Nov. 1, 2012
November 1, 2012
Connecticut vs. AIC
Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie
Nobody said it was going to be easy, and it wasn’t easy out there tonight. And I praise AIC for coming out there and giving us a great game. But now we’ve got a foundation to build upon.
This is a process. We’re going to keep building, we’re going to keep playing the right way, we’re going to respect the game, we’re going to respect this great university and we’re going to go out there and play with effort. They did that in spurts. We’re going to have to do it for 40 minutes and try to sustain it.
We came together and we learned today, and that’s what it’s all about.
I thought we responded the right way in the second half. Now it’s just another building block.
I really praise AIC. They came in and they ran their offense. They are a well-coached team.
I know these kids are going to respond the right way. And that’s how we want to play – we want to respect the game and we want to play the right way. I keep stressing that, because that’s the only thing I believe. The only thing I knew was hard work and effort was going to get seen on tape. And that’s what I want those guys to do. When we watch that tape, I want to see effort. Forget about making shots. I want to see your effort.
On Omar Calhoun
Omar played basketball. He read his defender. He made shots – that’s always a good thing. He just knows how to play basketball and he kept his composure….Now, I stressed to him “Don’t lay on your successes. Don’t lay on them. Build upon them.” I told him to stay humble. I don’t like the little gestures after the layups and the showing up. No, that’s not who we are. He’s going to learn that, and he’s going to get better and he’s going to be a great player for this university as a student athlete, I believe.
On first game as head coach
When you go one for nine, I’m like, “Man, this might be my only time out here.” But it worked out good. The guys paid attention. Then I had my captains – Shabazz, Tyler and Boatright – they kept our group together. And then RJ came in – I’ve been praising RJ, and he’s still that rock that I look to. He came in, he settled us in, and we started playing good basketball when he came in the game.
November 1, 2012
Connecticut vs. American International College
I felt like that in the first half everybody was nervous. We had to get the jitters out. We came back in the second half. I feel like we were more relaxed.
What got the fastbreak going?
Just seeing that we were down. When we came back out [for the second half], we felt we had to do something to turn it around.
On freshman Omar Calhoun’s performance
He definitely is a great player. He’s a natural scorer. He’s got a big body. He’s athletic. He’s got a quick release.
[In the second half] we basically just started to pick it up on defense, rebounding the ball, pushing it, getting back on defense, getting so many transition baskets. We were able to pick it up in the second half.
On his UConn debut
[In]the first half I was a little jittery. I was able to pick it up in the second half. I’m definitely going to keep pushing it. I’m looking forward to getting better every day.
On his confidence
Being from New York, being a Brooklyn kid, it’s just something I was brought up with. I’m always going to go hard and be confident on the court.
On the team’s slow start
It took everybody a while to get going. Everybody had jitters in the first half. Everybody was just nervous and we weren’t playing our game…In the second half, everybody did a little better. We just have to keep getting better every day. It’s a process.
On Coach Oillie’s reaction to the slow start
He just kept it positive. He said we’re just not playing our game, we have to play much harder, we’re not giving effort and we’re not talking on defense. It’s a lot better because he stayed positive with us and just told us to play hard, play our game, and play UConn basketball.
On his strong rebounding performance tonight
That’s one of my main goals is to rebound this year. Obviously we don’t have a lot of big guys on the team so me and Ty and all the other big guys, we need to rebound the ball. So, that’s one of my main focuses to rebound.
On playing the power forward position
It is an adjustment. I have to find ways to do everything – rebound, find ways to score, and to just help the team out.
Was it odd to have Kevin Ollie out there as a head coach?
I loved it. It was kind of odd at first. We were warming up and Coach Ollie came out and everybody’s clapping and saying Coach Ollie. It was kind of odd not seeing Coach Calhoun coming out.