STORRS – Kevin Ollie said the opportunity to visit youngsters in Newtown was “something special” for the Huskies.
“They were all huge fans and they were just looking for us to spend some time,” he said. “We just kind of let the kids shoot, play knockout.
“It’s your responsibility as a human being to give back, that’s the way I look at it. It’s our jobs to give back. … You’ve heard me say it many time, we’re blessed to be a blessing to others.”
The gathering, which included about 150 children, at the Newtown Youth Academy lasted about 90 minutes on Thursday. Friday marked two weeks since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Other notes, quotes and thoughts from UConn’s practice on Saturday:
Ollie was asked if Tyler Olander, who had six rebounds in 17 minutes vs. Fordham, had “turned a corner.” He lit up. “I like that thinking – yes, write that. He’s turned a corner.”
Rebounding has been the issue, on the court, at least, for UConn and Ollie is still looking for an answer there. Don’t be surprised if he tries Olander in the starting lineup again; Enosch Wolf played only eight minutes against Fordham.
Washington (8-4) has already been in Connecticut this season, having played Seton Hall and Ohio State at the Mohegan Sun in November. “So they’re already familiar with the travel,” Ollie said. “I’m not looking at that as an advantage for us.”
If you’re coming to the game at XL Saturday night, remember there is snow in the forecast for the afternoon hours.
Washington has a pretty big team, and big guards – especially C.J. Wilcox, who is 6-5 and averaging 19.6 points per game. UConn assigned Brendan Allen, who is 6-3, to imitate Wilcox for the scout team in practice. “I just tried to be more aggressive,” Allen said. “He’s a scorer. It’s for these guys, to try to give them an idea of what they will see.” How do you go about pretending to be another player? That’s my story for the Saturday Courant.
Wilcox is shooting 41.3 percent (33 for 80) from three-point range.
Washington has won four in a row, it’s last game, a 67-57 win over Northern Illinois. NIU is also known as the Huskies, so Washington can, perhaps, clinch the “Huskies” bragging rights for the year if it were to beat UConn.