UConn takes down UW

UConn beat Washington 61-53 a few hours after Kevin Ollie signed a five-year extension.

Omar Calhoun led the home Huskies with 14 points.

Shabazz Napier almost had a triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven turnovers.

— WITH APOLOGIES to Napier and Calhoun, however, Enosch Wolf was the star of the game.

Wolf had just two points but they came on a timely alley-oop and he added nine rebounds, two blocks, a steal and a key charge draw.

And that came after being benched in favor of Tyler Olander to start the game.

“To me it doesn’t matter if I start or come off the bench,” Wolf said. “I’m going to go in there and I’m going to give my best.”

Ollie obviously liked what he saw.

“Enosch got on the floor five or six times. That vividly sticks out in my mind. He played an outstanding game,” Ollie said. “Once again it was an ESPN game. He comes out on ESPN.”

The coach was obviously referring to Wolf’s 12-point, 9-rebound effort against N.C. State.

Ollie wasn’t thrilled with Wolf’s antics AFTER the alley-oop, however.

“It was a remarkable play I just didn’t like the celebration too much,” Ollie said.

— LATE IN THE game F DeAndre Daniels took a hard spill after committing a foul. He banged his head pretty hard on the floor.

“He’s getting some stitches in his chin,” Ollie said. “He’s going to have a little battle wound but that’s alright. It’s going to make him look a little tougher when we go out to Marquette. I think he’ll be ready to play, not for sure.”

Daniels was being checked for symptoms of a concussion but appears to be OK.

— THERE WERE 12,720 tickets sold for the game but UConn officials said only 6,600 fans showed up (it actually seemed like a lot more).

The crowd was quite loud, however, and the players were pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere.

“I was surprised, with the weather,” Wolf said. “I talked to a couple of friends before the game and they said they couldn’t make it because the weather got so crazy. One friend got in an accident on the way here. Nothing crazy but the car slid off the road.”

— UCONN HAS WON 13 straight games against Pac-12/10 opponents, dating back to a loss to UCLA in the 1995 NCAA Tournament’s West Regional final.

— WASHINGTON COACH Lorenzo Romar has known Ollie for some time. At least, he’s know the player for some time.

“I was an assistant at UCLA when we had to prepare for him. I still remember the scouting report on him,” Romar said. “He did a nice job, obviously had a good career. The fact that he was from L.A. and we played against him, I always followed him.”

The two have gotten a bit closer since Ollie left the NBA.

“I didn’t really know him that well until he got into coaching,” Romar said. “Right away, when he joined the coaching ranks from the NBA, the way he carried himself, he didn’t conduct himself as if he was above anything. He conducted himself as if he were a student trying to learn to be the best. I just kind of watched him and here and there talked to him. And then last couple years I’ve been able to talk to him a lot more. I’ve always been impressed with him.

“He was a fine basketball player but I don’t know if he was gifted to where he was going to be Kobe Bryant. But yet he played a long time in the NBA because he worked hard, he was a great teammate, he was very coachable, highly intelligent, high basketball IQ. All that allowed him to play.”

— WASHINGTON’S LEADING scorer C.J. Wilcox struggled, making just 2-of-12 shots and scoring a season-low five points.

“I think Shabazz did a remarkable job on him, playing tough defense and taking him out of his comfort zone,” Ollie said.

It was the first time all season Wilcox had failed to reach double-digits.



About Neill

Neill Ostrout covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. He has been a member of the "Horde" for more than 16 years.
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