Notes/Quotes from Nov. 28: “Wherever we’re at, we’re going to be competing for conference titles.”

The buzz in Storrs Wednesday afternoon was conference realignment, not New Hampshire basketball.

Hard to believe, I know.

Still, we found some time to talk hoops before UConn (5-1 and unranked) hosts UNH Thursday night at the XL Center. Some of the highlights:

*Redshirt senior R.J. Evans (sternalclavicular sprain) has made “great progress,” according to Kevin Ollie. Evans did not practice Wednesday, but was able to shoot some free throws. He’ll miss the storied UNH rivalry, but could return next week. A UConn official said it would be “highly optimistic” to think Evans — the team’s sixth man — can play against N.C. State on Dec. 4. A more realistic goal would be Friday, Dec. 7 versus Harvard.

*Ollie touched on rebounding, which seems to be a topic of discussion after every game or practice.

Alex Oriakhi (AP)

“We’re not going to just keep winning with our guards,” Ollie said. “We need somebody who can go down there and score and somebody who can get us a double-double. Tyler has that potential, DeAndre has that potential and Phil (Nolan) has that potential.”

*Interesting story from college hoops insider Jeff Goodman on Alex Oriakhi, who is off to a fine start (career-high 11.8 points, 8.8 boards per game) at Missouri. Among the quotes from Oriakhi:  “If you helped win a national title and then were on the bench, how would you feel? In my three years, I never, ever talked back to (Calhoun). I kept quiet and did exactly what he told me. I got good grades, played hard and never got in trouble….What he did last year was ridiculous. Especially to a junior. I figured I’d get a little leeway. I didn’t get treated like that as a freshman.”

*New Ollie saying: “I call it time, seed and harvest. (The frontcourt) is planting their seeds and the time and the harvest is going to come soon. I truly believe that.”
*Niels Giffey wins best response to a conference realignment question: “I’m a junior, so it doesn’t really affect me.” Right on, Niels.