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Villanova 70, UConn 61

Feb. 16, 2013

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February 16, 2013
Connecticut vs. Villanova
Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie

I’m disappointed because the crowd was so good, and they came in and they wanted to support us.  They wanted to push us through.  But in the second half, we just got out-rebounded.  It came down to a street fight out there.  They threw it off the backboard and they went to go get it.  And we didn’t make the hustle plays, the toughness plays that I want to see from my team.

Credit to Villanova.  Jay had them ready to play.  They got offensive rebounds, 20 of them to our five.  The killer is what we’ve been doing really good, we had 19 turnovers.  And we’ve been taking care of the ball pretty well.  You put those two combinations together it’s always going to end up as a loss. 

This game, we couldn’t get out-rebounded like we did, and we didn’t make the crucial shots and we didn’t get the crucial stops.  And when we had the ball in our hands, we didn’t take care of it like I envision our team to take care of it. 

I’m not jumping off a cliff.  We’ll be ready for Cincinnati….I told my team, this is another team that’s going to have the same recipe, so if we don’t get tougher, it’s going to be tough road ahead.  I think our guys are going to come back. They’ve been very resilient throughout the year. 

This team has got a lot of heart, so I’m not worried about this team.  But we do have to tighten some stuff up, and we’ve got to get them playing with that toughness that we need each and every day. 

On defense against Napier and Boatright

They just played good defense.  They played good gap defense.  We had to move the ball against them, get in our cracks.  And then we have to hit some shots.  But we couldn’t get out in transition because of offensive rebounds.  If you keep us in the half court game, you can’t bottle the two up, but most of the time they’re getting out in transition and that’s what gets them their lay ups, that’s what gets them their threes.  And then they get confidence, and make some plays in the half court.  But when you give up 20 offensive rebounds, of course you can’t run like you want to run. 

On Napier

He was in and out with foul trouble.  It throws a player’s rhythm off when you’re in and out of foul trouble. 

On toughness

It’s more about being tough.  That’s tough on defense, tough on offense, tough on the boards.  Because when tough situations happen, you’ve got to have the mindset that ‘I’m going to get through this adversity.’  I don’t think we did that quite well today. 

On Omar Calhoun

I’m very pleased (with his offense), but, more important, it’s not his scoring, it’s his defense.  That’s what I’m liking a little bit more from him.

Player Quotes
UConn v. Villanova
February 16, 2013 

Shabazz Napier

I figured I was going to try to score more….I was trying to be aggressive but it didn’t work so well.  I didn’t pick the right spots to shoot and I came out with 2 points.

On Villanova’s toughness

Those guys just played tougher than us.  We didn’t play with the toughness we should have.  When you don’t play tough you usually lose games.

On why he wasn’t able to put up his usual numbers:

“I think in the first half I just got into foul trouble and then in the second half I wasn’t aggressive. I took a lot of three pointers and just didn’t connect.”

On if the team was too confident coming into the game:

“I don’t think we were overconfident. We don’t sit on our success, that’s one thing I know about this team. We played too fragile today and didn’t have our toughness.”

On why Villanova was able to get so many offensive rebounds:

“It’s about toughness. We didn’t come out with any toughness that we usually play with.”

On Villanova’s tough defense:

“They usually like to blitz the ball carrier. I was being too passive, I didn’t do too much offensively other than pass the ball.”

DeAndre Daniels

On the play of Napier and Boatright

The just had an off night.  Everyone has an off night every once in a while.

On being up for this game after the Syracuse game

I thought that we were up..  But towards the end of the second half, I thought guys were pretty tired and they  out toughed us.  That really hurt us towards the end.  That’s the first time I can really say we got out-toughed towards the end.   Usually when it comes towards the end that’s when we get tough and get everything.

A couple of guys had off nights and we didn’t rebound the ball and toward the end it really hurt us.

What did Villanova do to stop Napier and Boatright?

They just had an off-night, and we just can’t afford to have both those guys have an off-night at the same time.

On playing with confidence after the Syracuse win:

“We didn’t come out too overconfident. We had a couple of guys who had off nights and we didn’t rebound the ball well as a team.”

On Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier struggling:

“They just both had off nights and we know that we can’t afford to have both of those guys have off nights at the same time.”

On why the Huskies were not able to rebound effectively:

“They played with more toughness than us and really just out willed us towards the end of the game.” 

Omar Calhoun

It’s definitely a tough loss.  I think we let one slip away.  We just have to get back into the gym and work hard for the next game.

We have to do a better job rebounding.  We did a good job against Syracuse, but we didn’t do a good job today.  We have to make sure we do a good job every day.

On Villanova’s toughness

We definitely got out-toughed.  We have to do a better job battling and fighting down there.  They were able to do what they wanted. 

Niels Giffey

Coming off the Syracuse game, were you just not up for this game?

I wish we had it today.  I guess when you’re coming from a game like Syracuse where everybody is hyped-up it’s hard to find that focus.  And focus always leads to toughness, the energy and hustle plays, the box-out and rebounding.  We had a good attitude today.  It was just hard to bring it on the court. 

February 16, 2013
Connecticut vs. Villanova
Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright

I don’t know if it’s the last time around for the Big East or not, but it’s been great coming up here.  This is special basketball country up here.   We’ve had some great games against UConn.  I have so much respect for Coach Calhoun.  I got to see him before the game, and I really appreciate that he came to say hello.  I think he’s one of the all-time greats.

Kevin Ollie is doing a really good job here.  That’s why this was a very good win for us because I think we beat a very good team.

There two guards, I think, are the key, and I think we really did a good job on them.  We let Omar Calhoun get it going a little bit but I think it’s because we put too much emphasis on Napier and Boatright…Those two guards are two of the best in the country.  I think doing the job on them was the key.

As a team, we played them as a team.  Sometimes we trapped them.  Sometimes we denied we denied them.  Sometimes we switched on screens.  We just had to focus on those two.

In the first half, we were worried because Napier was in foul trouble and Boatright only had, I think, two at halftime.  So, we’re like, ‘we’re down three, and those guys haven’t got it going today.’  We just did a great job in the second half.

On outrebounding UConn

Mouph may have had better numbers, but that might have been the best game of his career…

He did everything tonight.  He was simply outstanding.

On winning against a good team on the road

If we’re going to have a chance to play in the post-season, this is going to be important. But most important for us is our psyche.  You have to win on the road against good teams.  You can talk about it all you want…You have to go do it. 

We beat some good teams at home.  We’ve been talking about we have to go on the road and beat  good teams on the road.  This is a very good team.  This is why I’m really excited about this.  If I didn’t have so much respect for them, it wouldn’t be such a good win.

On the advantage Villanova had in offensive rebounds

I thought our forwards were outstanding, especially Yarou and Pinkston on the offensive glass.

On trying to get Ryan Arcidiacono to shoot more

I’m the only coach in the world who gets the kid who is an unbelievable scorer and he wants to be the nicest guy and pass to everybody.  No one ever had to tell me to shoot.  We tell him to shoot.  We want him to score.  He’s just too nice a kid.