NC State 69, UConn 65: Kevin Oliie’s Take; Wrapping Things Up From The Garden

by Categorized: DeAndre Daniels, Enosch Wolf, Kevin Ollie, Omar Calhoun, Phil Nolan, R.J. Evans, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball

NEW YORK – With the lateness of the hour, I’m going to do one post-game post with as much as I can

 … notes, quotes and thoughts following UConn’s 69-65 loss to NC State.

First of all, not a terrible loss. Is there a good loss? No. But UConn stayed with the Wolfpack right down to the end of the game. Again, you felt like the Huskies got the most from their talent. And as in the Michigan State game, you felt, as you watched the first 1o minutes, that they were very well prepared.

Kevin Ollie’s take: “We are going to go with what we have and our guards are going to be the lead for that. But we are going to need others to step up. We are going to get through  this tough time. I like the way the guys battled, they gave it all for me and for this great university. I cannot say enough about these guys in our locker room. Yes, we have some faults like every other  team, but we’re going to play tough.”

“I don’t think they out-toughed us.”

“Tyler [Olander]‘s going to have to step up. Omar Calhoun is going to have to step up and he will step up. I told Tyler, ‘your time is going to come. I told Phil Nolan, your time is going to come.’ We’re going to  have to do it by committee. … I told Tyler, In trying times, you can’t stop trying.”

“Everyone sees our games and they made a focal point about our offense, our p ick and roll offense. We need those guys to attack, for us to win.”

“Our margin for error is not big, and everybody in this room knows that. But we’re going to play tough.”

Note the new Ollie-ism: “In trying times, you can’t stop trying.” It was a big hit on twitter.


Shabazz Napier scored UConn’s first 10 points, and 15 in the first half, then four in the second half. “We trapped Napier in the ball screen and tried to force him to give the ball up,” said NC State coach Mark Gottfried.

Napier thought the difference was in intensity.

“I feel like I was not as aggressive in the second half as I was in the first half. We did not run our plays with the same intensity. I tell the guys, ‘everyone is going to be up for the first half. In the second half is when you figt yourself to  get up., you are already tired. I felt as though I was trying to get a lot of other people going. They got a lot of offensive rebounds in the second half, we had a lot of loose balls. The intensity was not there. For us noty to come out the same was we did  in the first half shows we were not ready.”

For the Wednesday Courant’s  game story, click here. And the notebook, click here. Both will be updated later this morning.

Ryan Boatright, who scored 18, was down also.

“We lost that game,” he said. “… I missed a lot of layups, a lot of shots I normally make. We missed a lot of shots we normally make. We can control that. And we were still right there at the end. We let it slip away.”


The bright spot for UConn was Enosch Wolf, with the 12 points and nine rebounds. The two best games of his life are against ACC teams, Wake Forest and NC State. “He seems to like the big stage,” Ollie said. “He did a wonderful job, and we’re going to need more of that. He has confidence, he gets to his spots and he knows his limitations, and that’s a great strength for him.”


UConn had a 20 to 17 edge in rebounds in the first half, NC State finished with a 37 to 33 edge. DeAndre Daniels, who had seven points and one rebounds, was really bulled off the board by NC State’s big, beefy front line. That’s going to happen. Niels Giffey had a rough game: no points, no rebounds, fouled out.

R.J. Evans did return and played 19 minutes, roughly his average before the injury. He scored four points, went 2 for 8 from the floor. UConn’s guards scored 46 of 65 points.

Some great pics from the game by our John Woike


Jeff Jacobs spoke with Susan Herbst today and learned she is making one more attempt to get UConn in the Big East Tournament. Here are the details.




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14 thoughts on “NC State 69, UConn 65: Kevin Oliie’s Take; Wrapping Things Up From The Garden

  1. Allen Freshler

    This was a good competitive effort. We often got to the rim in the first half but had numerous misses which hurt as NC converted on a pourous defense inside. During one early stretch we shot 4 for 17, many on missed layups.

    Perhaps we need more zone at times to keep us in position on defense and rebounding. Wolf was great, he is developing into a real inside presence.

    It hard to win at this level with a two guard offense. Playing to a faster shot clock is good for this team, we just need to shoot better inside the foul line.

