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Keys for UConn: sugar, hot sauce
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On October 17, 2012 @ 4:59 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Kelly Whiteside, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — At the end of Connecticut’s practices, the Huskies gather at their midcourt logo for a round of “Sugar and Hot Sauce.”
“Sugar and Hot Sauce is when they have to be honest with themselves and each other,” explained new coach Kevin Ollie at Wednesday’s Big East media day. “You have the ball and throw it to a teammate tell them how nice they look today or that they had a good practice. You give them the sugar first, then the hot sauce.”
Ollie wants his players to challenge each other, to take ownership of the team, which in turn makes his job easier. After all, Ollie has enough on his plate, including more than a few dashes of hot sauce.
Not only is he replacing Jim Calhoun, who won three national titles, 10 Big East regular-season championships and seven Big East tournament titles during his 26 years in Storrs, but Ollie’s team is also banned from the Big East and NCAA tournaments this season because of academic shortcomings.
“It does really bother me and the whole team when people say we have nothing to play for at the end of the day,” said forward Tyler Olander. “We want to play for a Big East regular-season title.”
UConn was picked ninth in the Big East preseason poll.
Though Calhoun has retired, he hasn’t exactly left the building. “He’s almost at every practice,” Olander said of his former coach. “His voice is still there, and he’s still giving us tips pointing out what we should do, what we’re doing well.”
Ollie, who played point guard for Calhoun and served as an assistant the past two seasons, wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I kid with everybody that we have to put an invisible electric fence around the court because I think he’s going to get out there one time and we’ll be in trouble,” Ollie said with a smile.
“He’s like a second father. I rely on him a lot. … I … [For more on Key ingredients for UConn this season: sugar, hot sauce, click here.]
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