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Postgame Quotes - UConn 68, USF 65

Feb. 7, 2018

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Kevin Ollie, UConn Head Coach

Opening Statement:

First half was great. We started off with really good energy but at the end of the game I’m not going to apologize for a win, I’m going to take a win but we didn’t win the right way, not the UConn way and we have to do a better job. I know these guys can do it they proved it against Cincinnati but our inconsistency with the rebounds is alarming and it’s bad and we have to do better. We can’t have seven rebounds from my big, we can’t give up 24 second chance points. Those guys know how to do it we’ve exhausted every offensive rebound and defensive rebound drill we can do. Everybody has to man up and play better defense and then rebound and that’s the game. We had the game under control but what kept them in the game is 15 offensive rebounds and 24 second chance points. Offensively, we executed. I thought our three point defense was solid but once again our rebounding was not up to par and we have to do a better job in that.

On getting the ball to the right people:

[Junior guard] Jalen [Adams] is our leader especially on the offensive end, he’s got it going. I thought [redshirt junior guard/forward] Terry [Larrier] bounced back decently from the offensive end, it was good to see him score some buckets. Everybody was pretty much efficient. I thought [graduate student forward] David [Onuorah] did a great job offensively getting some key buckets but once again we have to rebound. I think we have a very good transition team when we get out on the break and rebound but it’s inconsistences that show up and it hurts us. Until those guys understand we have to rebound and we have to rebound with all five and its life or death to them, we’re going to be in tight games.

On graduate student forward David Onuorah:

[Redshirt freshman forward] Mamadou [Diarra] had foul trouble and [freshman forward] Josh [Carlton] has been playing well for us these last couple games but D.O [David Onuorah] just plays with energy and effort. I’m not saying those guys don’t but he maximizes. You see it out there, it’s a different type of energy when he’s out there and that’s how he’s getting those minutes.

Brian Gregory, USF Head Coach

Opening Statement:

I’ve been through this long enough, I feel for [head coach] Kevin [Ollie] because I said one of the toughest things as a coach is that you don’t get to coach the team you put together and he’s got some dynamic guards and I know [redshirt freshman guard] Alterique [Gilbert] since he’s 14 years old, I know how good he would be on this team. At the same time, you saw where Jalen Adams is obviously one of the best guards in our league, starting to come together a little bit in terms of the chemistry with the young guys inside are playing a little better and I thought it was a heck of a game. I thought we played well in the second half, I thought they really did a great job switching up their defenses and getting the ball to the guys that needed to make plays at the end of the game. Tough game for us just due to the fact that we keep getting better, play better, perform better, stick together at the touch stretch at the end of the first half and come out in the second half and play well but it’s just falling little short. I give credit to Kevin and his

team, they played extremely hard, did a great job and really forced us into some difficult situations especially in the first half and I give our guys credit for continuing to fight with the grit that you need to have to be successful.

On rebounding:

That’s the one thing, every team I’ve ever coached, even some of the bad ones when we were building them up we rebounded the ball. We have not rebounded well. I think the two biggest problems we’ve had is turnovers and not rebounding the ball. We had nine turnovers in the first half, that’s why they were up 12 points. We only had two in the second half and we rebounded better. That’s going to give us an opportunity to win some games.

Jalen Adams, UConn Guard

On losing the lead:
"We didn't do a good job with defensive rebounding, we gave them chance after chance. We just have to limit their offensive rebounding."
On rebounding coming from effort:
"That's exactly what it is. You don't need any talent to box somebody out and rebound, it's just toughness and effort. We have to have that mentality to go get the ball and make sure our man doesn't get it."
Terry Larrier, UConn Forward
On getting a win:
"It definitely feels good to get a win, especially heading into Wichita."
On seeing shots go in:
"Seeing the ball go in the hoop definitely helps. My teammates are giving me confidence and I'm getting used to playing with the mask. My teammates just told me to keep shooting the ball."
Christian Vital, UConn Guard
On getting the win:
"It was a tough game but we wee able to grind it out and come up with a win. That was the most important thing for us to end the night on and know what it feels like to win again so we could get on a streak going into Wichita this weekend."
On the shot at the end:
"We haven't gotten many breaks but tonight was one of them and hopefully in this part of the season we can just find ways to win. If we find ways to win, I don't really care who scores or makes the big plays, if we win I'm cool with it."