UConn Basketball

with Kevin Duffy

Notes/Quotes from New Years Eve: “The past doesn’t equal the future. If it does, then you live in the past.”

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There’s your last Ollie-ism of 2012. I’m sure there will be plenty more in 2013.

With its non-conference schedule in the rearview, UConn looks forward to its first Big East clash — a New Years Day date with Marquette — under Kevin Ollie. The game also marks a homecoming for freshman forward Phil Nolan, who grew up in Milwaukee and entertained an offer from the Golden Eagles.

“I considered (Marquette) when they first offered me and after that, not really,” Nolan said.

Milwaukee, a city of nearly 600,000, isn’t a basketball town, per se.

“The Bucks weren’t too great (when I was younger) and there weren’t a lot of people from the inner-city who were Marquette fans,” Nolan said. “Marquette wasn’t like how UConn is. It wasn’t like that at all.”

Like all freshmen, Nolan has found it somewhat difficult to adjust to Division I basketball. He cites the speed and physical nature of the game as things he must “get used to.” Still, though, he’s shown some flashes, scoring nine points and grabbing four rebounds in UConn’s past two games.

“He’s working, not only in practice the two hours I have him, but he’s grabbing coach Miller, he’s grabbing myself and he’s willing to ask for feedback,” Ollie said. “I think that’s a great thing for a young player. Instead of just getting a shell and saying, ‘I’m not playing,” he’s saying ‘what do I need to do to get on the court, coach?’”

You can read the game preview here and check out rosters and stats right here.

Happy New Year everyone!

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