Quotes from Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Day

Nov. 1, 2000

Paul Graham, Washington State

'The main thing I like about our team this year is that we have our full complement of players.'

'Washington State has a long way to go. It is so tough because the league is so good.'

Bob Bender, Washington

'We have five seniors so we are going to depend heavily on their experience. Obviously we have some major challenges going into this season, but with five seniors they have the experience to deal with situations.'

'This is a group that doesn't want to have their last year be a losing season and I think they've gotten the younger guys to buy into that and bring a more senior mentality to the game.'

'We've got to play with greater pride and intensity on the defensive end. We also want them to haven confidence offensively and keep it simple.'

Ritchie McKay, Oregon State

'I'm excited about our group this year. I think this is a terrific league and we need to take baby steps this year.'

'In the leadership we have from our point guard Deandra Tanner... I think we will be capable of accepting challenges.'

'I don't think I have the personality that I can wait for next year. If you have a good point guard, I think you have a chance to make some noise. Certainly I think we have the talent level to compete this year.'

Ben Braun, California

'We're very proud to have Sean Lampley here, he has done a great job of leading our team over the last several years. It has been great to have a senior leader like Sean show the younger guys the ropes. I would now call us a team that will show great experience, a team that has worked hard in the off season.

'We're looking forward to this season, I think this season will be as competitive a year as there has been in the Pac-10. Our goals are going to be the same as the other teams, to compete and play for the Pac-10 title and for postseason play.'

'I think having full scholarships back after not having those luxuries for three years is nice to have. Our program has grown and a lot of things have come together for our program and that is important. We're getting there. It's been a steady process, but a worthwhile one.'

Henry Bibby, USC

'As you know we basically have everybody returning. We have the starting five that basically started last year.'

'We feel this season, our depth should not be a problem. We're looking forward to the season. We think we have a good non-conference schedule that will get us into the postseason. Some people have a problem with our non-conference schedule, I don't.'

'We are going to be competitive every night we go out and hopefully it will be good enough to win some basketball games.'

Rob Evans, Arizona State

'We are excited to get the year started. Last year we had the youngest basketball team in the country with seven freshman and one senior. They are a year older so hopefully a year wiser. We open the season up pretty early...this time next week we play the University of Tulsa so it's an early start for us, but good for us because it will give us a pretty good assessment of where we are.

'The loss of Eddie House is a huge loss for us, he was the leading scoring in the history of our school. We're going to try to have balanced scoring this year. We probably won't have a guy scoring 20 to 25 points a game, but maybe a couple guys that can score 12, 13 points a game.'

'Eddie was the only one that had been in the Conference for three years. We don't have anybody outside of Alton Mason that has been through this league twice. Hopefully we can pick it up on the defensive end of the floor, pick it up on the rebounding. I think we will be okay on the offensive end of the floor, we've just got to get it in different ways than we did last year.'

Steve Lavin, UCLA

'We are going to find out a lot about our team this year by playing Kansas and St. John's or Kentucky next week... I think the reason you play a Maui or Coaches vs. Cancer is to find out about your team and that will hopefully help them down the road in the postseason.'

'We will have a very difficult and challenging schedule. Even though we will be challenged I think this is a team that will be up for the challenge.'

'I think actually, the last ten years in terms of tournament performance, players going onto the NBA, Final Four's, I think it says a lot. I think our Conference from top to bottom is one of the best.'

Ernie Kent, Oregon

'We've probably had 14, 15 practices by now and I've been pleased with what I've seen. We've lost more seniors than any in the Conference. With the leadership that left, the experience, the perception is going to be that we should drop off, but I feel comfortable that the players we have will be able to step into those roles.'

'Along with the improvement of our players comes a lot of confidence. When you look at our team on paper, we lost a lot, but I feel like we have size, we have depth, speed, and this is certainly our best passing team. What we don't have is experience and that is going to have to be developed over the course of our preseason to be able to play in this Conference. What I've done to help with that is our schedule.'

'I like my team, I like our schedule, but this is going to be one tough conference to play in. On any given night there is going to be great basketball in this conference.'

Lute Olson, Arizona

'We're excited about our team. We have everyone back, plus Eugene Edgerson. Lamont Frazier is healthy so we will have additional depth at the guard position. As you know last year, we had a huge problem (with depth) as the season went on and we went on starting three freshman in the Pac-10. It's much more comforting to know that we have some people coming in with some experience so they know what they're doing.'

'Our schedule, as always, is extremely difficult. We open in the Maui Tournament. We play Illinois at the United Center. We play UConn, Purdue in Indianapolis, Gonzaga... We are not going to duck anyone, especially if you want to get better. Our schedule is the most difficult we've ever had at Arizona.'

'The league has a lot of experience coming back, looking at SC with their team, Cal with all the people they're returning. UCLA has some talent coming back. I could go down the line. I think it will be a very competitive league, especially on the road.'

'We've been very focused and its our job as coaches to get the players to leave their egos at the door.'

'If you look at our `88 team, that was a very talented team. We had four players go on to the league (NBA). That team did not have the depth we have now. Do we have a Sean Elliott on this team? I don't know.'

Mike Montgomery, Stanford

'We've got a chance to be a pretty good basketball team. In essence, we've got five starters back. We've not had a full complement of all the kids that we are going to need to play.'

'It starts with our veteran players, the Collins twins. I just hope they stay healthy. Thus far they've been out everyday, they play hard. They're smart players that are going to flourish playing together.'

'We return Casey Jacobsen and Ryan Mendez. I don't know that there are two better shooters. We're excited about they're ability to play the wings and spread the defense.'

'I know we've got size, I think we've got plenty of skill for us to compete favorably in what looks to be a very tough conference. I think Arizona looks to be as good as any team this conference has seen. We have teams with many returning players that I think will make this league strong.'

(On officiating rough play as a point of emphasis this season) 'I don't think there is any question that play was getting too rough. So what has happened is kids have gotten into habits, because they are not penalized for grabbing and holding. The players have become lazy. They've ceased to play with their feet because they can play with their hands and their arms. There are going to be a lot of whistles called early and the fans are going to react and the players are going to react, but we've got to do this.'

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