STORRS – Some highlights of Kevin Ollie’s remarks, following UConn’s 57-49 win over Harvard:
“Great victory today. I would definitely take 7-2. Once again, we started with a great run in the first half like we did against NC State, and then we relaxed. I think we had three turnovers, gave up a couple of threes and they got right back into the game. Once again, this team showed that fight, showed that resiliency to come back.
“To come out 7-22, I’m very proud of them, but I’m not satisfied. We’ve got to continue to work.”
“Our margin is so slim, so we can’t overlook anybody. Hopefully, we just continue to play like this and find a way to win…and not find a way not to win. And that’s what they did today.”
“Our defense was great. [Siyani] Chambers was one of our concerns and Boatright did an awesome job with him. Also, when they run pick and rolls, it takes five guys, not just the big man, not just the guard. We had a great triangle behind him and we blew all the pick and rolls and kind of set them down. It kind of got him out of his comfort zone. The defensive effort was there, and we kind of kept him out of the lane because he’s a great penetrator and a great freshman point guard, and to limit him really helped our defense.”
“Our sixth man – our crowd – was unbelievable. I definitely want to praise them. I told Coach Blaney after we came out at halftime, when I was on the bench, “I don’t know why they can’t get excited for this.” Just seeing the crowd, I wanted to play. It was just a terrific crowd….They got two shot clock violations for us because they were counting down, so that was good.”
“DeAndre [Daniels] played an outstanding game. He just controlled the game. We knew we had a mismatch problem. And then he showed the toughness that we want. The back spasm locked up during the first TV timeout and he kept continuing to play. He did a wonderful job….DeAndre is a player, and DeAndre just has to have that confidence to take it to the rim, be aggressive. And that’s what we wanted to him to do today…..He decided to play today. And that’s what DeAndre can do. He’s a load on that sweet spot – not right on the block, but right on that sweet spot where he can take one dribble. He’s so long. One time he looked like he was Dr. J – he went under the rim, under the backboard and made a scoop shot. We will need that in Big East play and coming up after the break, because we’ve got some good teams coming in here.”
[Enosch Wolf] had couple of dunks, but I need more rebounds. He had zero rebounds. We need him to rebound the basketball more. We got outrebounded again, so it’s definitely a concern of ours. Tyler played better the last few minutes out there. We’re going to need everybody.
“I want Shabazz [Napier] to score 18 points a game, because I think he’s capable of that. But the game dictated that he had to pass it, and he made some wonderful passes. Sometimes the game dictates to you. Nine assists and one turnover – that’s better than ME.”
“… I’m happy to be 7-2, I appreciate the effort. Now we have to get it done in the classroom.”
And via his Twitter feed after the game:
“The crowd at Gampel was awesome!!! Felt their UConn love. Made me want to lace them up again. Thanks for the support!!”