing about him. He’s not scared to fail. From failure comes success, and he’s not scared to take that big shot in a big moment. Actually, I think he embraces it, which is crazy. But that’s what great players do. They embrace those situations. They live for those situations.
On shot at end of regulation
I drew up a shot. I thought they were going to go man-to-man, they went zone. We thought Ryan would just take him, but we still ran the play and then Shabazz came up. It was for an isolation at the top for Shabazz. But everybody’s seen the Villanova game from last year. He can make that shot.
Connecticut vs. South Florida
February 3, 2013
On hitting big shots in OT
I just feel like [my teammates] give me the chance to take the shots. I’m willing to do it make or miss. They keep giving me confidence.
On first half
We just came out too sluggish. We didn’t come out with the attitude that we should have come out with. We haven’t played in Gampel in over a month; we had to do a better job to show the fans how much we love their support.
I just try to find the open spots. If my teammates give me the ball and I feel like I have a shot, I’m going to try my best to take it.
On what Coach Ollie said at halftime
He got on us about coming out flat, not playing together. We were playing selfish.
We just came out and played terrible in the first half. I think that’s the worst I’ve ever seen us play as a team and individually.
On the second half
When we came in at halftime, we knew we had to get it together. We came out and just put forth some effort. When we started putting forth effort, things started to come together for us.
We’re a good team. We fight to the end. We’ve got heart.
We’re finding ways to win.
On first half
We didn’t have any energy, any passion. We were just kind of out there going through the motions.
What was said at halftime
[Head Coach Kevin Ollie] basically said that it was kind of embarrassing. We haven’t played in Gampel in about a month and to come out in front of our fans and play like that, we’re lucky they stayed for the second half..
February 3, 2013
UConn Men’s basketball vs. South Florida
South Florida Head Coach Stan Heath
The first half I thought we played very well, extremely well. And I look at these numbers and you tell me we’re going to hold them to 29% shooting, 33% from three, and we’re going to outrebound them, I’m thinking we’re leaving here with a win. We had great opportunities. We didn’t close the game very well. We had a rebound that we could have killed some time, maybe shot some free throws. We had some foul opportunities that we didn’t execute very well – we fouled the wrong guys.
I give UConn a lot of credit. They started the second half much more intense, sped us up a little bit, forced some turnovers, forced some quick shots, and got themselves going. Napier, especially in the second half, was fantastic.
We had been defending so well. I didn’t see it coming that they’d score so easily so quick. But some of that was us offensively – settling for long threes and not finishing some layups. We have to fix that second half start. It’s not the first time it’s happened to us.
Did your team have an eye on Napier coming down the stretch?
Absolutely. That was the conversation we had at half time, the conversation we had at the first timeout, the conversation we had throughout the whole game. We knew he’s the guy who really likes to step up big. Even at the end of regulation, we kind of had our hands down and he took that long shot. I’ve seen him make that shot too.