UConn prepares for Rutgers

Coach Kevin Ollie and forward DeAndre Daniels met with the media after UConn (15-4, 3-3 AAC) practiced at Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies left for New Jersey Friday after practice and play at Rutgers (8-11 ,2-4) at 7 p.m. Saturday in the RAC.


On the return of guard Ryan Boatright (family funeral):

“It’s great to have Ryan back. I know he still has a heavy heart. We welcomed him with open arms. It just gives us another dynamic because he’s so quick and with his scoring ability, hopefully it just gives us somebody else that they got to scout. It definitely gives us depth in the backcourt. Hopefully we see his speed and we see him take over games like we know he is capable.”

On Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan, who Ollie played for with the New Jersey Nets for one season (Jordan was an assistant on the 2000-01 team):

“He’s just a tough, tough person. He’s been through a lot of things. He’s not looking at it as a situation where he’s going to fail there. He’s looking at it as an opportunity he’s going to succeed in. … He always does the Princeton backdoor cuts and his offenses always work on the college level and the NBA level, so we are going to have to stick with our principles. We can’t be chasing them all around the court. We have to strengthen the lane and hopefully we can cover some of those back doors and cover their shooters. Most importantly we have to rebound. They start a very big team and we have to commit to hit.”

On relying on team rebounding to beat teams:

“It’s everything. A six-foot-one point guard (Shabazz Napier) is leading you in rebounding. We don’t have a guy who is getting eight or nine rebounds and I can bank on that. We do it as a team and we showed that against UCF, we showed that against Harvard and of course we showed that against Temple. We can rebound with anyone. To beat them plus-20 and not have (Anthony) Lee get a rebound is pretty good game plan and execution from their part. Hopefully we can just continue to do that.”

On how to stop Rutgers:

“Of course Myles Mack, He’s the ace of spades to me. He’s their engine and we have to turn him off. He’s going to score but just try to keep his gap plays to a limit, and those are game altering plays. He gets them going, especially in the RAC. He shoots deep 3s, he penetrates.”

“They got players and we have to make sure we know our scouting report and we stay according to plan, force them to take bad shots and not to let them get a lot of points in transition I think is our keys.”


On how he’s become a better outside shooter:

“It’s something that I worked on every day over the summer. I tried to get at least more than 2,000 shots up in a day, so that was my main focus just getting shots up in the summer time.”

“I feel like if I’m open, I know I’m going to make it because it’s something that I’ve been doing for a long time and I’ve worked hard at it.”

On the return of Boatright after missing one game:

“Now we are going to have Ryan back and I feel like if we keep doing the same thing we did last game. Just keep moving the ball and plus we got Ryan back, I feel like we will be even better.”

On the team’s goal despite being 3-3 in the AAC (First-place Cincinnati is 7-0):

“Yeah, we just have to keep moving up in the standings. Right now I think we are 3-3, so just keep moving up to the top of the chart. We need to win games like this and try to catch up to Cincinnati.”

“We are still shooting for it, to win our conference and go to the NCAA Tournament. We are just trying to get back into it and catch up.”

On if he considers himself a tone setter for rebounds:

“I just want to get out there and set the tone, get a couple offensive rebounds  and defensive rebounds. I feel like trying to get the team going by get myself going.

William Paxton