Ryan Boatright wasted little time making a name for himself in the post-Shabazz Napier era. The senior point guard scored 24 points in the Huskies' regular-season opener against Bryant in a surprisingly tight game UConn eventually won, 66-53.
The Huskies' overall performance wasn't pretty, but that's why you schedule teams you should beat early in the season. It also gives Boatright an opportunity to show that he can be the leader this young team can look to when times get tough. With that in mind, coach Kevin Ollie would like to see Boatright tidy up one part of his game.
“We still want to work on his body language," the coach said, via the New Haven Register's David Borges. "But he’s being what a leader’s supposed to be. He’s seen what Shabazz did. He’s learned. He’s gonna have some up-and-down games, like everybody, but we need him to stay connected, being a leader.”
Boatright was asked what exactly Ollie was referring to.
“He knows that I put a lot of pressure on myself and I want to be excellent," the point guard said. "When I make bone-head mistakes, I just get down on myself, shake my head, stuff like that. Nothing extremely negative, but he just tells me I can’t get down on myself, I’ve just got to keep playing and know everything is gonna be OK.”
Boatright's next chance to work on being a complete player will come Thursday when the Huskies face the College of Charleston in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.