Kevin Ollie on Realignment and Rebounding … Notes and Quotes from UConn Practice

by Categorized: Alex Oriakhi, Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie, Leon Tolksdorf, R.J. Evans, Ryan Boatright, UConn men's basketball, Warde Manuel

STORRS – As one would expect, Kevin Ollie had little to say on conference realignment. It’s not really his concern at the moment …

“I’m happy we’re breathing,” he said, after UConn’s practice Wednesday. “I’m happy we’re in the league we’re in, and we have the games we’ve got. Wherever we are, we’re going to be trying to win games, win league championships.”

“… I will leave it up to Warde Manuel and our great president [Susan Herbst], I have faith in them to do the right thing for this university, and I love this university.”


UConn (5-1) is playing New Hampshire (2-3) on Thursday night at XL. UConn has been out-rebounded in each of its six games.

“K.O., coach Ollie, emphasizes rebounding so much, it gets annoying sometimes,” Ryan Boatright said. “We know we have to rebound better to win. We escaped the first four or five games, getting out-rebounded, but against New Mexico it came back and bit us in the butt.”

Niels Giffey said, “we have to know who we’re boxing out, and when the big guys box out the other guys have to jump in t here sometimes. It’s a team thing.”

Ollie: “I’m seeing progress, I’m not going to say I don’t. We’re going to embrace the struggle. We’re going to rebound, and we’re going to go on the break. … One day this thing is going to explode, and you’re going to say, ‘wow, look at those guys.”


The Unified Team from Kennedy High in Waterbury, special needs students who play at halftime of Kennedy’s regular basketball games,  was on hand to watch all of UConn’s two-hour  practice. Afterward, Ollie and the Huskies players came over to greet and shake hands.


Alex Oriakhi, who has transferred to Missouri, continues to express opinions regarding his last season at UConn under Jim Calhoun. He told Jeff Goodman of

“It was hard …  to help a team win a national championship and then you’re on the bench. Everyone talks about loyalty, but it’s one-sided. Coach [Jim] Calhoun tried to get me to stay, but my mind was made up. I was laughing at him in my head. … What he did last year was ridiculous, especially to a junior. I figured I’d get a little leeway. I didn’t get treated like that as a freshman.”

Click here to read Jeff Goodman’s entire post.

I imagine even on this day dominated with ACC’s snubbing of UConn, this will generate some discussion!


R.J. Evans, recovering from the sprain in his sternum-clavicular area, was doing some light shooting. He’d like to return for the game vs. NC State at The Garden next Tuesday, but UConn athletic trainer James Doran says that is “very optimistic.” A return for Dec. 7 vs. Harvard is more realistic for Evans.

Leon Tolksdorf, who missed the Stony Brook game with a sore knee, practiced full out and will be available for New Hampshire. UConn will have 10 scholarship players available.



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11 thoughts on “Kevin Ollie on Realignment and Rebounding … Notes and Quotes from UConn Practice

  1. Tom Beab

    going into December – why has the AD not corrected the Kevin contract? I do believe many are feeling a seven month contract is a downer for recruiting. The AD has still not corrected his poor decision on KO. His behavior indicates he is the wrong AD. Please all want to know why the KO contract mistake is still not corrected?

  2. Tom Bean

    Uconn AD has made the PP football hire and the seven month KO contract. Thats TWO strikes and his behavior marketing Uconn to another conference is a strike out.

    1. Jay

      This AD did not hire PP. as for KO come on. this is the cupcake part of the schedule. lets see some BE games before hiring an inexperienced 2 year asst coach to one of the prime coaching jobs in the country.

  3. Peter

    Why in the hell would we want to go to the ACC, we hate Duke we hate NC we hate BC for that matter? They are overrated screw the ACC we can do better in the Big East. We will beat all comers from the ACC and they know that. If the ACC is all about academic prowess they certainly did not pick Louisville for that quality. Ranked 163 in the nation academically come on. Glad to see Pitino gone, the man is annoying!And thanks for the 10 million on the way out!

    1. Perry Mason

      Umm, so we can beat them?

      I hate Duke too, but the times we’ve played them are some of my best basketball memories.

  4. buddy

    Can’t hate Duke. They at least supported UConn’s application to the ACC.

  5. Jay

    Same old, same old Oriakhi: all talk, little production. In all honesty, he needs to abandon the immature, self-entitled attitude that has characterized his collegiate career…it has and will only continue to be an obstacle on the court and off of it.

    Enjoy your career of bagging groceries after Mizzou’ gets bounced in the first round again this year.

  6. Artie A...

    A win or two in the BE would be a lot to expect this year I hope folks realize what Jim left KO…

    @ Peter, how many days have you followed NCAA B-ball?
    Mindless or spineless? I would love to play Duke, NC and all the ACC teams week after week. Who do you see left in the BE as a national threat?

    You are missing the boat, the people you hate are the ones that bring the ching $$$$ and excitement in college ball…

    Hope you enjoyed the big victory over New Hampshire this evening…… Ahh yes the Yankee Conference days…..

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