HARTFORD – Highlights from Kevin Ollie’s post-game remarks, after UConn’s win over Washington:
”It was a good day in my life. I appreciate the University for giving me this opportunity. It’s just a dream come true for me to come back to my alma mater and be here to be the head coach and to follow Jim Calhoun. somebody I hold dear to my heart. … I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet, but I know he’s ecstatic for me. I’m sure he’ll be the first one I talk to in the morning.”
”… Our big men were terrific tonight. Phillip [Nolan] came in, six minutes, and contributed. Tyler [Olander] contributed. Enosch [Wolf] contributed. And that’s what we’re going to need from them. I was taking them in and out, subbing them. They did it by committee. Enosch got on the floor about five or six times that vividly stick in my mind. He played an outstanding game. Once again it was an ESPN game, so he comes out on ESPN.
“We want to continue to build on this momentum going into the Big East, knowing it’s going to be a challenge each and every game. But we’re focused. Three words that we talked about in the locker room were desire, vision and focus. And I think we had that throughout the game.
“”I’m happy with 10-2, but I’m not satisfied. Those are two different words. I think we can give a lot more, and I’m going to push the guys and will them to give a lot more. They’ve been doing it. I want them to have the best attitude in America. And that’s what we’re going to strive for.”
“Our rebounding, pursuing the basketball, being tough – tough is a talent, and they were tough tonight. When Washington came back and got the game down to a couple possession game, they came out and played, they came out and got a good rebound, they came out and threw an elbow and played physical.”
Of course I heard [the ovation]. My knees were shaking. My knees were shaking because I was excited.
“The crowd was great once again. I know there’s a foot of snow out there, and for them to come out and support us like they did, it’s exceptional. It’s outstanding….I just hope they continue to support this team, because this team is going to give everything, each and every night. I don’t call them fans, I call them family.”
“… I was very concerned about [C.J.] Wilcox. I think the last seven out of eight games he scored 20 points, and that’s not by accident. He’s a great player. I think Shabazz [Napier] did a remarkable job on him, playing tough defense, taking him out of his comfort zone, getting into his space, because he’s likes a little space where he can dribble drive and also hit that three. So I think `Bazz did a great job taking up space, making sure he’s not late on anything. And then, it’s not only Shabazz. It’s Enosch moving over, being in the low position. It’s out guys being at the nail. We did it collectively….So everything Wilcox did was tough on him.”
“[Wolf’s] was a great dunk. I didn’t like the celebration too much. I want us to act live we’ve been there. But I like the excitement. I like the energy.”