Shabazz Napier: Ollie Contract is ‘Out of Our Hands’ … Notes, Quotes From Practice

by Categorized: Kevin Ollie, Omar Calhoun, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball, Uncategorized, Warde Manuel

STORRS – Kevin Ollie’s contract is always an issue around the UConn men’s basketball team, as it should be. Any other issue tends to be moot until that is settled.

Players, earlier in the year, expressed a desire to help Ollie get the  job, but it seems to be settling in that it is beyond their control, according to Shabazz Napier.

“We thought after the Michigan State game he was going to get the job,” Napier said, “and sometimes it seems like it’s not going to happen. We realize that it’s not going to be in our  hands, no matter what we do.”

A little later, Napier expanded. “It seems like [Warde Manuel] isn’t going to make his decision based on what we do o n the court, but more on what we do off the court, how we conduct ourselves, what we do in the classroom. I think everybody’s doing great academically.”

Napier, here, is on point. It’s not going to come down to how many games the Huskies win, but how they look getting there. If the fall semester academic results are good, that could weigh heavily in the new coach’s favor.

Meantime, Ollie remains consistent. “I care about because you’d like to have a contract,” he said, “but I’m not losing sleep over it. … These kids are giving me their all. They’re working and playing for me like I’m going to be here forever and I’m doing the same thing.”


Fordham, the opponent on Friday is 2-8. “I’m hoping our players don’t look at their record,” Ollie said. “Because they’re a good team. They’re going to be a good challenge for us.” Fordham missed 6-foot-8 senior Chris Gaston (12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds) for six games with a knee injury, but now he is back.

The Rams have a big front court, and Ollie is concerned that if they control the paint they can control the game. Ollie noted that UConn’s leading rebounder (DeAndre Daniels) is at 4.4 per game. “Just somebody get over 5 per game,” he said. “Baby steps.”

Ollie on Omar Calhoun’s transition. “Maybe [in high school] they ran a lot of plays for him, but in this situation, you’ve got to make your own plays.”

With no classes, Ollie scheduled an early practice. “Just to get them on their feet,” he said.




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11 thoughts on “Shabazz Napier: Ollie Contract is ‘Out of Our Hands’ … Notes, Quotes From Practice

  1. kevin

    give him a contract, this is stupid. We have no conference, who is going to come in here right now. Yes we have great tradition now, but come on, KO is one of us, he is a good man, give him a shot! Warde is pissing a lot of fans off.

  2. chris ryan

    Message to Warde and Susan – NO DISTRACTION there. Don’t listen to J Jacobs. Sign this guy now. Manuel is looking like a fool on ESPN and SNY regularly. It is starting to look like Manuel enjoys hearing his name and face time he is receiving from this. This is a major distraction. Thankfully Calhoun handcuffed Manuel into this hire. Who knows what Manuel would have done.

  3. Hip Hop Hood

    Why do the players care about his contract? They just need to shut their mouths and play for UCONN. We paid for their free ride at UCONN to play basketball, not shoot off their mouths.

  4. Terry

    Obviously, Manual is the wrong man for the job. Bedisdes butchering the Calhoun to Ollie transition, overseen the bypassing of UCONN to the ACC, given UCONN less than zero leverage on the recruiting trail, name one positive thing he has done.

    1. chris ryan

      You are right on! By the way HIPPiDY HOP uconn baskestball is self supporting!

    2. Kici It

      One great thing Manual has done is not throw money at an unproven KO. He’s doing the right thing. Make Ollie prove himself before committing to him. As of now, he has done nothing other than beat up 3rd rate teams. If he loses to any of these teams, he should automatically be fired.

      1. BearJWS

        You, Kici, obviously missed UConn beating Michigan State, who was a Top 10 team. They barely lost to New Mexico, which is now ranked #15. They barely lost to NC State which is Top 20. And you missed the whole point, recruits will not commit if they know the coach won’t be there next year. If you want Top recruits, you need a coach who will be there AND a league. Ward has been horrible so far. Everything is falling apart under his direction. Unacceptible!

  5. Jeff Husky Fan

    To Susan Herbst and Warde Manual:

    What in the world are you waiting for? You two clowns have already taken much too long in deciding to do the right thing – extend to Kevin Ollie a multi-year contract to coach the Men’s team. You completely dropped the ball in not talking up UConn enough to the point where the ACC would have welcomed the school with open arms into the league; instead Louisville practically right underneath your noses wooing the other universities in the conference into accepting them. Now it’s taking you forever to make up your minds about Kevin Ollie when the choice is so clear that he is the right man to do the job. I have a solution: Fire yourselves instead. You two are completely incompetent in doing your jobs efficiently as has been clearly proven since the beginning of the fall semester this year. Trained monkeys would be just as capable of running the university and the athletic dept. compared to you two inept clowns!

  6. Tom Bean

    Its December 21st and Uconn is missing recruiting presence because of inept Sports Management. Yikes UC goes from Jeff Hat to Warde and the ship is approaching the rocks. The only solution is a new AD to correct the direction of Men’s Football and Basketball. Season ticket sales and donations are headed the wrong way.

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