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March 12, 2015

Ryan Boatright

Daniel Hamilton

Kevin Ollie

Rodney Purvis



MODERATOR:  Good evening, welcome to the University of Connecticut Husky press conference.  There were some conference championship records set tonight.  11 made 3-pointers were a conference tournament record; 20 points by conference Rookie of the Year Daniel Hamilton are the most in a game by a freshman in the American Championship.  Yukon's field goal percentage of .545, and 3-point shooting percentage of .647 were single game records in our championship, and the 14 points allowed in the first half by Yukon were the fewest in a game in the history of the tournament. So with that said, Coach Ollie, do you want to open with a statement?
COACH OLLIE:  You said it all right there.  We want to continue with that.  I thought our guys came out with intensity, we stayed connected, we play hard on the defensive end and we wanted to establish that the first five minutes and I thought they did a great job.  We've just got to continue it now.  It's a short turnaround and we know that.  It's tournament play so we don't go back, get off our legs, get ready for Cincinnati and everybody knows when we play Cincinnati, it's a dog fight and we've got to come out and play with intensity and play hard.  And the one thing I always try to stress with our guys is have confidence, and I thought they played with confidence today on the offensive end and you see with that execution that we did during the first half and the second half, it just shows them we played real well and we are going to continue to just fight and do what we have to do to continue to survive.
MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

Q.  Ryan, the strategy all week pretty much has been trying to get more out of Daniel and Rodney, that's what you were talking about through the Temple game.  Could you have asked for anymore out of them tonight?
RYAN BOATRIGHT:  No, they answered everything that I asked them to do, they stepped up, played with confidence, took care of the basketball, played both ends of the floor, they did a great job in there.

Q.  Daniel, you hit that 3 right off the bat first possession, first shot, it seemed to set the tone.  Did that kind of give you the confidence that you needed to get through the game?
DANIEL HAMILTON:  Yeah it gave me a whole lot of confidence, especially I've been struggling from the field, it gave me a whole lot of confidence seeing that one go in and I think that helped me out the rest of the night.

Q.  Rodney, you held them scoreless for the first six minutes of the game.  Can you explain what you guys did on defense, especially the guards, 14 points in the first half?
RODNEY PURVIS:   We just tried to make them uncomfortable for the most part, just up in our men as far as the guards, pressure the ball, just try to deflect the ball and get steals, so that was our main thing.

Q.  Kevin, you guys are 7-1 in this building.  Is there anything to that and why do you think you guys have played so well in this building this year?
COACH OLLIE:  I don't understand why we played so well in this building but I just think the fans are great.  You know, Gampel was great.  We just had a couple fortunate bounces that go against us in Gampel and we would have had a good record there.  XL has been great to us this year and I'm glad the American Conference chose the XL Center to have their tournament in, we're going to continue to play, we're going to continue to play aggressive, we're going to continue to play hard and we wanted to have the will to share the basketball tonight and I thought we did that, and we are going to have to have that Cincinnati to go out there and have the will to play together and will to share the basketball.  I thought our execution offensively was great.  No one really cared about who was getting the shots, who was scoring, we just throwing it to the open man, and the open man was making plays, and that's how we're going to have to play the rest of the way.

Q.  Daniel, this is your first game in postseason play.  Could you feel a difference between the intensity of the regular season and the postseason?
DANIEL HAMILTON:  Yeah, I could definitely feel the difference, especially the intensity, intensity rise.  And we just had to come up and step up and make sure we played defense and let it translate to our offense and we executed real well tonight so I felt the difference in that.

Q.  Ryan, about four minutes left in the half they scored about four straight points and Coach called a timeout at that point, still 25 to 9.  What was the message then?
RYAN BOATRIGHT:  That we need to finish the half, good teams finish halves, and we slipped up a little bit on our defensive assignments, and we need to regroup and finish the half strong.

Q.  Kevin, how nice was it to get the seven rebounds, the job you did tonight on the boards?
COACH OLLIE:  That was -- I think tied his career high so it was great.  I kind of challenged the bigs because the Temple game, I think Phil played 20 minutes and got two rebounds and Amida played 28 minutes and got one rebound, so it was great to see those combine for 12 rebounds in their minutes, we want them to continue to rebound out of their area, and Phil did an amazing job.  It don't show in the points but I put on this tape when I get back, when I get back to the hotel and I bet you every defensive assignments I want him to be at he's going to be there, and he sacrificed his body for our team, he takes charge, he does all the small things.  That's why, you know, I give him the minutes that I give him, because I really trust him on the defensive end and then on offensive ends he knows the right spots to be in.  I want Phil to continue to play hard and, you know, he knows about this time, he played all six games in our run last year, started all six games in our tournament run last year so he's a very experienced guy, especially in March and April.

Q.  Kevin, can you talk about Kentan Facey?  Is he going to be out for the entire tournament, do you know what his situation is at this point?
COACH OLLIE:  We just trying to make sure his symptoms get better.  Him and Daniel banged heads in practice and he got a concussion, so we're just waiting, our medical staff is excellent.  James Doran, Travis Illian, all of our team of doctors, they're going to do a good job assessing it and hopefully he can come back tomorrow.  If he can't, the first thing we always look is our student-athletes' health so we want him in the right frame of mind to get back and play hundred percent and not worry about symptoms and anything coming back.  So I'm going to just listen to James Doran, I'm going to listen to our doctors and hopefully Ken will be back.

Q.  You guys took a 25-25 lead there in the first half there in that dunk by Amida.  Ryan, I think all three of you touched the ball before the dunk, what did you see unfurling in front of you Ryan?
RYAN BOATRIGHT:  When I got the steal, I seen Rodney doing what he do best, which is just run the lane.  I think he's great in transition and open floor so I just tried to get him the ball as soon as possible and let him make a play, help somebody else, and he did that.  Who did you pass to, Daniel?  Yeah, he passed to Daniel and Daniel made a great play with finding a trailer, and Amida did he did best, which was just finish.

Q.  Ryan, with Cincinnati tomorrow night, what are you expecting from them?  And you played them a lot, I'm sure it is going to be a physical game.
RYAN BOATRIGHT:  Yeah, it's going to be physical.  I played them a lot of times and every single time that we play them it's extremely physical and it's going to be a close game, it's going to come down to whoever want to within the most and it's going to be a dog fight.  They probably going to play their match-up zone, whatever they're going to do, so we've got to execute and break that zone down.
MODERATOR:  Anything else?  Thank you, gentlemen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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