STORRS – Here are some highlights from Kevin Ollie’s post-game remarks:
“Our guys played hard. It was a grind-it-out game. [John Becker] does a great job with Vermont, having them stay within themselves, playing their type of offense.
[We] followed the game plan to a tee. R.J. [Evans], Niels [Giffey] came off the bench and played great. [Ryan] Boatright started it with his pressure in the first half, and what can I say about Niels and R.J.? They did a hell of a job.
I thought our balance was good. We didn’t have a guy that had 25 points, but that shows that we can win in different ways. All in all, I was happy with the guys’ performance.
In the first half, we played 25 good seconds, then in the last 10 seconds we would let up, and we would have a silly foul or they would get a layup off some penetration. We just have to play through every possession. I think in the second half we did that. Our defense was great. To hold a team like this to 30 percent is absolutely wonderful.
Shabazz [Napier] showed up in the second half and played like the Shabazz in the Michigan State game. He’s a great guard. And when he plays with that “attack” mentality going downhill, there’s not a guard in America that can hang with him. I just thought he did a really good job in the second half playing with a sense of purpose.
I just think [Tyler Olander] is doing a wonderful job. He’s not a step slow. Last year he might have been a step slow. Now he’s reacting better….I just think he’s playing with confidence, he’s understanding his role on this team. He’s just coming out with that mentality that “I’m not going to give in no matter what….” He’s also been that stabilizer in the middle that we need. Because we’re not the biggest team. You can see that….Tyler is giving us great effort right now, and I just want him to keep that up.
[R.J. Evans] is just a stabilizer, a guy that I can go to, I can look to, being consistent. I know what I’m going to get from R.J….I’m going to get intensity, I’m going to get him to play hard, I’m going to get him to play unselfishly. And, he’s a grown man. I mean, he’s grown. He’s been through this before. And he’s on a big stage now and I think he’s relishing the moment. It’s just his time to play.”
“I wasn’t subscribing to the excuses, jet lag, coming back from Germany – no. We’re subscribing to playing basketball the right way.”
“We’re going to [the Virgin Islands] and it’s a business trip. We’re going to bond with each other a little bit, we’re going to spend some time with each other. … We’re going to win the Connecticut way,” Ollie said. “Defense first, then we’ll go on the fast break. And we’re going to rebound better.”