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Postgame Quotes - Cincinnati 65, UConn 57

Feb. 3, 2018

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UConn Head Coach Kevin Ollie

Opening statement:

Once again we started off real slow. You can’t give Cincinnati that kind of lead. We had a chance there in the second half. We just kept believing, I was really happy with [junior guard] Jalen Adams and [sophomore guard] CV [Christian Vital] how they competed and I thought our big did a good job on the backboard holding their team down to 10 offensive rebounds where they average 14 is really good for us and that was a positive goal that we reached but at the end of the day we have to shoot better. We can’t have five assists catching at 36% and I thought, I have to go back and look, but I thought we had some great looks. We just have to put the ball in the basket. I thought we missed some layups and had some wide open shots so I like how the guys executed but the real thing is that you have to put the ball in the basket. I thought we had a couple turnovers on fast breaks that was crucial for us to change the momentum but that’s a really good team. Whenever we tried to get over the hump they made a play and that’s what top teams in the country do.

On redshirt junior guard/forward Terry Larrier:

I haven’t talked to him. I mean I know he’s not going to make any excuses. He just has to play better. I thought the second half of the UCF game, he made some shots but today he shot a couple air balls and it could’ve been the mask but at the end of the day he’ll tell you he’s not trying to make any excuses. You have to get used to it I mean he’s going to be in it for six weeks. Again, he’s not making excuses I don’t think but I just think you have to get used to it, you have to play with it, you have to make shots and you have to do other things. That’s not stopping him from rebounding, playing defense, getting steals, getting out on the fast break. It just can’t all be centered around his shooting.

On the defense:

I just thought we did a good job defensively. That was one of our best defensive games but you have to come out with the win. Like I said when I started, you can’t spot a team 13-0, we’ve got this great crowd in here, you have to give them something to feed off. You can’t get 13-0 down and miss your first 10 shots and some of those shots, like I said I have to go look back, lay ups and a couple threes that were wide open you have to just make those shots. Settle your defense down, get the crowd going. But I thought the crowd was phenomenal throughout the game and really gave us a boost of energy when we came out. I think we hit at the first half, we got 3 3’s in a row, especially that last one, going to half time on an eight point deficit, we come back out and [freshman forward] Josh [Carlton] misses a layup I mean now that point is like a six point game and I don’t know if the guys understand that but as a coach you understand that where you have to get those momentum stops to get us back over the hump.

Mamadou Diarra, F

On where everyone’s heads are at:

We just try to stay together. The season has a lot of games to go so we’re just going to stay together and keep fighting.

On the effort in the second half:

Usually when you box out a rebound it’s a first effort but they go first, second, third effort so we just kept fighting with them and didn’t let them get their usual numbers in.

Jalen Adams, G

On staying positive:

I’m always positive because I know what this team is capable of. I think if we put a full 40 minutes together I like our chances a lot better. It’s just a little frustrating when you don’t put those full 40 minutes together and we show spurts of a good team and other spurts of a team that isn’t really capable so that’s really frustrating but always positive with our team.

On him, Christian [Vital] and Terry [Larrier]:

I wouldn’t necessarily say that. We have other guys who can step up. I think Antwoine [Anderson] steps up, Tyler [Polley] can step up, Mamadou [Diarra] is capable of contributing. Everybody is capable of contributing so it just really is about who is going to step up.

Christian Vital, G

On slow starts:

“I think we maybe need to come out of the game and be more aggressive. Try not to put the pressure on the defense. I think some times I try to see what the defense is going to give us and obviously that is a good approach sometimes, but I think if we the pressure on the defense and make them react to us that may be able to get us off to a quicker start.”

On what is preventing them from beating the good teams:

“I think if I knew we would be talking about us winning today instead of losing, but I do know. We play hard, you see we were down 18 and then we obviously showed we have the ability, we cut it down to like 6 or something like that. We have the guys we have the talent we just have to put it together.”

Mick Cronin, Cincinnati Head Coach

On UConn’s play:

“You know I think conference play is just hard. I think that UConn got to play two games in a row, finally, with Larrier and other guys in the lineup. It is hard to scout them, I am watching them and he is in this game and then this guy is in. I am scared to shake Kevin (Ollie’s) hand, I might get hurt.”

On UConn’s young team:

“We know they are undefeated in this building this year. They play a lot of freshman on the front line. They play with a lot of pride, they are just so young on the front line that it is just hard. We have guys that are like that, but they are on our bench waiting their turn. I thought they competed extremly hard the whole game, obviously they couldn’t get nothing, you know, our defense bothered them early. It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch.”

On UConn’s outlook for the rest of the season:

“I think if they can play with the same lineup for month of February when they have no injuries, come conference tournament time, they are going to be one of the best five teams in the league. They just need to be healthy for a month. I can’t even imagine, the mixing and matching is just so constant.”