NEW YORK – Okay, it happened. UConn played Boston College, bygones are bygones. And like the old times, it came down to the last possession and UConn won.
First blush – like the Maryland game, a good win for UConn to get, against a power conference opponent, but a game that left one with some question marks and the need to work on a few things.
UConn wasn’t going to continue shooting 50 percent like it was, but the drop-off was rather significant, especially to 32 percent in the second half. UConn wasn’t as sharp, or crisp as it had been, but the parade to the foul line had a lot to do with that. On board with what they’re trying to do, but this game the hand-check fouls were a bit much and it did not make for an aesthetically pleasing game.
Olivier Hanlan was a little snippy about UConn’s defense. “The whole game was physical,” he said.
UConn got a Letter of Intent form Sam Cassell Jr., got a signed financial aid agreement, which is non binding, from Daniel Hamilton. No word on Rakim Lubin. That’s where we are on recruiting, with more on our site. Banging out some late night notes, here you go …
Kevin Ollie’s take:
“It was like an old BC-UConn rivalry [game], down to the end and we gutted out the win. I told the guys ‘without progress, there is no struggle.’ Tonight, we had a struggle from the field but we played defense, and that is when you win championships. We did not get down on ourselves and we don’t get down on our teammates. There were a lot of free throws. When teams are close it comes down to execution. It came down to execution on offense and defense and even the free throw line. BC did an amazing job, shooting 24 of 25 from the line, and we did an amazing job shooting 25 of 29. That’s what these games came down to.
We can play any kind of way, We can play a free throw game, we can play a half-court game, we can play an up-tempo game.
We took care of the ball. Last year, we weren’t a great rebounding team but we took care of the ball and that’s how you stay in a game, by not turning the ball over and with free throws made. We did that tonight.
It’s not easy to play defense when your shots aren’t falling. I thank the guys for their effort tonight.
“I’d like to schedule BC, but it’s not entirely up to me.”
Ollie played 11 players. Leon Tolksdorf did not play. Terrence Samuel and Tyler Olander both played three minutes, and Kentan Facey played four minutes. Foul trouble limited Phil Nolan to 11 minutes, Niels Giffey to 16.
Talking to Jim Calhoun the other day, he suggested that Providence, UMass and Rhode Island are other schools UConn could play fairly regularly as they look for territorial rivalries. UConn needs to beef up its non-conference schedule without adding to the travel burden presented by the new AAC. So opponents like that, and BC, make a lot of sense.