UConn 57. Harvard 49: Wrapping Things Up From Gampel

by Categorized: DeAndre Daniels, Enosch Wolf, Kevin Ollie, Niels Giffey, Omar Calhoun, R.J. Evans, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball
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Some notes, quotes and thoughts from UConn’s win over Harvard …  

STORRS – Kind of a check-point for the Huskies. They have a 10-day break for final exams.

At 7-2, you have to figure they have overachieved. The win over Michigan State was one you couldn’t have predicted, the losses to New Mexico, which has since been ranked, and NC State you can take. They’ve beaten the teams any UConn team is supposed to beat, though it took double OT against Quinnipiac, a come-from-behind effort against Stony Brook and some grueling effort against New Hampshire and Harvard.

In this game, and the New Hampshire game, UConn broke out to early leads and never  gave the lead up. That probably says something.

The search for a “third scoring option” is leading to DeAndre Daniels, who scored 23, a career high. (I will write more on him tomorrow). Shabazz Napier was effusive.

“He has to believe he can score,” Napier said. “I always tell him, not to compare himself, but watch Carmelo Anthony. … make  your moves quicker.”

Daniels: “Shabazz says, ‘as soon as you get the ball, ‘turn face.’”

Here is the game story in the Saturday Courant.

Enosch Wolf got the start, but did not really impact the game. Hard to believe a 7-1 player could get no rebounds in 20 minutes against Harvard, but it happened. UConn goes back to the drawing board there – out-rebounded in eight of nine games. One would guess Tyler Olander would start again.

“We want him to fight to get that position back,” Ollie said. “It’s not etched in stone that you’re a starter.”

Here is the UConn notebook from the Saturday Courant.

And some great pics from the game by our Brad Hourigan.

Shabazz Napier on his night:

“I love passing the ball and getting rebounds and assists. I don’t really care too much about scoring as long as my team wins that’s all that I care about. I am happy when I see a guy get a steal – I like to see somebody else happy. That motivates me to keep it going because when I see my teammates happy I know we’re doing something well collectively.”

DeAndre Daniels:

“When I kept scoring, I got more confidence in myself. My teammates kept looking for me and finding me and I kept hitting my shots. I can help them and take the load off of them because everyone is going to be scouting us and trying to get us out of our game. I just need to step up and help and get the load off of their back. … I was confident in myself. My teammates started the game going to me to try and get me going.”

Napier: “We can’t have DeAndre and Omar BOTH not scoring.”

It has been rough sledding for Omar Calhoun. He had a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights look at Madison Square Garden. Against Harvard he Went 0-for-6 from the floor, no points, four rebounds in 26 minutes. Rebuilding his psyche will probably be a task during the break.

R.J. Evans played only seven minutes. Not sure if his shoulder was bothering him again.

Niels Giffey, after two scoreless games, broke it with four points late. Only three UConn players had scored (Wolf, Daniels and Ryan Boatright) before his dunk with 9:53 left.

Some Tommy Amaker:

“I thought the start was very tough for us. I give them a lot of credit. They got it to, I think, 15 to 2. I think [DeAndre] Daniels had an outstanding offensive game. We were searching for answers to try to defend him. I was very pleased our kids to make a great effort to put us back into the ballgame. In the first half it could have been a lot worse than it was. Being down by one possession at the half I thought gave us an opportunity to see if we could hang with these guys for 40 minutes.

“I think [UConn] played an outstanding game especially in the second half when they were able to kind of spurt away from us.

“[DeAndre Daniels]  was a tough match-up for us. He seems to be a very versatile player. We’ve also been seeing and hearing that they wanted to get more from him. He certainly looked like he delivered tonight.”

Here is Kevin Ollie’s complete take on the game.

Jeff Jacobs has some thoughts on UConn in his Saturday column.

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13 thoughts on “UConn 57. Harvard 49: Wrapping Things Up From Gampel

  1. Perry Mason

    Anyone else hear the guys on SNY rip into Warde Manuel over the KO contract? They basically said he looks like a moron and needs to come on their show to explain why he’s ruining the program.

    Tough to say the impact on recruiting is negligible at this point when we’ve lost our top three targets.

    Dom, I feel like a feature article is needed on the status of KO. Warde needs help before he becomes a national laughing stock.

    1. JJ

      Didn’t hear the pre-game on TV, I was at the game supporting KO and the team.

  2. Geno

    The guys on SNY are valid in their ripping of Warde. What is he trying to prove? KO’s resume far exceeds yours Mr. Manuel! I also wish Shabazz played like this last year with the Pros(Drummond&Lamb)and transfers(Oriahki&Smith). Now we need him to be aggressive yet he is reluctant. I hope he is not waiting to BE play to start gunning.

    1. Perry Mason

      Agreed… If this is part of some power struggle, as some have suggested, I fear he’s had the opposite effect he’d been hoping for. Instead of looking assertive and in control, he looks insecure and petty.

  3. Craig

    It’s about time for Napier to finally step up. I’m tired of seeing him only show up for half a game. I don’t think Calhoun is as good as he believes he is. The guard play better improve before Big East play.

  4. Yonick Bush

    What has KO done to justify a contract? Beating up Harvard gets him a contract? He lost to the only decent team he played and NC State is not that good. Keep KO on a year to year contract until he proves himself.

    Why lock up a potential loser with a long term contract?

    1. Edward

      So your position is that Mich. St. is nothing. Their ranked 19th. You have no credibility to say Ollie doesn’t deserve a contract. Many iconic coaches say otherwise.

  5. ray-ray

    manuel looks like a fish out of water.but lets be real.calhoun put uconn on map,but look at the shape he left program .academic issues,suspensions,recruiting violations, a real mess.i used to think jc was classier than the pitinos and caliparis———boy was i wrong.

    1. buddy

      Calhoun built his legacy and UConn’s as well. Unfortunately, in his later years, when NCAA recruiting violations occurred, and the low APR scores came to light, he legacy is now tainted. He brought UConn to the national spotlight, and now he has shut the light off as well.

      1. Perry Mason

        Let’s be clear about what the recruiting violation was…. Basically, he sent too many text messages to a kid. And as far as the low APR schools, we were only out of compliance due to a bs retroactive rule change that almost everyone in America besides Jeff Emmert agrees is unfair.

  6. Geno

    I think UCONN took major hits in the public eye because of Jim Calhoun’s character and Its location to the mothership ESPN. Jim is not like Coach K, Cal, or Williams, (who all know how to work the media) I live in NC and the stuff that goes on down here as far as Violations, never seems to make it to ESPN. I wonder why? Texts messages ? Really! Doesnt UCONN’s APR suffer because of the surplus of Pros and Transfers? It seems like UCONN or Calhoun never gets a fair shake. Bob Knight-Jim Calhoun-Same Guy!!! Just different Era. Knight had more blow ups then Calhoun yet he is honored. Maybe time heals all wounds.

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