That’s according to Niels Giffey, who estimated rebounding — a glaring weakness for the Huskies — is 70 percent effort and 30 percent “in the weight room” (and genetics).
“You have to be honest with yourself that sometimes it just comes down to hustle plays,” Giffey said.
No one can dispute that effort — with the exception of the New Hampshire game — has been there all along. But an advantage on the glass — also with the exception of New Hampshire — has not.
If UConn grabs a few more rebounds against N.C. State, it’s quite feasible that the Huskies could be 7-1 with victories over two ranked opponents.
“(N.C. State forward Richard) Howell had all 10 of his rebounds in the second half, said junior guard Shabazz Napier. “That tells you all you need to know.”
Some other tidbits from Thursday:
*Kevin Ollie said there could be a change in the starting lineup, depending on DeAndre Daniels’ back, which tightened up against N.C. State.
*Ollie on Enosch Wolf: “I’m not asking for 12 and 9 every night – that’s asking a lot, but we see he’s capable of doing it. Hopefully he’ll have some consistent nights and give us that anchor down low. He’s 7-1, he’s a big guy. That’s what we need. We need some of that girth. We’re not shooting that well as a team, but I look down at his stats and I get a smile on my face.”
*Ollie on team balance, importance of fast break: “Our assist to turnover ratio I believe is 1/1 and that’s not going to get it done in the Big East. Shooting 42 percent is not going to get it done in the Big East. We have to raise that up, get better shots, rebound better. That will allow us to get easier buckets, get our percentage up. Sometimes it feels like we’re in a grind and in a struggle all the time. Hopefully we can consistently get rebounds, get out (on the break)… That’s when Boatright can be our best, that’s when Niels Giffey can run and show his athleticism. If we’re coming down playing set defenses all the time, it’s going to be a struggle.”
*Ollie on undersized players rebounding: “Look at Kevin (Freeman). He’s not the biggest guy, but he was fearless, he was relentless. It’s about going to get the basketball. It’s about every time a shot goes up, you thinking it’s a pass to you…You give effort, there’s no secret to it, results come after effort.”