Legendary coach Jim Calhoun once said that Kevin Ollie had earned a “Ph.D. in basketball.”
The current UConn head coach has accomplished more than most in his basketball career, having played 13 seasons in the NBA before coming back to coach his alma mater.
However, the true mark of a genius is to explain the most complicated of situations in the simplest ways, and that is exactly what Ollie did when it came to his theory on winning.
“I just want more buckets than the other team,” Ollie said. “It can be two points, it can be 40. At the end of the day, I want to win.”
Ollie’s Huskies were able to score more than enough “buckets” Wednesday night when they hosted USF, as the hosts were able to batter the Bulls by a score of 83-40.
The Huskies put in the strongest defensive performance since December of 2011 by holding the Bulls to only 40 points. The Bulls shot just 24 percent on the night, including 17 percent from three-point range.
“That’s kind of our motto right now: Bring our locks,” Ollie said. “We want to be on lockdown defense. Hopefully, guys are buying in. I see how they transfer in practice over to the games. They’re following the game plan and details, and that’s what I love to see.”
“Everybody has been talking and communicating,” added junior forward DeAndre Daniels. “Defense is all five, and that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been talking and rotating.”
“He did tell us that we needed to bring our locks because they were going to pound it in the paint,” Daniels continued. “And if we stopped them in the paint and rebounded, we’d win.”
UConn held its own on the offensive end as well, as every single healthy player scored on the night. The Huskies were led by Daniels and Kentan Facey, who finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“We just kept it rolling,” Ollie said. “We packed the paint in. Everybody who stepped on the court got a basket… We had 24 assists on 28 made field goals. That’s amazing.”
“They simply made a lot of shots,” USF coach Stan Heath said. “We didn’t have an answer in man, we didn’t have an answer in zone and we simply could not stop them.
Heath went on to say that, despite the loss, there were few lessons to be learned from a game like this, especially on film.
“We’re going to burn it.”
With the win, UConn moves to 19-5, with a 7-4 mark in the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies take on new conference rivals Memphis Saturday afternoon in Hartford.
How much stock do you put into this UConn win? Share your opinion with a comment below or tweet @R_Tolmich.
*Quotes obtained firsthand.*