A new basketball season is upon us and Kevin Ollie, who led the Huskies to a national title six months ago, knows that defending that title won't be easy.
"It's hard to repeat," Ollie told the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, via the Hartford Courant. "I told the players after last season, 'Don't get drunk off success -- a lot of people get drunk off success.'"
Ollie then drew on the wise words of John Wooden, one of the best coaches in the history of the sport.
"A lot of people can do it when their back is against the wall," Ollie said. "Everybody in this room can do it with their backs against the wall because we fight -- we're all fighters. But can you do it when you're on top of the mountain? How do you stay there? You stay there with character. Talent will get you there; character will allow you to stay there. You stay there with character, you stay there with heart, you stay there with will."
Anyone who has heard Ollie talk knows he means these words, every last one of them. And more importantly, his players believe these words, every last one of them. Through two seasons, Ollie has done more than maintain what Jim Calhoun built. Now the question becomes if he can sustain it. Recent history says yes, which is what Ollie will tell you too. We'd be foolish not to believe him.