Quotes from Ben Braun's Press Conference
Feb. 19, 2001
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from California head coach Ben Braun's weekly media luncheon. The Bears host Washington Thursday, Feb. 22 and Washington State Saturday, Feb. 24.
On regrouping after Saturday's loss to Stanford:
'We've done a pretty good job of bouncing back. That's what good teams do, they put games in perspective, because whether we beat Stanford or not, our schedule doesn't change. It's the same schedule with the same teams. You just have to keep playing, and that's what my job is, to get our team focusing in on our business at hand, and that is to get our consistency going again. A lot of teams haven't played well against Stanford. They push you and they test you. Outside of that game and our USC game, I think our team's competitiveness has been pretty good and I believe our team will bounce back. A lot of teams struggle coming back from a game like that, but how about our coming back from the USC game? What a time to take a trip to the Oregon schools, but we did and our team found a way. It's just the same thing now. We've got to find a way to bounce back and get our confidence back. I don't want our players to lose their confidence and I don't want our players to have any complacency whatsoever and think that things are going to be easy. They're going to be tough. We're going to have to fight and battle our hearts out the remainder of the season. This is going to be a battle and it's up to us to play to our best.'
On Stanford's Collins twins:
'They're really good. I keep saying that. I'm going to their graduation and sitting in the front row.'
Looking ahead at a possible NCAA Tournament bid:
'We're going to continue to shoot for the highest goals that we can. I want our team to know that nothing has changed. Whoever finishes second to Stanford is a pretty good basketball team. Whoever finishes third in this league is a pretty good basketball team. And the fourth- and fifth-place teams in this league are pretty good basketball teams. We just want to fight to get as high as we can, and if we do those things then I think our goals and our success just get higher, ant that's what we are trying to focus on. I don't want our team focusing on winning x number of games. I want thinking about playing the best basketball they can. And if we are playing the best that we can, if we are fighting and scrapping and clawing and battling, then there will be rewards out there for us. Maybe we won't just get into the tournament, but maybe we'll get a high seed, and those are possibilities. I don't want our players to limit themselves. It's up to us right now. We are going to go back and play the best we can and see what happens. That's what we can control. We can't control how other teams play, but we can control our effort and our performance and see what happens.'
On playing the second half of the Pac-10 season:
'I don't think we're going to maintain 50 percent (shooting from the field) for the rest of the season, so there are going to be games, like every team has had, where you go below 50 percent and maybe go below 40 percent. What are you doing defensively and what are you doing to combat that? When you play teams the second time around, they know what you're doing. They have a pretty good idea of what beat them last time. So now we just have to be that much tougher. It's harder the second time around. It's harder for everybody the second time around. Players are smart, coaches are smart, and that just makes the challenge greater. That's our goal, to come back and push ourselves.'
On the strength of the Pac-10:
'This is a year where being in the Pac-10 is both a blessing and a curse depending on how you look at it. If you're one of the top teams in the league, then hopefully you'll get a reward. But it's tough being in this league. It's a misnomer to say that you're playing the second half. Their records don't make them low, their records reflect who they played. They played against very tough teams. That should be the message, that this is a very difficult league and I've tried to get our players to focus on how we do in this league because that's important to me. We hope that our league record will continue to grow and that we will continue to get more significant wins because that will only helps us.'
On senior forward Sean Lampley approaching the all-time scoring mark at Cal:
'What has impressed me about Sean is that he is a guy that we challenged to get better and he has gotten better. We've asked him to wear a lot of hats in our program and he has. He really has wanted to be a leader on this team. He's felt a responsibility to the team. He's done things without coaches asking him to do them, and that's what leaders do, and he's evolved to this place. We wouldn't have gotten this far without his contribution. I think this will be significant for Sean and for our program.'