RU ready?


UConn point guard Shabazz Napier speaks with reporters Saturday (Neill Ostrout photo).

A few words from the UConn basketball team following practice Saturday morning, along with the usual injury update:

— THE NEWS ON Shabazz Napier’s injured shoulder is generally good.

Coach Kevin Ollie said he was 100 percent.

“Everything is good,” Ollie said.

Now, in reality that’s not true. But it looks like he’ll play against Rutgers on Sunday.

“It’s better but it still hurts me, especially when I’m sleeping and when I wake up in the morning,” Napier said.

Napier missed out on the toughest drill of the day but otherwise participated fully.

“When I loosen it up, it feels good,” Napier said. “When it goes cold for a little five minutes, it’s like the pain is sore.”

Is this something Napier will have to deal with for the whole season?

“I hope not,” Napier said. “Because it don’t feel good. I hope I don’t. They said at least two weeks and the pain will go away. It hasn’t been two weeks yet. So hopefully when two weeks hits, I’ll feel better. Two weeks is coming up.”

The two-week mark is Monday.

“He has to understand that if it’s a pain he can play through, it’s just mental. Hopefully he can get over it,” Ollie said. “But we have to also listen to James Doran, our wonderful athletic trainer, and he’s going to give us his opinion on whether we can play him or not.”

— THE HUSKIES DID a rather tough rebounding drill at the end of practice, with a 1-on-1 box-out effort that resulted in sprints if the defender couldn’t secure the ball.

Omar Calhoun got caught up a number of times _ I think it was walk-on Tor Watts giving him some fits _ and Calhoun was exhausted from all of his extra running.

Ollie was asked after practice if he was happy with the progress his team had made rebounding.

“No,” Ollie said. “No.”

So what do the Huskies have to do better?

“We have to hit first and go get the basketball,” Ollie said. “That’s the only thing rebounding is: desire and heart. We have to go get it. And that’s the only way we’re going to win games in the Big East.”



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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