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Dec. 18, 2011

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December 18, 2011

Connecticut vs. Holy Cross

Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun

Coach Brown is doing a good job at Holy Cross....I like teams that attack, and they're going to be pretty good.

Why I'm so happy is that we did exactly what we did in break, which is really work on our defense, and getting into passing lanes.  And we really worked on our fast break.  I think they showed today.  We feel that, in some of the other games, we haven't been able to get up big on people, or really run people.  Obviously, we did that very, very well today.

It was us, it wasn't Holy Cross.  We just played very, very well. 

That kind of game you like, heading into the meat of our schedule. 

From earlier in the now, we're a much better basketball team.   Practice, in this particular case, because it's a young team, has paid off.  And I think we're better at what we do. 

We really, really got on them after that first 10 minutes, it was just loagee basketball.  And we took it from an even game to plus 19 at halftime.  And we came out of the locker room and just flew.  I was really happy to see that.

On Drummond

When we get him the ball in those positions, and he's working hard on getting there....He kiddingly said to me, when I got on him Friday about not playing as well, and he looked at me and said "Coach, I'm saving it for Sunday."  I told him, "We don't save anything around here.  We get better on Friday to be better on Sunday."  Quite frankly, he was a lot better on Sunday than he was on Friday. ....He can be a difference-maker, and he going to have to try to do that against bigger, stronger people.  He's had some steps, but this is the biggest step he's made. 

On Napier

Early, he wasn't getting us going.  And we had a meeting of the minds - and that's an interesting place, his mind and my mind.  I mean, you talk about confusion...  But we needed to accelerate pace.  We really did.  And I thought Ryan did, and then Shabazz came in and just really got us going.

Connecticut Men's Basketball vs. Holy Cross 
Holy Cross Head Coach Milan Brown

Definitely a rough afternoon for us playing today. Looks like the break did them a lot of good, and didn't do us too much good. Finals week was much better for them than it was for us.

We knew they were going to make plays and they made a couple of plays in transition. I think we helped them. We had a couple of turnovers. We got out of the offense we were trying to do.

They can strike so quickly. That was the thing we told our guys before the game. When you're playing someone this talented, if you make a mistake they can make you pay every time. Every time we didn't make our offense run right, they made us pay. Every time we turned it over, they scored. That's what happens when you play someone with that level of talent.

On Andre Drummond
Obviously, he's big and athletic. He made a couple of jump shots and post moves today that we definitely weren't expecting.

He's a good player. In some point in time, if he keeps working, he's definitely going to have Jerry West on his jersey for sure.

 UConn Player Quotes

UConn v. Holy Cross

December 18, 2011 

Andre Drummond

On playing with Alex Oriakhi

We know each other's spots and we know where we like to get the ball.  He knows I like to get the ball high.  He likes when I bounce the ball down to him and get him in his right position and get him comfortable to score the ball.  We've been working on it from day one - just getting comfortable with each other.

On doing so well on the break

If I don't finish on the break, that's not a big issue to me.  My teammate scored so I'm happy.  I'll get hyped when someone else scores.  I really don't care if I score the ball or not.

On running the floor so well

I like running.  I don't have an issue with running at all.  I don't really get tired at all.

Where did those post moves come from?

I was just feelin' it today.  I've always had it - just decided to use it today.

Alex Oriakhi

Is this as comfortable as you've felt this year?

Yes, definitely.  I just try to relax out there and tell myself, `relax and play basketball.'  I'm just happy the guards were able to find me.  They made it a lot easier for me.  All I really had to do was catch and finish.  I definitely want to thank the guards.

On contributions coming from everyone today

Those are the best games in my opinion.  I even said it last year.  The best games are when everyone has a good game.  That's all you can really hope for.  Me, I always want to see my teammates do well because I really care for these guys.

Was today a big step forward for you?

I'm just happy I was able to put up some type of numbers out there.  And I'm just focused on the next game and hopefully I can do it the next game.  I know I'm definitely going to try.

Was it more of an adjust learning to play with Andre Drummond than you thought it would be?

I definitely think it was an adjustment.  It was definitely shaky in the beginning, but we are definitely getting used to playing with each other.  He's a good passer and he found me a couple of times.  It's always good to play with a big man who can pass and looks for his other big men.

On having so many guys coming down on the fast break

If guys are fighting to get alley-oops that's a good thing because guys are running hard.