Boatright Wants to Move On

HARTFORD, Conn. – Freshman guard Ryan Boatright was greeted by thunderous applause from the XL Center crowd Sunday when he made his return to the Connecticut lineup with 13:55 remaining in the first half against Notre Dame.

Boatright had missed the last three games during a review of his eligibility. Altogether, he has missed nine regular season games because of two NCAA reviews. He has made headlines, but never expected to garner this type of attention as a freshman.

After the 50-48 loss, Boatright answered questions from the media for the first time since Jan. 12, when he was looking forward to playing at Notre Dame – something that never happened. He scored six points and had two assists in his return but a majority of questions were about being reinstated – and his future.

Boatright wants to put it all in the past. But less than two hours before the game his mother's attorney released a statement that threatened legal action against the NCAA. And after the game, the NCAA shot back with its own rebuttal on its web site.

It's not an easy place for a freshman. He said until Saturday, when news came that he could play again, he had never heard the word "immunity." He had not idea what it meant.

Here's the entire question-and-answer session with the media after Sunday's game.

Q: I know you wanted the result to be better, but how did it feel to be out on the court today?

A: It felt good just to be back on the court competing. It's painful to have to sit out and watch. So it felt good to be back out there.

Q: Was there some rust to shake off?

A: Yeah, most definitely, that's why I didn't shoot that much. I just tried to get in the flow of the game and whatever I had to do to get the win – I was playing defense and distributing the ball. But things didn't turn out that way.

Q: Do you think you can put all this stuff behind you and just play, or is it going to be lingering over your head a little bit?

A: No, it's finally over with. We can finally put it behind us. We don't have to worry about me getting pulled out again. We just have to use this to our advantage and come together as a team and make this last final run.

Q: Did you ever imagine this much attention your freshman year?

A: No, not at all. Especially me, I was never really ranked as high as most of the other guys so I never really had to deal with this kind of stuff. It's been mentally draining, but I can finally say that it has been put behind me and we can move on.

Q: Ryan have they assured you they won't take you out again?

A: Yeah, they shut the whole thing down. They didn't have any more questions about anything. I going with what they say; that's it's over with.

Q: Your family's lawyer said today there could be legal action. Are you anticipating a lawsuit?

A: I don't know what's going on. I'm just happy to be back on the court. Whatever my mom and the lawyer got going on, that's with them. I'm just happy to be back playing.

Q: What do you think you bring to the team?

A: Some energy. A spark off the bench. Another ballhandler. Whatever I need to be at the time to get a W. It's all about winning.

Q: Coach said the energy wasn't there today.

A: Coach said there wasn't any energy just because we lost. At the beginning there was energy, but I felt like in the second half there wasn't any energy either. They came out with an 8-0 run and we didn't score in the first seven minutes. So we had no energy then.

Q: How much did Notre Dame's slow pace affect you offensively?

A: It does affect you because you because you've got to play defense the whole 35 seconds. The way we play, we put up quick shots, so it seems like you're on defense the whole game. You've got to overcome that though.

Q: Has this experience with the NCAA been eye opening; sort of the end of some sort of innocence? All of a sudden it's kind of an awakening to what can happen out there?

A: You've got to be prepared for anything. You can't let nobody steal your joy. You've got to keep your head up and keep doing it. Have faith in God. That's what my mother and grandmother are always telling me.

Q: Has it made it difficult for you , coming in and out of the lineup?

A: Yeah, you can never get into a rhythm. I've been practicing but practicing and game conditioning is a whole other thing. But I'm back and we're going to hit the ground running. We're going to pull together this team and make a last final run like last year.

Q: Did you feel at some point, when they gave you the immunity, that you had to cooperate with them fully to continue playing this year?

A: I've been cooperating with them full the whole time. Where that immunity thing came from, I don't know. I didn't even know what the word meant. I had never heard it before in my life.

Q: It wasn't posed to you that?

A:Nah. It was never like that. I told the truth the whole time. You've got to stay with the truth. It's all put behind me now. And I'm not going to answer any more questions about that. It's behind me. Move on.

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