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    Feb. 18, 2012

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    February 18, 2012

    Connecticut vs. Marquette 

    Connecticut Associate Head Coach George Blaney

    Marquette did a really good job, especially in the first half, of running the court.  Their speed and strength almost blew our doors off.  We had worked on it for two days, were really solid about picking up the ball early and getting back, but their bigs continued to beat our guys down the court.  I thought we made a decent adjustment at halftime with that. 

    The crowd was trying to will us to the win.  I thought we did a really good job at a number of things in the second half, particularly with aggressiveness and movement and much better defense, until the technical.

    I thought the technical really changed the game.  And we didn’t recover from that very well. 

    Was it a fair technical in your estimation?

    No.

    We’re also a team that doesn’t foul, and they shot 26 fouls….We’re in the top two or three in the country in fewest fouls committed all the time, so it seemed to me that wasn’t the way it happened.

    On getting outrebounded

    They’re very athletic.  I’ve never thought that size has anything to do with rebounding.  They’re very quick to the ball and exceptionally aggressive.  I thought we did a much better job in the second half.

    We really fought and were in really good shape.  I kept telling them on the bench, ‘The crowd will take you through it.  Get it to five and the crowd will take us through it.’  And they were trying their best and certainly, I think, would have if we just stuck in there a little bit longer.

    We’re giving up threes too easily.

    On Crowder

    We had three guys play him at different times.  He’s a bad mismatch….The more I think about it, he reminds me of Caron Butler.  He’s such a strong rebounder.  He’s got a great handle.  He can pass the ball.  He can defend all five positions.  He’s just a very good player.  And he’s smart on top of that. 

    On Johnson-Odom

    He’s probably one, two or three player of the year in the league.  He’s a real veteran.  His ability to shot fake and foot fake puts you on the defensive all the time.  He’s a difficult guy to play.  And he’s knows how to come off screens.  He’s as good as Jeremy coming off screens.  You got a double combination of coming off screens and then ability to go one on one.  Exceptionally strong.

    Player Quotes

    UConn v. Marquette

    February 18, 2012

    Jeremy Lamb

    On Ryan Boatright’s technical foul

    I have no idea what happened down there, but it was a huge play in the game.

    Does the team worry about whether Coach Calhoun is coming back?

    I don’t think we think about it too much.  We do wonder but we’re just trying to keep going as a team.

    What are you going to do this week to get the team going, to keep the guys positive?

    I’m going to work on my game and tell some people on the team to come work out with me, get on the same track.  Try to be focused in practice and just keep working hard. We need them all.  We don’t have a lot of time to practice.  We have practice tomorrow, and hopefully take some steps forward.

    Shabazz Napier

    What impact did the technical have on the game?

    It was immature.  That’s the one thing I can say, it was real immature.  At the same time, refs could’ve closed their eyes, closed their ears.  It’s just immature.  He (Ryan Boatright) didn’t do it on purpose.  They were going at it the whole game.  I always tell my guys, they never see the first one.  They always see the second one.   

    What do you make of not being able to string wins together?

    It’s just ups and downs, that’s all.  Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t.  We had a lot of ups and downs last year, but these ups and downs are totally different.  Sometimes we look like we’re coming over the hump and then we face a good team and we all let up.  I hate to say it, but I have to question a lot of these guys’ hearts.  The simple stuff --   allowing someone to get an alley-oop at the end of the game, just quitting with 16 seconds left – it doesn’t look like UConn basketball.  You don’t quit.  Where I’m from you ain’t getting an alley-oop at the end of the game.  You won the game, you won the game.  But don’t try and embarrass us because you feel as though you want to embarrass us.  That’s just the measure of your hearts.  If you have to knock somebody out of the air, you knock them out of the air…

    It just looked like out there that we gave up at the end.  It’s tough to say because, you know, we’re a great team and for those words to be coming out of my mouth is just horrendous.  It’s something you don’t want to happen.

    Do you think your team is not into it?

    No, no, no, my team is into it.  I think they are all into it.  It’s just when push comes to shove, who’s out there and who’s going to give it back?  Some guys don’t want to give it back.  Some guys get punched and want to throw a pillow at somebody.  This is basketball.  You’re supposed to go out there and give it your all.  It’s team basketball.  This is not tennis.  It’s not golf.  It’s not a one player sport.  Like I said, we get punched and some guys just throw pillows back.  You’re not supposed to throw pillows back.  You’re supposed to get a 3-pointer, lock up on defense, do the necessary things to get a win, and right now we’re not doing that.

    Did you say this to your teammates?

    I say it to them all the time what I feel. I’m blunt.  I tell them all the time what I feel but sometimes I hold a lot back in.   I don’t usually say anything before the game.  I don’t usually say anything at halftime because I’m blunt and I don’t want to say the wrong thing.  But at the end of the game, I told the guys, ‘I got to question a lot of you guys’ hearts.  You’re not giving it your all.  I make mistakes, but at the same time I learn from my mistakes.  I make sure I apologize for my mistakes.’  I told the guys the only reason I’m speaking out is because I’m a captain and at the end of the day I feel as I’m the only one who wants to speak out.  Everybody else wants to stay in the locker room and be quiet like we just died.  I let the guys know the things that they did well, the things we need to improve on.  At the same time, you always have to let them know the things that they did wrong.

    Alex Oriakhi

    On the Marquette “bigs” beating UConn down the court

    They just ran.  I think that’s something we weren’t really used to.   There definitely were numerous amount of times they beat us, but I definitely think we were able to cut that down in the second half.  We just have to get back on defense.

    How frustrating is it to win a game and then fall back

    It’s definitely frustrating, especially when you think you have it, you think you’re going to make a change, and you fall back down to where you were just at.  It’s like we take a few steps forward and then we tae a few steps back.  I just want to get on a steady winning streak.

    Do you feel like you are have must win games ahead of you?

    Coach Miller always says we’re fighting for our lives.  We’re fighting to make the tournament.

    February 18, 2012

    Connecticut vs. Marquette

    Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams

    It’s a jubilant locker room.  I’m extremely pleased with the heart and the instincts and the intellect of our team.  Despite the injuries to our roster, I think our guys have shown incredible determination and fight.  And they’ve made the adjustments necessary to give us a chance for success. 

    On Johnson-Odom and Crowder

    You can’t measure heart.  And in a world where we try to count everything, not everything counts.  You can’t quantify the heart and the brains that those two seniors are playing with. 

    I thought Jae made some incredible, big threes in the second half.  And I thought Darius was in an unbelievable groove, in the first half, from three. 

    On foul shooting

    When we make 20 free throws, we’re always going to have a chance.

    On UConn run at start of second half

    I think at that time out they had shot 85 percent up until that point.  It was nine possessions, and I think they were shooting 85 percent.  And a lot of them were off one pass or less transition baskets, make or miss.  There were playing at a very good clip at that time. 

    Anytime you can win in this league on the road – I think it’s really hard to do.  That was our fourth win on the road, so it was a big win for us.