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    Feb. 15, 2012

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    February 15, 2012
    Connecticut vs. DePaul
    Connecticut Associate Head Coach George Blaney

    I thought it was a carryover of the effort we gave at Syracuse.  That’s what we talked about for the past couple of days – trying to play as hard as we possibly could.  We got off to a great start, doing exactly what we wanted to do, especially offensively.  And then we got a little careless.  We started turning the ball over.  And then we missed incredibly easy shots in the first half.

    I really got on them pretty good at halftime, but all about just playing harder, and harder, and harder.  I kept pleading with them “I want to score 50 points this half, and I want to keep them under 50.”  And we came pretty close.  We scored 46 and kept them to 54.

    In the second half, I thought we really ran. 

    We had looked at DePaul a lot, and one of the things that we noticed was that the bigs could outrun the bigs.  We really wanted to do that, and thought we would get a number of baskets that way.  And if we did that, we thought we could then run offense a little bit easier.  I think anytime you can get breakaway layups or dunks, it makes your whole offensive system easier to run.

    It was important to score.  It was more important to play well and to play with great effort. 

    On Drummond

    Andre Drummond was the runner-jumper that we all think he is.  And he’s getting to be much more physical.  And check this out:  He guarded Melvin the whole game and did a great job.  Eleven points and only four rebounds on a five for 14.  That’s a 6-11 guy playing a three man who happens to play at the four position.

    On Oriakhi

    Alex Oriakhi has been giving us such an effort, and leadership.

    On Napier

    I’m liking the way he’s handling things on the floor.  He’s talking to people, he’s keeping people in the game.  Most important, he’s pushing the ball at people.  When you drive it at people, it makes people back up….If he and Ryan can push the ball so much at people, that puts them back on their heels.  It’s much easier to run offensive when they push that way.

    February 15, 2012 
    Connecticut Men’s Basketball vs. DePaul
    Player Quotes

    Jeremy Lamb

    My teammates set me up for some great looks so I was able to score some buckets.

    We just wanted to come out with energy and keep pushing.  We didn’t want to come out lackadaisical because we know we’ve got a lot of big games coming up. We’re just trying to come out of this slump and work hard as a team.

    I felt we had better energy.  We tried to come out with a lot of energy.  We had great fans behind us.

    Shabazz Napier

    We’re enjoying this win but at the same time [we] don’t take this one as our best win.  Don’t dwell on it too much because we’re back at it tomorrow.

    We were surprised that they weren’t trapping us early so we utilized that. We did a lot of picks and got each other open.  And when they started doubling on the picks, we just played off of it and played well.

    Andre Drummond

    On finishing on the break

    That’s always been one of my things.  I’m always just running.  I’m one of the fastest [big men].  I just run as fast as I can and get into the open position.

    We’re just going to stay positive and take it step by step, go each day, and work hard in every practice.

    Alex Oriakhi

    That was definitely a fast game.  Up and down that’s how we like it.  We have two of the fastest guards in the country so it helps to our advantage. 

    When the guards pushed the ball up, we were able to get open and they were able to find us.

    Usually in the past we’ve come out slow. In this game we came out on fire.  We were able to jump on them early.  They did make a little run but we were able to finish the game strong.

    February 15, 2012
    Connecticut vs. DePaul
    DePaul Head Coach Oliver Purnell

    I was pretty pleased with our group at halftime because I thought they hung in there pretty well.  Certainly, we expected a motivated UConn team in the first half.  And it felt pretty good that we stayed in striking distance. 

    In the second half, we pretty much did the things that we talked about before the game that we could not do, and that’s give up easy baskets.

    Once we started to struggle a little bit offensively, we started to rush and turn the ball over the top, which led to baskets. 

    Napier was awfully good on the break.  And we let Lamb get going.  I thought we did a pretty good job of really chasing him off those pin-downs and baselines screens in the first half.  In the second half, we relaxed a little bit.  And all of those add up to easy baskets. 

    Right now, if you play UConn and you give them easy baskets, then they’re going to have a great chance to win.  I thought they were struggling because teams were making them shoot over the top, they weren’t shooting it really well, weren’t getting second shots.  And that’s what we wanted to do, and just didn’t do that enough to give ourselves a chance to be in the ballgame. 

    Offensively, we didn’t get to the free throw line.  We didn’t get in the bonus.   Mainly because we weren’t attacking.  Too many shots over the top, over an outstretched arm.  And when you don’t attack and get good balance inside and out, generally your offense is anemic, and that certainly was the case.