NEWARK, N.J. – Highlights of Kevin Ollie’s remarks following UConn’s 78-67 win over Seton Hall at The Rock:
“We had a good game plan. It started with Shabazz [Napier] and Ryan [Boatright] getting 10 steals, which was remarkable. “
“We’ve got to clean up some things going into Syracuse, but I’m very proud of the effort for our guys to come out with this win, because of the situation we were in. I was proud of the way we stuck together, our togetherness and our focus, it catapulted us over the finish line.”
“We were attacking more, getting steals, getting layups. They executed what we put in, we wanted more early ball movement. The first 10 minutes were great, then we got back to what we were [doing wrong]. … The second 10 minutes, I didn’t like. We had a lot of turnovers.”
“Then we started getting steals, fast break points. I was very happy with our overall performance.”
“We just tried to run [Fuquan Edwin] off the three point line. He’s a great cutter, we kept a body between him and the ball. We were having some turnovers in the first half when they made their run. He’s probably the best defender, steal guy in the Big East. We took care of the ball better.”
“We don’t say enough about our bigs. They did a great job against [Eugene Teague] and [Kevin] Johnson down there, and they were giving up some pounds. Those guys have big bodies and we kept them from controlling the game.
“I’m proud of these guys. They got to bed late, probably had six hours, five hours sleep. No excuses.We wrote that on the board. We came out and played, and that’s the kind of message we want to send to everybody. No excuses. We came out the first 10 minutes and made a statement.”
“To be a great point guard, there’s a lot of responsibility. If you want to be great, it means being up all the time, even when you don’t want to be up. That’s what the great ones do. Now, if [Napier] wants to continue push, push, push for that consistent. I sat him down the first five minutes [vs. St. John’s] and he took it like a man. I’m so proud of him because he is making the choice to change. He’s doing a great job for us. Without him, I don’t know where we’d be, without him playing the type of basketball he has been playing.”
“I wasn’t even worried about [Boatright’s] dunk. I wouldn’t have done it. But let them have fun. They deserve it. They went through a long bus ride and got in after 12 and I got them up early for breakfast. … as long as it went in.”
“It was a game of wills and our will was stronger”.
“The ball pressure Shabazz and Ryan, they can pressure anybody, any guard in America, when they play like that.”
“We’ve been doing well at the free throw line, it has been keeping us in games. We had the right guys – Boat was 10 for 10, Shabazz was 5 for 6. We had the right guys stepping up.”