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NCAA Basketball Big East BasketballConnecticut Huskies

UConn Upsets Michigan State In The Fight For Ollie

David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

 

Kevin Ollie, the UConn Huskies new head coach, made quite the statement in his opening debut today in a victory over No. 14 ranked Michigan State.

Ollie is under a one-year contract, putting a lot of pressure on the young coach this season.  After today, UConn may want to consider extending his contract.

There was uncertainty about how UConn would do this year given the fact that they are ineligible to participate in post-season play.

Those questions were answered tonight when the Huskies came out with energy, showed a relentless work ethic and visible support of their new head coach.

The guys on UConn were very receptive to Ollie and executed his game plan from the start.  Despite the ban on post-season play, Ollie has found a way to make the Huskies play hard.

Instead of playing for a national championship, they will compete to keep their coach.

Ollie is young and some might say he does not have the coaching experience to coach a caliber program like UConn.  However, his age gives him an advantage because he can relate to his players and they trust what he has to say.  Ollie was also a college point guard for Jim Calhoun, so he has walked in the same shoes as his current players.

There is no pressure on UConn to maintain weekly rankings or to secure a top seed in the tournament, so they have changed their focus and are working for something else.  Having something to work towards is crucial in getting a team to play at a high level and Ollie did this by earning the respect of his team from the get go.

The Huskies huddled around Ollie during his interview after the upset and it appears they will continue to stay by his side for the duration of the season.