UConn 67, Vermont 49

Nov. 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012
Connecticut vs. Vermont
Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie

The guys played hard.  It was a grind-it-out game.  Coach does a great job with Vermont, having them stay within themselves, playing their type of offense.  They turn over their offense.

They followed the game plan to a tee.  R.J., Niels came off the bench and played great.  Boatright started it with his pressure in the first half, and what can I say about Niels and R.J.?  They did a hell of a job.

I thought our balance was good.  We didn’t have a guy that had 25 points, but that shows that we can win in different ways.  All in all, I was happy with the guys’ performance. 

On defense

In the first half, we played 25 good seconds, then in the last 10 seconds we would let up, and we would have a silly foul or they would get a layup off some penetration.  We just have to play through every possession.  I think in the second half we did that.  Our defense was great.  To hold a team like this to 30 percent is absolutely wonderful. 

On Shabazz Napier

Shabazz showed up in the second half and played like the Shabazz in the Michigan State game.  He’s a great guard.  And when he plays with that “attack” mentality going downhill, there’s not a guard in America that can hang with him.  I just thought he did a really good job in the second half playing with a sense of purpose.

On Tyler Olander

I just think he’s doing a wonderful job.  He’s not a step slow.  Last year he might have been a step slow.  Now he’s reacting better….I just think he’s playing with confidence, he’s understanding his role on this team.  He’s just coming out with that mentality that “I’m not going to give in no matter what….” He’s also been that stabilizer in the middle that we need.  Because we’re not the biggest team.  You can see that….Tyler is giving us great effort right now, and I just want him to keep that up. 

On R.J. Evans

He’s just a stabilizer, a guy that I can go to,  I can look to, being consistent.  I know what I’m going to get from R.J….I’m going to get intensity, I’m going to get him to play hard, I’m going to get him to play unselfishly.  And, he’s a grown man.  I mean, he’s grown.  He’s been through this before.  And he’s on a big stage now and I think he’s relishing the moment.  It’s just his time to play. 

Connecticut vs. Vermont
November 13, 2012
Player Quotes 

RJ Evans
On team’s defensive effort

I feel we came out strong with a strong defensive front against a really good, disciplined team that runs their offense.  We played good defense but in the first half we had a little lapse in offensive rebounding which is something we’ve got to work on.

On his role

Whenever I go in I’m going to play my hardest. Whatever I can do to help the team, I’m going to do it.

I’m a team player. It doesn’t matter if I go in and play two minutes or play 30 minutes; I’m going to play hard and hope my team wins. 

Omar Calhoun
We could have played better as a team.  There are definitely things we’ve got to work on.  But we’ve got to keep going, progressing forward.

On building team chemistry

We’re getting closer and closer.  As we start playing games, we start feeling each other out.

On team identity

We’re just a team that’s going to go out there and fight and leave it all on the court every night.

Shabazz Napier
On first half performance

I didn’t take the shots that I was given.  I was kind of mad at myself. [Coach Kevin Ollie] did say something to me [at halftime], but the fire was already lit under me before.  He put more wood to it, that’s all.

We don’t have one guy that’s going to score all the points.  We all collectively score……..We have a four out and one in kind of offense.  Everyone can handle the ball.

Tyler Olander
This was a real effort game, a real focus game.  Attention to detail – the little things – really made a difference. 

What have you learned about the team so far?

We learned that if we just play hard good things will happen.  We may not win every game, but as long as we play hard, stay together, and have each other’s back good things will happen.

On former E.O. Smith teammate Ethan O’Day

It was real exciting.  Ethan and I have been friends for a long time.  He lives literally right around the corner from me so we grew up always playing with each other.

November 13, 2012
UConn Men’s Basketball vs. Vermont
Vermont Head Coach John Becker

Another tough offensive night for us but more disappointing was in the second half defensively we had some slippage as far as what we wanted to do.  Credit UConn.  They’re a great team.  Obviously, a great program.  I’m a Connecticut kid and grew up idolizing this program and what Coach Calhoun has built here.  Coach Ollie is doing great job carrying it on.  I give them all the credit.  They’re physical.  They’re big.  They have two special guards.  I thought, for the most part, we did a good job on the two main guys there – Napier and Boatright.  I thought Olander really hurt us inside, especially on the offensive glass.

It was a tough, physical game.  I give credit to UConn.  They were well prepared tongith and executed on the offensive end and made us pay.

They’re real physical.  It’s hard to get anywhere.  It seems like you’re bumping in to people all over the place out there….So, it was tough for us to get anything we wanted.