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Ollie Continues to Lead Huskies

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Ollie Continues to Lead Huskies

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There are any number of takeaways from the Huskies' thrilling victory over Florida Monday night, perhaps chief among them after you get past the obvious "Shabazz Napier is one of the best players in the country" is that second-year coach Kevin Ollie was exactly the right person to replace Jim Calhoun.

Remember just over a year ago, when Calhoun waited until just before the season to retire? That allowed him to have his guy -- Ollie -- named the interim coach. All Ollie did was take a team ineligible for the postseason and without four key players from the season before and win 20 games.

And now UConn is 8-0, ranked 12th in the country, coming off an amazing last-second win -- the fourth time this season a game has been decided on the final possession -- and a lot of that has to do with Ollie.

Specifically, how Ollie has prepared this team.

"We've just got tremendous heart," Napier said after the win over Florida. "We believe in every opportunity we get, we're going to be successful. We're not a great team right now. We want to be a great team. Coach Ollie always says, 'Without struggle, there's no progress.' This was a big win for us, super big. We found a way."

Ollie added: "Some way they [find a way to win]. You look at this stat sheet, I don't know how we do it. [Florida] shoots 49 percent and they outrebound us and at the end of the day we get it done. That's a magical team over there. They've been through a lot."

And what they've been through in the last year will only make them tougher as December gives way to January and the Huskies get into their AAC schedule. And unlike a season ago, the Huskies are eligible for postseason tournaments.

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