Mike Montgomery Press Conference Quotes
March 12, 2002
ON WHICH PAC-10 SQUAD BEST RESEMBLES WESTERN KENTUCKY:
'Nobody has a big guy like Chris Marcus- other than maybe Oregon with Chris Christoffersen. They (Western Kentucky) shoot the three, have good perimeter players, and very crafty point guards. Marcus is a huge man at 285 lbs. Overall they have some pretty good athletes and play good man defense so they kind of resemble Oregon.'
ON COMPARING WKU'S CHRIS MARCUS TO STANFORD'S CURTIS BORCHARDT:
'They're really not similar at all. Marcus is much bigger than Curtis and he's coming off a broken foot so his timing is not quite like it once was. He's got a nice touch around the basket, good hands and moves people around the basket with his size and bulk. He doesn't play away from the basket.'
DISCUSSING MARCUS' ABILITY FURTHER:
'He's 7-0, 285 and has good hands. He takes advantage of what he has (catches the ball inside, turns around and moves people around with his size), so he is someone that is reasonably coordinated and with his size has the ability to be a real good player.'
ON WHY CASEY JACOBSEN IS SO DANGEROUS:
'Probably just his ability to score. He has a knack of scoring, has always been able to score and typically he's going to end up with points.'
ON BEING ISSUED A NO. 8 SEED IN THIS SEASON'S TOURNEY AFTER ITS HISTORY OF HIGHER SEEDING:
'We lost four starters last year, two of whom are starting in the pros. We had a good basketball team this year but obviously by the committee putting us in the eighth spot, they felt that Western Kentucky and ourselves were pretty similar. You probably could have flip-flopped it (the seeding) and no one would have batted an eye. They put us with a team that's very comparable to ourselves and probably looked at an 8-9 matchup as a 50-50 game. We know that we're going to have to come out and play very well. Last year we felt like we had our best opportunity ever to go to the Final Four because we were good and we beat good teams. This year we've had some ups and downs and we need to scrap for every win. So we're not looking past anyone and we're hoping to succeed against a very good Western Kentucky team.'
ON THE CARDINAL LINEUP:
'Julius Barnes has been real good for us and Tony Giovacchini has run the club and done what we asked him to do as the only senior. The four position has been a little bit of a question mark with Teyo Johnson and Justin Davis, but when we've been successful others have been the reason.'
BREAKING DOWN WESTERN KENTUCKY:
'They play much differently when Marcus is in the lineup and look for him. They tend to not move the ball as cleanly with him in the lineup than when he is out. With Marcus out, they became more aggressive and people started to look for their own shots a little more. Western Kentucky didn't lose with him out of the lineup, so in many ways they are just as good without him. They learned to play awfully well without him.
'They pick up tempo with full-court pressure as part of their study diet and don't trap too much. They certainly have the athletes and the depth to press, and I think they are very comfortable and very sound in what they like to do on defense.'
'They have good depth and I told our guys that just because one guy is on the bench doesn't mean that the guy in the game isn't a threat. I think they have had real good performances from a lot of different people and could have a lineup on the floor that doesn't include their starters but is still difficult to guard.'
ON THE THEORY OF THIS SEASON BEING A 'DOWN' YEAR FOR THE CARDINAL PROGRAM:
'If you build up a reputation, it takes a while for people to recognize that you don't always have good players. Duke has gotten to that point, North Carolina was there for a few years, where you just know they have players. It's a little different here and I think when we lose as much as we do, the reputation continues without people not taking a good look. We finished second in our conference and that somewhere will get lost in the translation, but that was a pretty good effort. We weren't that far away from a conference championship but not as consistent as we'd like to be. We need to get back to having a chip on our shoulder and competing for respect- which I think we lost a little.'
ON WHAT KIND OF IMPACT ROB LITTLE MAY HAVE FOR THE CARDINAL:
'Chris Marcus is not going to play 40 minutes. Certainly, if he (Marcus) is in there and Curtis is not- just from the standpoint of pure size and weight- Rob would have to be the guy in there. But Western Kentucky has moved Marcus in and out of the lineup because they have played so much without him, so they can still play if he's not there. Rob will probably end up being a factor.'
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WESTERN KENTUCKY:
'When you come up with an eight seed, you know that game could go either way. I think what the tournament is telling you is that you're going to have to earn your way to the next round against a good team. When you see a team at 28-3, that's all you need to know. And you lose a player like Marcus and are still able to win, that says a lot about the character of the rest of the guys on your team.'
ON IF PLAYING THE LATE GAME ON THURSDAY NIGHT WILL EFFECT THE TEAM:
'We've got plenty of work to do academically and you're not able to get tickets to the other bracket. We won't get up first thing in the morning, although we do have to be up for shootaround. You could sleep in if it weren't for that. The kids will probably be reading and have other things to do, so it will be a long day for us.'