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Syracuse 71, UConn 69 Quotes

Feb. 26, 2012

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February 25, 2012

Connecticut Men’s Basketball vs. Syracuse

Connecticut Associate Head Coach George Blaney

I thought the crowd was anxious for us to do well.  They kept urging us and we certainly didn’t do anything to earn their respect in the first half…Down 14, and then go down 17 to start to second half; and then we really played.  I thought our defense picked up greatly.  We pressured the ball pretty good.  We got them with a number of turnovers.

We defended the three [in the second half].  We started rebounding.  Alex rebounded early and Andre took over.  And I think Roscoe Smith played a terrific basketball game for us. 

The difference in playing Syracuse is we didn’t let them run out on us in the second half and we didn’t let them get easy shots.  We made them feel us.  In the first half they just disregarded us and just kind of did what they wanted.

On last possession

We were trying to get penetration.  They played it pretty well.  We got it all the way out. I thought we would have gotten penetration and just either jumped stopped and kicked it for three or put it inside……..It was the play to be made because we got stopped out top.  Roscoe caught it and went to the rim……..At that time of the game you really want to get to the rim unless you’re going to shoot the three.

The message continues to be: full possessions, full games.  For some reason we continue to not be able to do that…….It’s not a question of confidence; it’s a question of full possessions.

February 25, 2012

Connecticut vs. Syracuse

Player Quotes

Jeremy Lamb

On Roscoe Smith’s last chance shot

He got a good look but it just wasn’t able to go in…

He definitely got fouled.  He purposely grabbed his arm but didn’t get the call.

On Syracuse’s 13-0 run in the first half

We can’t have a lapse like that because it really hurts us in the long run.  I think we worked hard.  We fought and fought.  We had a good crowd behind us but we just couldn’t finish.

We just have to try to do what we can and make a run and finish the regular season strong.

We played hard.  We definitely fought today.  Nobody gave up.  Everybody was focused and really played together at the end.  We can definitely build off this.

Roscoe Smith

I want to thank God for allowing us to continue to keep our head and fight through, when we were down by 17, to stay strong, and just continue to go with the game plan. 

The last play, it was a great play.  Syracuse kind of pushed their defense out and the middle was wide open.  I made a strong move and I got fouled but I think the officials did a good job.  They can’t really call a foul in that type of situation.

We need to learn from our mistakes and keep our head up.

We just started playing UConn basketball.  We started playing basketball for the fans who were waiting their all yesterday, for the coaches, for everybody.

They probably really didn’t want to have the game decided on it.  I got fouled and everybody seen it.  If you didn’t see it, it’ll be on tonight.  It was a great game.  Hats off to Syracuse…It was an electrifying game – a lot of intensity.

On having to come back

It shows us that we have the heart, that we can come back.

On the fans tonight

I tip my hat to all the fans that camped out and showed a lot of dedication.

Andre Drummond

We should have won that game.  We had a couple of tough plays down the stretch and they made their shots.  At the end of the game, we didn’t get the foul call that we were looking for at the end of the game.

On the no-call at the end: 

You don’t usually see refs make calls like that with 5 seconds left in the game.  You don’t really see that happen.  It was like a 50-50 chance we would get that foul call.

Roscoe is our X-factor…He played great defense.

February 25, 2012

Connecticut vs. Syracuse

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim

I thought, in the first half, we played as well offensively as we’ve played in a long time.  We had a lot of different options.  We were moving the ball, we were pushing it – partly because we did a better job on the boards.

Second half, we didn’t do a good job on the boards, and we couldn’t get out as much.  We didn’t force any turnovers.  I thought they did a great job taking care of the ball.  They were patient.  We need a couple more turnovers in those situations to get us going. 

The end of the game, we tried to get penetration and get on the offensive glass.  And we were able to get that a couple of times at the end. 

This team has been in seven, eight games like this this year.  It’s not like we haven’t been in them….And they find a way to make a play at the end of the game – whether it’s a defensive play at Louisville, or offensive plays, tip in, drive – they’ve found a way all year long to make something good happen.  We’re not dominating by any stretch of the imagination.  At times we can be that dominant team, like we were in the first half.

We had to keep scoring because they were scoring.  We made four or five great plays at the end of this game.

On the last play

We just didn’t want them to have a three.  We wanted them to go inside and take our chances with what would happen in there.  We just didn’t want to let them have a three.  Dion did a nice job on the first one.  And then everybody did a good job getting out there and forcing them to get the ball inside.  We made a good play there. 

On Joseph

I thought Kris was tremendous tonight.

On rebounding

I thought we had an outstanding first half.  Second half, we struggled a little bit.  When we outrebound somebody, that’s unusual.  Highly.

On Drummond

He’s physical down low.  We wanted to foul him, but we couldn’t get to him to foul him.  We just couldn’t get to him.  Around the basket he’s tough.  He made a couple nice blocks.

On first win at Gampel

I don’t think too much about those things.