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Postgame Quotes

Dec. 17, 2012

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December 17, 2012
Connecticut vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Connecticut Head Coach Kevin Ollie 

I want to just take this timeout to really thank the guys and the cheerleaders and what we did in the beginning of the game.  It was just a great tribute to all the victims.  It’s just a sad day, but we’re going to continue not just to have moments, but have a movement where we can stop this violence.  I think a moment is just not enough.  We always have moments and then it goes away.  Hopefully, we’ll have a movement.  And hopefully we can get down there soon.  We’re trying to plan something after Christmas to get down there, to Newtown.

Once we had to start to play the game, I thought the guys executed.  I thought they played well.  Defense was non-existent in the first half.  Giving 46 percent, that’s not something that we want to do.  But the second half, they turned it on, and it was led by our guards.  And then Leon came in and Niels came in and just played aggressive defense and, I think, we held them to 29 percent, which is what we want to do.  We imposed our will on them in the second half.

I was very happy with the ball movement – 21 assists, nine turnovers.  That’s one of our goals.

Of course, we got out-rebounded again.  We’ll continue to try to shore that up.  But I will take 66 percent (shooting) and I will take a win.  I thought we did a pretty good job overall, especially coming out in the second half and playing UConn basketball.

On bench play

Going into the Big East season – I wanted to use these three games to see what we have on that bench, what guys can do.  But they’ve been doing very, very well in practice.  If they weren’t doing the job in practice, I wouldn’t have the confidence to play them in these games.  They’ve been doing a tremendous job.  They’ve been staying with us.  Phillip, Leon – they’ve been doing a terrific job.  When you continue to work, results have got to follow.  They been doing it hard, they’ve been doing it honest and they’ve been coming in and giving us a great practice, every day.

Everybody has got to be alive on our team.  Our margin of error is not that big.

On three-point shooting

Omar and Ryan have been doing extra work.  Our guards have been doing extra work.  I know it’s ball movement, but you still have to make the shot.  We call it “B.D’s.”  Basketball Development.  And they’ve been doing the extra work.  Not just the two hours we have in practice, but staying after with Coach Hobbs, Coach Blaney, Coach Miller.  Coming in on their own, shooting.  That’s what they’ve been doing, and it’s going to pay off.  That’s what we keep telling the guys:  Do not be allergic to the gym.

Player Quotes
UConn v. Maryland Eastern Shore
December 17, 2012

Omar Calhoun

On getting his shooting touch back

I was getting [in the gym] morning and night and after practice, getting a lot shots up, working on different things.

I was unhappy with the way I was playing [in the last two games]. I was happy the [finals] break came when it came.

I do different things on the court offensively; hit the three, get mid-range and get to the rim.  I’ve been able to feel my game out a little better.

Our offense is looking better.  [We’re] getting the ball up, making the extra pass.

DeAndre Daniels

There are some little things we still need to work on.  We got outrebounded again.  That’s got to be our main focus.

Does he feel more comfortable playing the four position?

I’m feeling more comfortable.  I know where to get my shots.  I know my role better.  I know where I can score around the free throw area, [take] one dribble, pull-up and get to the rack.

Ryan Boatright

We didn’t complete one of our tasks which was rebounding.  We shouldn’t have been outrebounded by that team.  We have to nip that in the bud and get better at that because when we get into the Big East we’ll face better competition.

On Omar Calhoun

When Omar’s aggressive and he’s scoring it automatically makes our job, mine and Shabazz’s, a lot easier because they can’t just focus on two people. 

On the emotions of playing after Sandy Hook

It’s heartbreaking just to see that.  I can only imagine what those families are going through.  I have two baby sisters that I basically raised, and they were the same age, so that could have been my sisters.  It’s a humbling experience and I feel sorry.  All my prayers go out to all the families.

Shabazz Napier 

On Sandy Hook

I felt so bad about the whole incident.  I just wanted to come out and tribute the game to them and give the fans something to change their mind.  And that was us going out playing as well as we can and giving that excitement.  I hope it took their minds off the incident for just a brief hour or so.  I’m so sad for those family members who don’t have their kids. 

On the team’s strong shooting

I think we were moving the ball a lot quicker than we usually do.  And at the same time the defense was giving us so much.  Everyone was so hot we kept on shooting, kept on shooting and we made a lot of shots.

December 17, 2012
Connecticut vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Maryland Eastern Shore Coach Frankie Allen 

I thought we competed a lot better in the first half, and then in the second half it was all UConn.  They shot the 3-pointer a lot better than we had anticipated, but I thought that some of that was that we didn’t get back in transition, we didn’t close out, and we didn’t do the things you have to do to be successful.  I wanted to try to make this a better game than what it was because from my standpoint you play these games you want to try to get better.   You know you’re coming in overmatched.  Not having our point guard, Kyree Jones, it takes it’s toll.  It’s kind of like you guys playing without Shabazz for any length of time.  At our level, it really shows.  UConn came out in the second half and they just took it to us and we really didn’t have any answers.  It got pretty ugly out there after a while.

They do such a nice job.  Their kids play hard all the time.  You have to respect that from their coaching staff.  We kind of hung in there for a little longer than probably they anticipated.  But like I said, in the second half they turned it up.  They have that second gear.  And we just didn’t have that second gear.  We really didn’t come out and compete in the second half like I hoped we would.