    1. Mike McManus

      I agree with Allen….there’s nothing wrong with playing a zone defense to improve rebounding. It’s too easy to be critical, but I too am concerned that our two guards possibly spend too much energy trying to make the highlight reels. Boatright missed some cripples and ran the clock down too far while he dribbled excessively. At times, they reminded me of last year’s program…too much dribbling around and not running an offense. Have you ever seen a UCONN player take a charge this season? On several occasions they let Leslie tear right down the lane for a dunk and just stepped aside rather than trying to draw a charge. At times, they simply looked complacent.

  2. MikeT

    If you can’t rebound then you can’t win, plain and simple. NC State killed us on the offensive glass.

    DeAndre Daniels is useless…..

  3. Norman

    Ormar Calhoun has to step up his game.I know he is a freshman but he looks like a fish out of water against the better teams.

  4. Dan

    First live game this season.

    UConn is fairly small, we knew this, but they didn’t do enough to overcome this and the size problem will be an ongoing issue.
    The half court offense really struggles, especially when it ends with daniels open at 15 feet or deeper (turnovers, low% 3pters).

    I thought Wolf was absolutely terrific. From last year he’s: Trimmed down and gotten into great shape, he’s agile out there. He’s become a leader/chemistry guy. he was doing a job commanding out there. I’d like to continue to see more of him.

    Olander is not and has not developed an offensive skill set to where the can run offense through him. He’s equally inefficient as daniels. He cannot play the 5.

    Echo the sentiments about rebounding, Ollie had the guards pinching for a while to get more rebounds which lead to poor transition defense and more half court offense.

    Napier was solid as well

  5. Ray

    Is it me or does Omar Calhoun and Deandre Daniels have dribbling issues. I have seen them both turn it over off the dribble all season….It was extra noticeable tonight because it happened against a good team at crucial times.

    I would use Giffey and Evans more than those two.

  6. Randy

    One of the main factors being overlooked is the undisciplined approach to ball handling and poor shot selection. There was a series in the middle of the second half (which contributed to the game starting to slip away) where UConn forced some turnovers, but made bad passes and poor shots. This has to stop. To be clear, the team did some good things and had some defensive intensity, but the players need to avoid trying to make the ESPN evening highlights and be more deliberate and consistent with their actions. Get back to fundamentals. Ball handling in transition needs to be crisp without the ridiculous passes that lead to turnovers. The ball needs to be moved into a position for cleaner, higher-percentage shots than the crazy, off-balance shots many of the guards were taking last night. And of course good rebounding is sorely needed…a skill that usually reflects a well disciplined team.

  7. fishpaw31

    DeAndre Daniels is in dire need of more muscle! He needs to do those hand strengthening exercises that Thabeet used to do…something to do with buckets of sand. How many times have we seen DeAndre rebound the ball only to have opponents strip it away. Hold tighter to that ball, Loyal Dude!
    I won’t comment on Omar C…he’s just a freshman. But nice, nice game for Enosch. Keep it going Herr Wolf!

  8. Geno

    Slowly but surely, Wolf should start moving in on Tyler’s and DeAndre’s minutes. They just can’t rebound!!! Maybe Tyler will be effective @ the Four. But DeAndre has the same problems Roscoe had: They want to be three-man but they can’t dribble or shoot. SMH

  9. ray-ray

    ollie in tough spot– was daniels a 5 star recruit?another big game by olander.boatwright is pressing cuz their is so much pressure on guards.calhoun
    will be ok.wolfman getting is what it is.


    somebody buy these kids a steak and a milk shake…they look like HS kids trying to play against men…getting pushed around alot…and not pushing back!

  11. Walterlinesjr

    uconn will never get invited to the acc because uconn dont win vs acc games this was a must win for uconn 2 teach the acc a lesson those snakes from the acc have a childish stupid vendetta agaisnt uconn you cant trust the snakes from the acc the acc has 2 goals to trea appart the bigeasta nd to leave uconn in a lousy bigeast conferance that gets no respect takecare all gouconn

    1. Randy

      They beat Wake Forest earlier this year, and Florida State the year before. Both ACC teams.

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