Pitt 69, UConn 61: Kevin Ollie’s Take

by Categorized: Big East, Kevin Ollie, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

PITTSBURGH – Some highlights of Kevin Ollie’s remarks, following UConn’s 69-61 loss at Pitt:

“They came out aggressive. Once again, we didn’t rebound like I expected our team to rebound, and they took it to us in the first half. You can’t spot a good Pittsburgh team 13 points. In the second half the guys came out and responded the right way and got in the game. We had the score tied twice, but we couldn’t get a stop in the end. Woodall hit a three and then we were even after [Ryan] Boatright drove the length of the court and got a one-and-one and made the free throw, but we gave up another three to [James] Robinson. We can’t do that. We have to play hard, we have to play for 40 minutes and I thought we only played 20. You can’t do that in the Big East.”

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight. Every time we come here to play Pitt we know they’re going to get us, they’re going to hold us, they’re going to go over our backs and rebound. They played aggressive, and I kept telling them it was going to be like that. We weren’t able to withstand them. They hit us first in the first half. In the second half we challenged them, our coaching staff challenged them, and they responded. You can’t let a great team like Pitt get a lead of 13 points on their own court; it can’t happen, not in the Big East.”

“In the second half, our guys came out and responded the right way. But when we needed a stop, we couldn’t get it at the end.”

 “[In the second half] … it was just about us being aggressive. We were rebounding, hitting, and being aggressive. We had some shots fall that came off of our penetration, us getting steals, and us getting layups. It was just all aggressive things that we need to do to win. We’re not a talented group in the sense that we can go out individually and try to win. We have to do it as a collective group, play hard, and do all the small things, such as sacrificing your body. We didn’t do that in the first half and it was a embarrassing. In the second half we came out and played. I’m proud of them for coming back, but at the end of the game we needed some stops. We let Pitt score on us in four out of their last five possessions. We can’t let a game be that imbalanced.”

“Our pick-and-roll defense has got to get better. Everybody’s going to run the pick-and-roll, it has been around for years. If we don’t defend that with five guys on the court, we’re going to be in trouble.”

“… [Shabazz Napier] was out on the court. He was 100 percent.”

 “… I’ve just been back [in the Big East] a couple of years. We’ve had some wars, some memorable games. We’re going to miss them, more power to them. I know our president [Susan Herbst] and our AD [Warde Manuel] are going to get us in the right position. We believe in their leadership and we’re going to be the right spot – I believe, soon. Wherever that is, we’re going to have to play, go out and win championships, conference championships. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

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8 thoughts on “Pitt 69, UConn 61: Kevin Ollie’s Take

  1. BT

    Why is Coach Ollie so hesitant to give his team more depth by playing Brendan Allen, a scholarship sophomore who can handle the ball, defend and shoot as well if not better than Omar Calhoun? The team looks like it is playing tired.

    1. Tom

      The reason is that your description of Allen bears little resemblance to reality. As good as or better than Calhoun? Perhaps Ollie knows that this is not the case because he knows a lot more about basketball ability than you do. Please go back to sleep.

    2. Pete

      If Allen was a better option he would play more, period!. Such a foolish comment from @BT.

  2. Chris

    Need to have minutes with olander and wolf on the court at the same time to get rebounds. Try it to see what happens please!

    1. Bov

      I suspect that because, unfortunately, both of them are foul-prone, Ollie knows that playing them together might leave the team without a big man late in games.

  3. BT

    Dom Amore has seen Allen practice against the “star”. Dom what is your opinion of Allen as an option for resting some of the overplayed members of the team?

    1. BearJWS

      Allen is what he is. He’s a walk on, whom UConn gave a scholarship to because they had an open one. He didn’t receive any Division I or II offers. He wasn’t even all the good in High School or Post Grad. Basically on the team because he’s 6’3″ and supposedly quick… but at the end of the day, he needs to be good, which it doesn’t sound like it.

  4. Matias

    I would LOVE to see Allen play in the last 2 minutes of every game, because the only way that would happen is if UConn was up by at least 20 points. So yea, if the team can allow him to play more, that would be great! :)

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