A few words from the Huskies as they get ready to host Temple Tuesday night in Hartford.
Coach Kevin Ollie says there’s a significant chance guard Ryan Boatright won’t play against the Owls. Boatright is home in Aurora, Ill., for the funeral of his cousin.
“It’s 50-50,” Ollie said. “He left and said he wasn’t going to be back. Then we talked and now he might be back.”
Freshman Terrence Samuel is likely to see his minutes increase if Boatright can’t play.
“I’m planning on him not being back, making sure Terrence is ready, making sure Lasan (Kromah), who can play a little point guard, is ready just in case,” Ollie said. “If Boatright comes back it would be great. But if he doesn’t, we say this all the time but ‘Next man up.’ ”
— FOR HIS PART, Samuel says he’s ready to go.
“I’m just trying to play my role, get in there and give quality minutes off the bench,” Samuel said. “If it’s my time, I just have to show what I can do.”
Samuel has been kind of stuck behind a lot of players and has only played in 10 of the Huskies’ 18 games. He’s averaging just 6.3 minutes per game and admits it’s been difficult riding the pines.
“It has, actually. At first it kind of got to me a lot,” Samuel said. “I stopped working out (in addition to regular practices) for a while. But then I said I have to keep my habits. I have to keep working in the gym and work on my shot and just be ready when my name is called.”
“If Ryan’s not playing tomorrow I just have to step up,” Samuel said.
— OLLIE WAS ASKED if he had heard from any of his mentors (Jim Calhoun, Larry Brown, etc.) about his double technical and ejection Saturday.
“No, no,” Ollie said. “I heard from my mother. She told me to calm down a little bit.”
As for Calhoun, he actually left Saturday night’s game at halftime and is now on vacation.
“Jim’s in Cabo. He’s on the golf course,” Ollie said, adding that the two would talk when he returns.
Ollie added a few more fun comments on the incident.
On Kevin Freeman having to hold him back as he left the floor: “I just wanted to get my money’s worth.”
As for the no-call that started everything: “That’s still a foul.”
— MUCH AS THEY did on Saturday, the Huskies expect to see a zone defense on Tuesday.
“Yes,” Ollie said. “If I was a coach, I’d zone us.”
That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, Ollie swears.
“We have to understand that when we see zone, let’s smile at it,” Ollie said. “We have great shooters and we have a great person in DeAndre (Daniels) who can get in the 4-hole and make plays.
“But you have to rebound. We didn’t rebound (against Louisville) so we were playing against their zone the whole night. If we rebound we can get out on the break and score.”
— TEMPLE HAS A big man who can be tough to handle. So is Temple’s Anthony Lee similar to Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell?
“I hope not. I hope he doesn’t have 18 and 13,” Ollie said.
— UCONN WILL BE playing its third game in six days on Tuesday. How is the team’s energey.
“It was good in practice (Monday),” Ollie said.
— TEMPLE HAS LOST six straight games and is 0-5 in AAC play.
— FOR THE 156th time this season (check the math, it’s right!) Shabazz Napier was honored by the conference. He’s on the AAC honor roll after his career-high 30 points on Saturday.
— UCONN RECEIVED 62 points and was second among teams “also receiving votes” in this week’s AP poll. The Huskies are essentially ranked 27th in the nation.
— THE HUSKIES AND OWLS haven’t faced each other since Jan. 27, 1965.