UConn sophomore guard Ryan Boatright can’t stand watching ESPN nowadays.
The Huskies are banned from postseason play and so Boatright gets annoyed every time he sees an NCAA Tournament commercial on the Worldwide Leader.
“I see the daggun’ ‘Journey to the Tourney commercial every other commercial,” Boatright told UConn reporters, as quoted by the New Haven Register from the above video. “I get irritated, so I turn the TV off.”
There will be no NCAA Tournament, no NIT Tournament and no Big East Tournament for the Huskies, who will take 15-5 mark, 5-3 in the Big East into tonight’s tilt with St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s definitely frustrating, especially when you work hard every day,” Boatright said. “You put the work in that we put in, and you see other schools that aren’t even doing as well as you and they’re getting a chance to play in the tournament. It’s frustrating, but we knew going into the season that we weren’t going to be able to (play in the postseason). We’re alright.”
Tonight will mark the last appearance for the Huskies at the Garden this season. Back in December, they lost to N.C. State in the Jimmy V Classic, 69-65.
“We’ve definitely got to make sure we go out there and get a win,” said Boatright, “considering that we dropped the ball against NC State.”
The Johnnies (14-8, 6-4), meantime, had been the Big East’s hottest team — riding a five-game winning streak — before losing Saturday at Georgetown.
The will be without point guard Jamal Branch for tonight’s game because he is out with a sprained MCL.
“When you’re down a starter, it’s something we have to offset,” Johnnies coach Steve Lavin said, adding that Marco Bourgault could start in Branch’s place and that shot-blocking sensation Chris Obekpa will play starter’s minutes. ”I like our team’s depth. We had 10 different starting line-ups this season, so our players shouldn’t be scared or have stage fright. It was my thinking, before the season started, to get this young team as experienced as possible when testing different combinations on the court.”
St. John’s still harbors thoughts of an NCAA Tournament run, while the Huskies must try to play the spoiler on the Garden floor.
“You kinda think about it,” Napier, the reigning Big East player of the week, told the Register.
“The first thing you think about is trying to win the game. After you win the game, that’s probably the second thing you think about. I just wanna go out there and play them with utmost respect and try to win a game. Especially playing for the last time in Madison Square Garden, it’s something special for the whole team … (and) if we win, just think about that we spoiled it a little bit for them.”