UConn 63, Providence 59 (OT): Kevin Ollie’s Take

by Categorized: Big East, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, Niels Giffey, Omar Calhoun, Phil Nolan, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander, UConn men's basketball
Date:

Fantastic year. I’m sad that it’s over with, but I am very happy with this team and what they gave me. Starting in Germany – even starting way before that – but let’s go with Germany. Then to come back here, beat Vermont, and then go over to the Virgin Islands and play three games in [four] nights. That Quinnipiac game (the double OT win on Nov. 18) was when I knew I had something special, because we had a double overtime game and then we came back the next night and had a chance to beat New Mexico and I was like, ‘man, this team is going to be something special.’ The resolve, the resiliency they showed, the dedication they showed through the ups and downs and the changes. Me having a five month contract. Them sticking together. Thorugh the pain, I always say, there is going to be promise.

I couldn’t be happier for this group. Hopefully, they stay together because the future is so bright. We’re  going into the new conference. I love my AD [Warde Manuel]. I love his passion. I love my president [Susan Herbst]. And I’m just along for the ride. I know they’re going to take us great  places and I just can’t wait. And this team we’ve got coming in, the freshmen, it’s going to be a great ride. … The  journey isn’t over, it’s just beginning.

This g ame was wonderful because I t showed that if you believe, anything is possible, and they believed.

Getting 20 wins was one of our goals. Winning the Big East was one of our goals and we didn’t accomplish that. But those are superficial goals. The goal I really want to talk about for this team was being the ‘best attitude team in America.’ They were the best attitude team in America.

[Shabazz Napier] played marvelously, running the tempo and controlling the whole game. Stepping up with his bad foot, he was just a special player out there.

Ryan [Boatright] stepped up. Without Omar [Calhoun] and Tyler [Olander], without the heart of the team, without Niels, we all stepped up. I could go down the list. Philip [Nolan], playing 34 minutes. Who would have thought, seeing him play earlier this year, he could play 34 minutes against [Kadeem] Batts? He showed that if you keep fighting and keep working, and keep believing in yourself, anything can happen. He stepped up.

The lightbulb just turned on with DeAndre [Daniels]. He’s just got a special, special season coming up next year. I can’t wait for him to come back.

R.J.  made every catch, every dribble, every screen difficult for Bryce [Cotton], and once Bryce starts shooting he can hit three or four in a row. I asked R.J. to speak to the team before we came out and when  he was done everybody was crying. He was only here one year, but he will have a special place, he will always be part of the UConn family.

We’re going into a new league, but they’re never going to take UConn away. We’re standing on something solid here and we’re going to build it brick by brick.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

11 thoughts on “UConn 63, Providence 59 (OT): Kevin Ollie’s Take

  1. Hip Hop Hood

    It was shameful how KO begged the ACC for an invitation in the Doyle article.

    1. CalusaSouth

      Horse’s ass, you have the nerve to call someone “shameful”? Why do you even take the time to comment? You are not a UConn fan, a KO fan, or a program fan. Hip Hop Hood, how about Dip Shit Loser, a better moniker for you.

  2. ray-ray

    great win to end remarkable year.bazz showed his grit.daniels will be a stud next year.nolan can be force with weight room dedication.giffey will bea leader next year.ohnolander played his best game since nd.i dont care about boats game winner,he sucks. lineup for next year barringlate great signee——NAPIER
    CALHOUN
    DANIELS
    GIFFEY
    NOLAN

  3. Dave

    Best game I have gone to in 20 years including two in the final four. On paper there was no way to beat a motivated and hard playing Providence team with the six UCONN players available. Napier was brilliant adjusting his game to fit the little he was able to do (not jump more than a few inches). For UCONN this was better than USA/Russia 1980. Ollie has to be the best first year coach EVER in the NCAA.

    Please Ward, put together the toughest out of conference schedule in history for next season to balance the teams lost. This group when healthy will win anywhere. How about the Miami Heat for starters?

  4. Mike McManus

    I agree with KO that this is a real special group of guys who performed far beyond what everyone predicted. When you realize that this team finished with a better record than last year’s team with all of their “so-called talent,” it’s mind-boggling. They far surpassed what last year’s team accomplished and they did it despite the loss of Wolf and the injuries that decimated the team at the end of the season. I hope that they all decide to come back for an encore.

  5. graybeard

    ko and team deserve every accolade coming after this season, and to pull off an OT win against a hot team at the season end…..with 3 starters missing???? It’s been a blast.

  6. Jay

    THANK
    YOU FOR A GREAT SEASON. i ATTENDED THE SO FLA GAME AS I NOW LIVE HERE AND WAS DISAPPOINTED IN THE PLAY. YET I SAT AT A LOCAL PUB FROM TIP OFF TO THE END AND REMEMBERED THE DAYS WHEN HENEFELD ET AL PUT US ON THE MAP. SATURDAY WAS THAT KIND OF DAY. THANKS AGAIN AI I HOPE ALL OF YOU RETURN

  7. Frankie/Stamford

    Dom, what a terrific season! These guys are tough. Lets hope they all come back. I haven’t seen tough players like this since we had a guy out of Highland Park IL. by the name of Lyman DePriest.

  8. shoes

    As a fan from the days of Al Weston this team and this coach have done more with less than anyone could have imangined at the start of the season. If KO doesn’t get votes for national coach of the year the award is a joke. I have never been so sorry to see a season end ever. Hopefully the expectations next year will not overwhelm this group. All the talk of national championship next year is a bit much….Please all.. be satisfied with the heart and desire these guys have shown all year and if the get beat in the first round it will still be a success

  9. DOGMA

    Doing more with far less is the hallmark of remarkable successes and widely separates from the ordinary. It is an intangible that is often times difficult to understand or even explain. It is a rare commodity and as unique as the collective sum of these special players. When the mentally disturbed NCAA Committee deprived them of any due justice, they quietly responded with a singular and unified goal, marked and measured with enormous pride of the best UConn teams. Their unexpected achievement (in the face of denial from any post-season play) is a loud and well-placed slap upon the ugly face of the NCAA tyrants and their cronies (a foul group from higher learning given a valuable lesson: Punish the guilty ….. not the innocent). Well done …….. Well done, indeed.

  10. Jack from Raleigh

    Couldn’t be prouder of this team. Been watching UofC since 1953 and this was one of the big ones along with the Duke wins and the Big East semi against G’town with Henefeld. KO, continue to be your own man.Also.thank you ESPN3.

Comments are closed.