NEW YORK – Highlights from Kevin Ollie’s remarks following UConn’s 71-65 loss to St. John’s.
“It comes down to heart. You have to play with heart. You have to play with that in the first half. You’ve got to play with that energy. You’ve got to play like you love the game. You’ve got to make shots. But still, our defense was still good in the first half. We weren’t making shots in the first half. We weren’t making shots in the first half, I think they shot 33 percent in the first half so we were playing good defense.
Second half it kind of jumped up, but we’re still holding teams under 40 percent. We can’t shoot 29 percent and then come back and shoot 30 percent tonight and expect to win. In the second half, they played with effort, they played with life and I give my guys a lot of credit. Effort, that’s what I coach, that’s what they gave me.”
I have no idea why we have these slow starts. We have to go back to the drawing board. They just have to play with effort and energy. When we play with effort and energy, you see what happened in the second half. That’s on me and we’re going to have to make changes.”
Omar [Calhoun] made some shots. He kept us in there. In the first half, he had 13 points. … He stayed in there and he played hard, played aggressive, I was happy for him. Too many threes, but he did make five out of 12. … But we need all our guys to step up and play better defense and be more enthusiastic about the game, have that passion in the first half.
“[At the end] it wasn’t a lack of energy or being tired. We just didn’t make the plays when I t was necessary.”