Cincinnati 61, UConn 56: Wrapping Things Up From Cincy

by Categorized: Big East, Kevin Ollie, Niels Giffey, Omar Calhoun, Phil Nolan, R.J. Evans, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

CI NCINNATI – Some notes, quotes and thoughts from UConn’s loss here at Fifth Third Arena …

First blush, a little perspective is in order. UConn has 19 wins, nine in the Big East, more than last year, more than anyone expected. Did anyone expect them to sweep Cincinnati? Nope, a split would have been satisfactory even with Shabazz Napier playing both games. With no Napier? Today is not a terrible loss, but another disappointing one.

Having said all that, there is only one thing that would take the shine off what the Huskies have done this season, and that would be a four-game losing streak to end it. I’m going to call Wednesday night at South Florida a “must-win” for that reason.

There were terrible parts to the loss. R.J. Evans’ inbounds pass was a nightmare. Kevin Ollie didn’t blame Evans, but Evans took the blame. “I didn’t think [Titus] Rubles would jump that high, the onus is on me,” he said.

Here is the game story for the Sunday Courant.

A few ill-advised threes, you’re always going to see that. With or without the wrap, Omar Calhoun’s wrist is injured and he can’t shoot like Omar Calhoun. “He didn’t have a good shooting night, that happens,” Ryan Boatright said, “his wrist is messed up.”

Shabazz Napier said he knew when he woke up he wouldn’t be able to go. He missed a game for the first time at UConn, after playing in 102 in a row. “It was so difficult,” he said. “I thought about getting dressed at halftime. One thing I don’t like to do, I don’t like to miss games.”

Napier hopes to play at South Florida, but if  he missed this game the foot must be really bad.

Niels Giffey has a “dislocation fracture,” of his right index finger. It sounds bad, and probably is. We’ll know more in the next few days, but it sounds like an injury that will cost him these last two games.

Here is the UConn notebook for the  Sunday Courant.

Really liked what Phil Nolan brought to the game. Eight points, seven rebounds in 26 minutes. I’d like to see him play a lot more these last two games, maybe even start. Just see what you have for next year.

Ollie was a little combative in his postgame remarks, held outside the UConn locker room.

 Here is Ollie’s take on the game.

And here are some great pics from our John Woike, on the scene in Cincy.

And, of course, your box score. Jeff Jacobs take on the game will be up on our main website later on.

Tyler Olander went 0 for 6 from  the floor, with four rebounds in 14 minutes.

DeAndre Daniels: “Another heart-breaker, right down to the end of the game.”

Ryan Boatright: “It’s very frustrating, we were right there. These last two games, we were right there to take the game.”

Mick Cronin on that last play: “I wasn’t going to let [Boatright] play it out. We were going to try to make him take his time and corral him. When it got under 10 we were going to foul, we weren’t going to let him shoot a three and tie it. What happens, a lot of times in my experience with  that, is just that. You  have smart  players, you get the steal and you don’t even have to foul. I don’t believe in letting the team shoot the three to tie it with under 10 seconds, and the kids executed it perfectly.”

(Okay, cue references to the Marquette game  on New Year’s Day.)

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8 thoughts on “Cincinnati 61, UConn 56: Wrapping Things Up From Cincy

  1. ray-ray


    1. Ray

      Come on Ray Ray…….Admit this team is a much better watch than the team last year with the cry babies that are now gone.

      This team does play with a lot of heart.

      Sure there was some silly shots going up at the end. Daniels and Boatright to name a few and maybe Giffey needs more minutes, but I think most fans are proud of THIS TEAM.

      1. Artie A...

        Relax Ray and realize ray-ray and hip hop are ignorant trolls out to hurt your and other fans feelings.

        Nobody but nobody that was a fan of UConn would say the things they do with such a level of ignorance.

  2. masnalpak

    Ray– true OCONN fan. To all those who love to bash our boys, you should consider leaving the Big East as well. Go bash the teams that deserve it!!!!

  3. Hip Hop Hood

    If KO were just a mediocre coach we would have won this game. Cincinnati is one of those teams not good enough to get out of the conference. We should be able to beat down teams like that.

  4. Hip Hop Hood

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Calhoun’s pathetic game? He’s so overrated on this board.

  5. ray-ray

    it is fun watching this group,and they certainly exceeded expectations—–just saying they were behind 8 ball when u have to depend on those players


    Q: What do UCONN’s end game offense and George DeLeones play calling have in common?
    A: All too predictable.
    I recognize that there is little talent on this year’s team, but Boatright racing up the court into double or triple team defense is not going to surprise anyone or get positive results. Either have someone else bring the ball up court and run Boatright off a screen or use him as a decoy to draw the defense and get rid of the ball quickly.

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