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Notes/Quotes from Concordia

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Omar Calhoun (AP)

Omar Calhoun (AP)

First note the jerseys. Ridiculously yellow.

Then note the opponent. Ridiculously overmatched.

You can’t draw much any exhibition game, let alone a scrimmage against a Division III opponent that went 4-21 a year ago.

So keep that in mind when you read my take:

*It seems to me that Kevin Ollie loves Terrence Samuel. I’m a little young to remember the Kevin Ollie playing days at UConn, but it seems that Samuel is very similar in style to his coach. He’s tall, physically advanced for his age, a natural on the fastbreak and apparently a leader on the floor.

“If you’re good enough to play, you’re good enough to lead,” Ollie said. “That’s what Terrence does. If he’s playing, he’s leading.”

With Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright limited in the 98-38 blowout, Samuel registered 10 points and 12 assists in 28 minutes.

“Terrence played incredible,” Ollie said. “He’s been doing that the whole preseason.”

*It’ll be interesting to see how the frontcourt minutes shake out against a legitimate opponent. Tyler Olander, the starting center a year ago, logged only seven minutes and put up zeroes across the board Monday. He’s still working himself into top shape, according to Ollie. Olander’s lack of playing time was mostly due to “the flow of the game.”

“”When Pat Lenehan outscores Boatright, there are a lot of things that don’t look right on the stat sheet,” Ollie said.

*Monday’s exhibition was my first look at Amida Brimah. My reaction: How were no other high-majors involved with this kid? When Brimah committed to UConn, he picked the Huskies over La Salle, Florida International and South Carolina. Just off sheer length and athleticism, you’d imagine Brimah would have at least a dozen other scholarship offers.

“He’s a diamond in the rough,” said UConn senior Niels Giffey.

Brimah wasn’t incredible by any means (he had four points, three rebounds and two blocks), but his wingspan and ability to run the floor give him the highest ceiling of any UConn center. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Brimah move ahead of Phil Nolan, Olander and Kentan Facey to become the team’s starting center. At this point, he looks better than Facey, a consensus top 100 recruit.

*After two offseason hip surgeries to repair femoral acetabular impingement (FAI), Omar Calhoun is still getting back into basketball shape.

“I feel like (this season) is a lot easier because I can move a lot better,” Calhoun said.  “I got the surgery early, so I knew I’d be able to use the exhibition games and practices to get my body back.”

The surgery should restore some explosiveness that Calhoun lacked a year ago.

*Concordia’s coach, Tyler Jones, was the head coach for the CBA’s Connecticut Pride during Ollie’s brief tenure with the team.

“He always had my back, even my rookie year when we had Rumeal (Robinson) and Tate George, there were rumors of me getting cut,” Ollie said. “He said he was going to stick by his first-round draft pick. He’s just a great man. I believe I wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for him.”

*Gotta give some credit to walk-on Pat Lenehan, who posted Shabazz Napier overtime numbers (seven points in five minutes).

“He plays against us every day, and him and Tor (Watts) put us in a situation where we have to play hard,” Giffey said. “They might not have the size, but they make up for it with work ethic. It’s fun to see them out there.”

 

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