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UConn 83, St. John's 69 Quotes

Dec. 31, 2011

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December 31, 2011
Connecticut vs. St. John’s
Connecticut Associate Head Coach George Blaney

We had gone on the road and we had talked a lot about what the road means in the Big East.  And so the two days before today’s game, we talked an awful lot about being ready to play, and particularly about being ready to play a noontime game.  Noontime games are notoriously slow-starters.  We’ve been a slow-starter all year.  I thought our attitude, and our bench, and everybody who came in off the bench just had a great attitude towards trying to do what we were trying to do today.

I loved the crowd today.  I thought, from the get-go, they were alive. 

We played great defense in the first half, 26 percent.  We kind of let up, particularly early in the second half because we were scoring so easily.  I think we let up once we got the 23 point lead. 

It was a good win.  I like what I saw today. 

When you play against match-up, if you bounce the ball a lot, the match-up can adjust to that.  If you pass the ball a lot, and we got it from one side of the court to the other – Tyler hit two guys for great passes cross court, and obviously Jeremy can shoot the eyes out – that’s what you want to do anytime you can.

We’re still not doing enough when we get the ball in short corner with our bigs diving down a little bit more. We need to get that down a little bit better.

For the most part, we did a good job of passing the ball.  I was really happy with that aspect of the game. And the other part of the game I was happy with was four for 24 from three for them.  That shows that we’re getting out on shooters and we’re getting our hands up.  That’s always a good sign. 

On Giffey

Niels didn’t play the last game and probably thought he was going to play with me coaching because I’ve always liked Niels, I like his game.  And I just didn’t have a chance to get him in the last game.  He had a good opportunity today.  He gave us two threes.  He gave us two steals.  He even gave us a steal that he kicked the ball on that they didn’t call.  He had a great box-out on another play.  I just thought he played very, very well.  That’s what we’re looking for.

On getting ball to Drummond

I would like to see them do it about 15 more times.  And I would like to see Andre get in position to do it 15 more times.  He’s still learning how to get position.  We’re trying to teach about how to offensive box-out.  And that’s what he needs to do a little bit more, because he is so effortless with how he can rise up and catch it.  And he catches everything.  He doesn’t miss anything when he hands are around it.  So the more times we can do it, we put a bunch of plays in to get that particular situation, and we’re just trying to get to it more and more. 

December 31, 2011
Connecticut vs. St. John’s
St. John’s Acting Head Coach Mike Dunlop

I thought UConn did a good job in particular with their ones, twos and threes, or their perimeter people.  I thought they used their advantage there.  We were fair enough on the board play with them and we took really good care of the ball.  That kept us competitive in the second half.

Certainly we learned a lot coming in here as a group and playing obviously one of the best teams in the country.  It felt like we’ve gotten better since the Kentucky game but we have a couple more steps to take to compete and try to win this game which is the ultimate goal for us.

On solid shooting by the frontcourt in the second half

I thought in the second half we were able to get to the rim and exploit some of that from our conditioning.  The seams were much bigger so we could do that. 

On team being 4-24 from three

The fact of the matter is, if you look at the film, they were wide open threes. We’re trying to get better in that area.  And with our youth, I think sometimes that would be a mixed message. 

 We want to lead off with D’Angelo [Harrison] getting the most of those.  And if you looked at it, it was scattered about.

Player Quotes
UConn v. St. John’s
December 31, 2011

Jeremy Lamb

On what went right in today’s game

We were just hyped.  We were ready to play.  We knew they were a good team.  We knocked down shots, moved the ball, and were able to get stops on defense, as well.

How important is it to be 2-0 in the Big East for the first time in over seven years?

It’s a big accomplishment, but not too big though.  We still have a long Big East season.

On the future Big East schedule

It’s a good conference so you have to be ready to play every night.

Shabazz Napier

Our problem is we look at the score, we see we’re up and we start playing the score.  And some of us start playing to score.  I told the guys we can’t do that.  I don’t like how selfish we are at times.  But we’ll get everything together.  Hopefully we won’t learn from our mistakes by losing a game.

On the future Big East schedule

We’re ready for any game.  We just have to fix some edges up.  We have to understand how to play the score. ..We have to stay in our stuff.  We have to be fundamentally sound.  Sometimes we get out of control, including myself. 

If they rally behind me, I’m going to look for them to score.  I told the guys, ‘I’m not selfish at all.’  I won’t to get 15, I want to get 20 assists.  That’s good for me.

Andre Drummond

On his growth offensively

I’m working on being in better position and sealing my man off.

On the team’s defense

We’re working hard on defense every day in practice.  We work on defense every day in practice before offense.  You can’t win games without stopping people.

Niels Giffey

On being able to contribute significantly today

It was nice because everyone else was happy for me too.  They know my position, and they know that I practice hard, and it worked out for today.