LOUISVILLE – One thing UConn has never been under Kevin Ollie is embarrassed. Shabazz Napier threw that word out post-game, and if I remember right it was the first time I remember a UConn player saying it since the last loss here, 80-59, in 2012.
It was apt, too. This was an embarrassing loss. UConn was out run, outhustled, outmuscled, and, by Ollie’s admission, out-coached (see below). Louisville is playing its best basketball at the right time of the season, as Rick Pitino’s teams often do.
The Huskies are not. Really, the last five games – the loss to SMU, the come-from-behind win at lowly South Florida, the ugly win over Cincinnati, the too-close-for-comfort win against Rutgers and this 81-48 debacle at Louisville do not constitute an impressive, end-of-the-season body of work. Though, at 24-7, 12-6 in the league, UConn’s season must be considered a good one. But it’s hard to take the Huskies seriously as a title contender when they lose like this, and go 1-5 against the top three teams in their league.
Really, same old stories – no inside game, no crisp passing game against a quality zone defense, too many ill-advised shots. Like in the SMU game, UConn shot less than 30 percent.
Ollie, who spoke for about 3 ½ minutes, was pretty blunt.
Here you go, in his own words:
“Louisville took advantage of everything we did, and I’m the first one, I’m on the front line. We weren’t ready to play. Louisville took advantage of everything. Coach Pitino coached a hell of a team and those players played. They played like champions and we didn’t. I told the guys if we play like that, then we have two games [left] in the season and that’s it.
I didn’t see anything like this coming, and I’m glad it came because now we know how tough we have to play to be a champion. Louisville is a champion. We weren’t tough Continue reading