A visibly frustrated Kevin Ollie mentioned “making changes” after Wednesday’s loss to St. John’s. Turns out Ollie wasn’t referring to any lineup maneuver, but rather a “mindset change” at the beginning of games.
“I’m sitting back, thinking about things, and we have to be better, ” Ollie said. “We have to be more confident with our shots. What we’ve been doing hasn’t been working. That’s up to me to try to change that.”
The Huskies (15-6) have come out brutally flat in the past week, totaling 15 points at the half versus South Florida and 20 against St. John’s.
Some other notes from Friday’s conference call:
*Ollie mentioned UConn’s defense and ball control (just 17 turnovers in the past two games) as positives.
“We’re doing some good things; I’m not about to jump off the ledge,” Ollie said. “But we have to score better. We can’t shoot close to 30 percent and expect to win consistently in the Big East. It’s the mindset of confidence, coming up with some new plays against the zone and then it’s just attacking and believing — that’s what it all comes down to.”
*The entire offense is struggling, but no one is having a more difficult time than Ryan Boatright. From Dec. 7 – Jan. 8, Boatright shot a staggering 58 percent from the floor. In the seven games since, he’s dropped to 36 percent, including a 1-for-8 showing at The Garden.
“I just think he needs to attach the basket more,” Ollie said. “We’ve been playing against zones, and it’s not just him. It’s not just Ryan. We all have to attack the basket more. The last two games we’ve shot a combined 55 3s. With the snowstorm, you have the opportunity to look at some different stuff. I’m sitting here, going through the stats, and we’re shooting too many 3s. Last game against St. John’s, we counted, and we missed 17 layups. That’s unbelievable. We have to convert on some easy buckets.”
*Seton Hall, 2-8 in the league, is not to be overlooked, Ollie said. UConn travels to Newark for a noon game Sunday against the free-falling Pirates.
“They’re 2-8, and we could easily be 2-8,” Ollie said. “We could easily have a better record than we do have because it comes down to the possessions late in the game. (Seton Hall) is a dangerous, dangerous team. We don’t want them to start rolling on our watch.”
*All UConn players practiced Thursday, a team spokesperson said. The Huskies were off from practice Friday because of the University closure. They plan to leave for Seton Hall after the storm passes Saturday.