Kevin Ollie briefly addressed the media following UConn’s practice Monday afternoon. This time tomorrow, the Huskies will be in Germany gearing up for Friday’s season opener versus Michigan State.
The Huskies won’t have much down time; they’re slated for a team study hall on the bus from Frankfurt International Airport to the Ramstein Air Force Base (a two-hour ride), and shortly after, they’re scheduled to visit the Landstuhl Wounded Warrior Hospital.
It’ll be a busy few days for UConn, and Ollie hopes his players can learn something from the experience.
“It can put life into perspective,” Ollie said. “(They’ll) understand that they have these liberties and these freedoms because of our wonderful troops…They have a dream, coming out here and playing for the University of Connecticut, doing something you love, going to school for free. There are a lot of things that they get and they have to understand that they don’t get it for free. They get it by hard work and other people sacrificing their lives for us to live over here in a free country and have the liberty to do what we can do.”
A few other notes from Monday’s practice:
*The first team Monday consisted of Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Omar Calhoun, DeAndre Daniels and Tyler Olander.
*Ollie on Omar Calhoun, who has been sensational through two exhibition games: “He just worked hard. He brought effort and intensity, of course he made shots. But he’s doing all the small things, getting in the gym. His hard work is paying off and hopefully he continues to do that throughout our season.”
*Ollie on No. 14 Michigan State: “First and foremost, they’re built on defense. It’s just like when I first came here with coach Calhoun. They’re built on defense and rebounding, so they’re going to rebound and be aggressive. They play up to nine or 10 guys and they’re coached very well by Tom Izzo, a coach that I have a lot of respect for.”