STORRS – Highlights from Kevin Ollie’s post-game remarks, following UConn’s 99-78 win over DePaul.
We came out and played aggressively. We attacked their pressure early and often. I thought we passed the ball very, very well. Too many turnovers in the first half, but we corrected that in the second half. We played like a team. We’ve been concentrating on hitting first, getting rebounds. And I thought we did that throughout the whole game.
They all did the dirty work, and we put it on the board.
Just a great effort by everybody. Everybody came in and contributed…. I was happy to see Tyler [Olander] come in and play better in the second half, get in double figures [with 10 points]. I was just proud of all of our guys…. I was happy to see everybody come in and contribute.
We were digging, we were in position. All the different things that we try to do – be at the nail, be at the elbows.
I thought Shabazz [Napier] played a great floor game, having seven assists and no turnovers. He sees the whole floor and was getting the ball in to everybody, especially Enosch [Wolf].
DeAndre [Daniels] came back and played the way I expect him to play….I know I’m going to get points from Shabazz, I know I’m going to get points from Boatright. I can pretty much mark that down, that they’re going to get double figures on most night…It just gives us an extra dimension to have him score like he wanted to score. Not just out there playing, he wanted to score. Hopefully it’s not just a moment. Hopefully we can get this over a consistent period of time…. He did a hell of a job today. I’m very proud of him. Very proud.
People kept saying and writing that I sat him down, Niels [Giffey] was just playing very well [at Marquette] and I couldn’t get DeAndre back in the game. But I believe DeAndre’s quote, he said, ‘coach was right, no matter what, coach is right.’ If you have that attitude, that’s how you’re going to become a great player, and a great person. He took it on himself. He didn’t say, ‘oh, coach is dogging me,’ he didn’t blame me, or blame coach [George] Blaney or somebody else.
[Ryan Boatright] gave us that jolt that we needed….We fed off him…. He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever been around…. I’ve been around Allen Iverson, I’m not saying he’s as fast as A.I., but … when he pushes it and plays with that force and plays with that pace, we’re tough to beat. Not only does he get up and down the court very, very fast, he explodes and he gets to the rim. It’s not like he’s a little guy going in there, he’s a little guy with power….He’s going to the rim, he’s attacking the rim, and then he’s making passes…that’s a beautiful thing.
… There is a prize. We’re not going to the tournament. So what? We’re playing each and every day. People are still watching you. You’ve still got pride to put on that jersey. That’s the prize. That’s the goal. You get the opportunity to put on a jersey. You get to wake up in the morning and go to a great university. And if guys pay attention to that, we’re fine. And that’s what they’ve been doing. I’ve got a terrific group, I love them to death and they played very, very well. But we do have a prize: Every day trying to get better. ”
… Hey, First Big East win! Happy about that.”