Highlights from practice on the eve of UConn’s matchup with Providence:
*Shabazz Napier is still dealing with the effects of a left shoulder contusion suffered in a loss to Louisville. The injury has been painful when Napier sleeps, he said, and also caused him to sit out of Wednesday’s box-out drill. That’s just precautionary, though. As we saw against Rutgers, Napier is clearly able to play. His status for Thursday’s game isn’t in jeopardy.
*Ryan Boatright (knee tendinitis) sat out the last few minutes of practice as well.
*Ollie on UConn vs. the zone: “We’re getting better I believe, but it’s still a struggle. That’s why Syracuse plays it all the time. Teams are not used to it. You have to understand that it’s going to be zone, and you have to understand your gaps. Every team is different. With coach Calhoun they had bigger guys so they were able to pound the ball inside. Our guys are more guard-oriented so we have to look at gaps and attack. It really is just getting the ball off the deck and moving the defense.”
*Ollie on a two-guard lineup with Niels Giffey and DeAndre Daniels at 3/4: “I like that. I like anybody coming in and giving me and opportunity where we can be a little bit more versatile and a little bigger. But I still like my three guards. They’re going to play a lot of minutes and we’re going to have Niels ready and DeAndre is going to be ready and we’re going to let the game dictate to who is going to play. I don’t go in and say ‘I’m going to play this guy X amount of minutes.’ If you’re playing hard and playing with effort, you’re going to be out there a little longer. In foul trouble, you have to make adjustments and that was an adjustment…I do like that lineup a lot.”