Unfortunately, my article discusses the 3-point line, which will be key as UConn gets into the meat of its schedule.
Looks like Kevin Ollie will have to settle for a blog post about Giffey.
The 6-foot-7 junior saw more action Sunday because of R.J. Evans’ absence, and he provided many of the same intangibles that Evans brings. Giffey, who posted career-highs in points (15) and rebounds (8), also can stretch the defense. He hit three of UConn’s 10 3-pointers Sunday.
“Niels Giffey was my MVP and he’s been my MVP this whole year,” Ollie said. “Not just playing time, but doing all the things that epitomize UConn basketball.”
“Every drill, there’s never any moaning, ‘Coach, practice is too long,’ never any of that stuff,” Ollie continued. “It’s ‘What do I need to do? Once I do it, what else you got for me, Coach? What assignments you got for me? Let me play the toughest offensive man.’”
*Shabazz Napier attempted just two shots in the first half (which should be expected by now). Kevin Ollie has no explanation for Napier’s Jeckyl and Hyde routine.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Ollie said.
Napier offered a reasonable explanation: He’s taking what the defense is giving him. And Stony Brook made a conscious effort to swarm Napier and Ryan Boatright. Together, they attempted just 15 shots.
“Boat and I are quick guards; we should be able to get inside the paint,” Napier said. “It’s what we do after: Are we going to make a silly decision and jump-pass the ball? We have great perimeter guys. We have great 4s. We don’t have one 5. All our guys are ready to shoot the ball.”
*According to ESPN, UConn entered the game ranked 319th in rebounding. The Huskies didn’t get pounded on the boards by Stony Brook, but they still came up on the minus-side, 33-32.
*Tyler Olander picked up two first half fouls, but bounced back nicely in the second. He finished with eight points and six rebounds. DeAndre Daniels, about the only guy who didn’t hit a 3-pointer, attempted a team-high 11 field goals, but only mustered eight points (My dad always says, if you take more shots than you score points, you had a bad game). Guess Daniels had a bad game.
*For those keeping track of the top Kevin Ollie sayings, here’s a new one: “We always say the three E’s — energy, effort and enthusiasm.” Eventually I’ll compile a top 10 list.