April 4, 2014
"We have a more complete team than a lot of people give us credit for," Ollie said. "Ryan Boatright is playing unselfish basketball and that's really allowing us to flourish on the offensive end, and we have Niels Giffey who is a deadeye three-point shooter."
Boatright, like Napier, is playing at his best at the right time of the season. While his 13.8 points per game in the 2014 NCAA Tournament are just slightly above his regular season average of 12.0 points a contest, it's his defense that has had the most impact for the Huskies, who have held opponents to just 69.0 points a game in the tournament.
"He really puts great pressure on the basketball," Ollie said. "We are trying to teach him that it's not all about scoring and he's starting to be more coachable, which is great."
On the offensive end, junior forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) has flourished during the postseason and emerged as a reliable scoring threat. His 17.0 points a game in the NCAA Tournament are up from the 12.3 points per contest he averaged in the regular season, and he was the difference for the Huskies in their 81-76 victory over third-seeded Iowa State in the Sweet 16. The UConn forward scored 19 of his team-high 27 points in the second half against the Cyclones on the way to recording his fourth double-double of the season.
"When the ball gets thrown to Daniels, he's in a lot of very vulnerable situations from a defensive standpoint," Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan said. "He can shoot threes and he can put it on the floor and get into the lane. If you switch him a lot, he has the ability to go into the low post and post up on smaller guards."
Friday morning, Daniels and the Huskies were back at AT&T Stadium, where they spoke with the media for about 45 minutes before holding a practice open to reporters and fans. Following the open practice, UConn traveled to Southern Methodist to take part in another closed practice this afternoon.
Connecticut's national semifinal game against the Gators, who the Huskies defeated, 65-64, earlier this season, will tip off at 6:09 ET and it will be broadcasted on TBS and the UConn IMG Radio Network. UConn is 1-1 all-time against Florida and the Huskies are 6-1 all-time in four previous trips to the Final Four.