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Postgame reaction to UConn’s lost to SMU

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Here are some postgame comments from UConn and SMU after the Mustangs won 74-65 Saturday afternoon at Moody Coliseum. The Huskies fly back 0-2 in the AAC, 11-3 overall.

UConn coach Kevin Ollie

On the loss:

“We don’t have nobody to look at except ourselves., and that’s me included. First and foremost it’s me. I got to find a group of guys that are going to play defense. It starts with our guards, it starts with our best players. They have to tone. Today that’s what (SMU guard) Nic Moore did. He set the tone from the tap. Putting pressure on you, he got to where ever he wanted to get to. Then Nick Russell got to where ever he wanted to get to, and we just can’t do that. We have to put pressure on them and guys have to feel us and I don’t think they ever felt us tonight once they turned it on once we got an 18-13 lead and that’s where the game got out of hand.”

On recovering from the loss:

“We have to come together. We have to go back to the drawing board and try to beat Harvard. We have to do something … we can’t keep doing the same thing. Like I told you before it starts with me. I’m the first one to look myself in the mirror.

On what it was like playing at Moody in front of a sellout crowd:

“No it wasn’t a different experience. A good basketball game, good atmosphere and Larry (Brown) is doing an outstanding job getting the fans behind them but it’s nothing we haven’t gotten accustomed to. We’ve played in bigger games than this in bigger venues. They are trying to make this a special place and to start off and get their first win, they are on their way.

On the play of guard Shabazz Napier, who took only one first-half shot and finished with 12 points:

“I want him to be Shabazz. I want him to be an All-American. It’s not all about shooting. We had an 18-13 lead and it’s the tough things. It’s the offensive rebounds, it’s the different thing, but I want him to play with pace. I want him to be in attack mode all the time and if that’s him scoring 20 points and that’s him making 10 assists. He was getting by his guys but we didn’t make shot either. He was making some great passes and it was going through their hands. You can’t blame him or fault him for that, but you he has to understand we need him scoring the basketball also. I think he got a little discouraged about some of the guys missing shots but he has to keep making the right play and that’s what he did.”

 On the job Larry Brown is doing:

“Larry is going to do an amazing job. I know he had some tough losses last year. He had a young team and they didn’t know how to win yet, but he’s a great coach, a great motivator and he’s a perfectionist.  So those guys will be drilled the right way and understand how to play the right way, play hard and with intensity.  He’s just a great coach, but he’s an even better person. It’s great for me to have the opportunity to spend some years with him.”

UConn guard Ryan Boatright

On what happened after UConn took an 18-13 lead:

“We were executing our offense and getting stops on the defensive end. Once again, they made their run because we gave up three offensive rebounds on the free throw line. That never happens. It all comes down to rebounding, once again.”

UConn guard Lasan Kromah

On the loss:

“We have to play with more intensity. Refocus on the little things like box out, stealing 50-50 balls. All the little stuff that adds up to help us win a big game.”

On how to improve on the glass:

“We just have to stay solid, stick to our principles, stick to the things that we work on in practice and make sure we transfer that to the game.”

 

SMU coach Larry Brown

On turning things around after UConn’s 18-13 lead:

“I thought we were lucky in the first half. We made shots, but I thought we settled a little too much and they got us playing a little bit to fast. But you have to have great guard play to play them and the way the game is being called now, I don’t know how guards can defend. But I thought our guard play was great and I thought Nic kept us in early … and then I got on Nick Russell.”

 SMU guard Nic Moore, who finished with 20 points

On playing front of a sellout crowd against UConn:

“I just came out.I was excited. Our guys, we were just executing when we need to and I thought they were giving me enough space to get my shot off, so I was just shooting and being confident it was going to go in.”

On being guards by Kromah in the second half:

“They put a big guy on me, kind of face guarded me, but that’s why you are out there with five other guys. four other guys. It’s not all about me scoring, so I just distributed the ball.”

Categories: General
William Paxton

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