Way back when, Ricky Moore was a high school player making an official visit to UConn, and Kevin Ollie was one of the team leaders that showed him around.
Now Moore, 37, is a full assistant on Ollie’s coaching staff and in July he will be taking to the road to help re-create the positive UConn experience for recruits.
I sat down with Moore this week for some of his thoughts on his new role, his career at UConn, including the 1999 title and how it shaped him, and his years playing overseas. Here is what he learned from watching OIlie last season:
“What I saw, it wasn’t about wins and losses. Guys came to practice, competed in practice. He wouldn’t let you [get by] if you were having an Okay practice, he wanted to get the best o ut of you in that practice. He was going to challenge you in that practice. Guys performed at a high level in games because they were used to being challenged in practice.
“From what I saw, he was able to get the best out of every player on the team.
“If I ever have opportunity to be a head coach, I know you have to bring a certain energy and passion. If you love game of basketball that much you’re going to have to have that drive in you, and you have to bring it every day. Every day you wake up, you have to love what you do. And I can honestly say [Ollie] loves what he does, he loves representing the university. When he comes in, it’s like a full speed train. Every day.”
A couple of other things:
Moore, from Augusta, Ga., has contacts in the south, but he says recruiting will not be a territorial thing. He will travel everywhere.
UConn now has four coaches who can go out and recruit. They can have three on the road at any one time, but all four can participate.
Moore said his official visit to UConn “sealed the deal” because the players already on the Huskies embraced him. He wants to that to be the case for recruits he brings in.
“You want to make sure, when a kid come up he had a chance t spend time with guys on the team. If you don’t, the parents or the kid’s guardian would be concerned. Why he didn’t have a chance to spend time with key guys? Because he’s going to have to spend a lot of time with those guys.”