No reasonably healthy Husky will sit on Saturday. If Shabazz Naper and/or Omar Calhoun can play, they will.
“I’m not inclined to sit anybody,” Kevin Ollie said, on a teleconference Friday. “We owe it to the fans, if you’re healthy enough to play, to go out and play. I want to finish on a up note. We owe that to our fans to go out and give it all we’ve got.
The Huskies have a chance to get that 20th win, and throw a wrench in the Providence playoff gears. The game, at noon, will the best last of the season for UConn. The end was going to be painful in any event, with no postseason, but all the injuries give that a different dimension.
Ollie sounded optimistic about Napier, who has missed the last two games with the sprained left foot. “He’s feeling better,” Ollie said.
If Calhoun can’t go, Leon Tolksdorf will fill in as a three-point shooting threat and possibly Brendan Allen will play more. Tolksdorf is probably the backup center to Phil Nolan, with Tyler Olander out.
Lots more on this on our website, which will be updated later Friday
Here is our capsule look at the match-up.
Ollie on the Big East breakup:
“Our president, Susan Herbst and our athletic director, Warde Manuel, are going to put us in the best position,” Ollie said, “I’m going to coach ‘em, whether we’re playing in the back yard, in the ACC or in whatever this conference is called. That’s my job. UConn basketball is going to be here forever, I’m just glad I’m going to be a part of it.”
“This is a great team. … Kadeem Batts is one of the, is the most improved player in the Big East. DeAndre Daniels is right behind him.”
On Tyler Olander: “We were looking for more production and I’m sure he wanted to have a better year, but he stayed in the fight, and that’s the important thing.”
With all the snow up in that part of the state, UConn did not have it’s scheduled open practice. Ollie spoke on a conference call.