Geno Auriemma talked Wednesday about wanting more from his bench players. Kevin Ollie, meanwhile, sounds pleased with the progress his non-starters have made, partly due to experiences gained over the first six weeks of the season, but also because players are finally healthy.
Omar Calhoun, Rodney Purvis and Ryan Boatright are all close to 100 percent, and their availability makes Ollie's job a little easier.
"I keep telling the guys to stay on call," Ollie said, via the Hartford Courant. "You never know when your name is going to get announced. They were ready. Rak [Lubin] has been doing a fabulous job in practice, staying ready, talking, staying engaged, and Sam [Cassell Jr.] has been doing the same thing. Omar has been coming along. So it's good to have a bench now that's deep, that can come in and give us a lift."
Nine players were on the court for at least 10 minutes during the Huskies' win over South Florida on Tuesday. In that same game, UConn got 41 points from its bench.
"It was like we were sleepwalking in the first half (against USF), and then when I inserted those guys the rhythm of the game picked up," Ollie said. "I think it really bodes well for us in the future because we have guys coming in and giving us lifts in different areas."
The timing couldn't be better; UConn is about to enter the thick of their conference schedule. Next up: Cincinnati comes to the XL Center on Saturday.