UConn vs. Detroit: Notes and Quotes From Practice at Gampel

by Categorized: Amida Brimah, DeAndre Daniels, Kevin Ollie, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, UConn men's basketball

STORRS – Some notes and quotes from UConn’s practice on Wednesday. …

Lots of talk around the country about the new hand-check rules and their impact on the college game. As we mentioned last week, Jay Bilas is a big fan, and looks forward to more freedom of movement. The Huskies have gotten into foul trouble in both games,  more so against Maryland, as Shabazz Napier fouled out and was  taken by surprise by some of the fouls called against him. UConn is still adjusting.

“You can’t say ‘I’m not going to play defense because I don’t want to  get in foul trouble,” Ollie said, “You still have to play hard, pursue the basketball and you have to know that if you foul it’s a mistake.”

The way around it is with better footwork. Hand-checking was often used to make up for getting to the defender late.

“I knew it would be a dramatic change,” Boatright said. “It slows the game down, but at the same time a lot of games are high scoring games. The main way you get fouls is if you’re late on closeouts, then your automatic instinct is to use your arms.”

Said Niels Giffey, whose hot shooting was cooled down by foul trouble against Yale, “You can’t use the arm as much any more. You’ve got to use your body more.”

UConn did play some good defense against Yale, disrupting their offense with ball pressure and Napier picking up only one foul. What Ollie wants is to avoid fouls with Amida Brimah is in the game. Brimah might’ve blocked even more than the seven shots without fouls. Again, the fine line. He wants guards to contest in the lane, but without fouling.

“We don’t want our guards to have ticky tack fouls called on them when we have a big man [Amida Brimah] who can erase a lot of shots,” Ollie said.


Ollie put a lot of emphasis on Juwan Howard Jr., the Titans best player, during practice. Howard, the son of the former Michigan “Fab Five” star has had double-doubles in both games. “He’s a craft player,” Ollie said. “Not explosive, but he’s got a lot of pump fakes, a lot of stuff to his game.” UConn has bigger players in DeAndre Daniels (6-9) and Giffey (6-7) to play Howard (6-6).

Here is our capsule look at the UConn-Detroit game, at Gampel Thursday at 7 p.m.

BTW, Detroit has played UConn only once, knocking the Huskies out of the NIT on March 18, 2001. That was the last time UConn lost a non-conference game at Gampel – it’s 39 in a row and counting.

 Not expecting the Titans, picked eighth in the Horizon League, to bookend that victory here.

More coming soon on our main website. Talk to you from Gampel Thursday night …


Here is the complete John Wooden Award Watch List, which includes Shabazz Napier.:

G Jordan Adams, Sophomore, UCLA
G/F Kyle Anderson, Sophomore, UCLA
G Keith Appling, Senior, Michigan State
C Isaiah Austin, Sophomore, Baylor
G Jahii Carson, Sophomore, Arizona State
F Willie Cauley-Stein, Sophomore, Kentucky
G Semaj Christon, Sophomore, Xavier
G Aaron Craft, Senior, Ohio State
F Sam Dekker, Sophomore, Wisconsin
G Spencer Dinwiddie, Junior, Colorado
F Cleanthony Early, Senior, Wichita State
F Joel Embiid, Freshman, Kansas
F C.J. Fair, Senior, Syracuse
F Aaron Gordon, Freshman, Arizona
G Jerian Grant, Senior, Notre Dame
F Montrezl Harrell, Sophomore, Louisville
G Gary Harris, Sophomore, Michigan State
G Joe Harris, Senior, Virginia
G Andrew Harrison, Freshman, Kentucky
G Tyler Haws, Junior, BYU
G Andre Hollins, Junior, Minnesota
F Rodney Hood, Sophomore, Duke
G Joe Jackson, Senior, Memphis
F Cory Jefferson, Senior, Baylor
G Sean Kilpatrick, Senior, Cincinnati
C Alex Kirk, Junior, New Mexico
F James Michael McAdoo, Junior, North Carolina
F Doug McDermott, Senior, Creighton
F Mitch McGary, Sophomore, Michigan
G Jordan McRae, Senior, Tennessee
G Shabazz Napier, Senior, Connecticut
G Kevin Pangos, Junior, Gonzaga
F Jabari Parker, Freshman, Duke
C Adreian Payne, Senior, Michigan State
G Elfrid Payton, Junior, Louisiana-Lafayette
F Dwight Powell, Senior, Stanford
F Julius Randle, Freshman, Kentucky
F Juvonte Reddic, Senior, VCU
F Glenn Robinson III, Sophomore, Michigan
F LaQuinton Ross, Junior, Ohio State
G Wayne Selden, Jr., Freshman, Kansas
G Marcus Smart, Sophomore, Oklahoma State
G Russ Smith, Senior, Louisville
F Jarnell Stokes, Junior, Tennessee
G Rasheed Sulaimon, Sophomore, Duke
F Noah Vonleh, Freshman, Indiana
G/F Dez Wells, Junior, Maryland
G Andrew Wiggins, Freshman, Kansas
G Kendall Williams, Senior, New Mexico
G James Young, Freshman, Kentucky

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