Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 12, 2003

Opening Statement:
As far as Marquette is concerned, they are 6-0 and very solid. They defend well, take good shots and hit the boards really well. It should be a really good game. In terms of the tempo it should be in between the last two games we've had. They aren't going to chase it up and down like Texas did, but they aren't as deliberate as Saint Louis. It should be a good test for both of us.

What things from the road trip do you want to improve?
We have to do a better job on the defensive boards. We've made good progress in each of the games. Against Texas, I didn't think we got into a situation where our guards over-penetrated. We got good rebounding out of the guards against Texas. We have to get better defensive rebounding out of our power forward position and better offensive rebounding small forward position. We still need to do a better job of taking care of the ball. We had a number of really good fast break opportunities that we didn't convert.

They are things that can be corrected. I think by playing teams of this caliber, if you don't do something well it will be obvious. One of the strengths of Marquette is their ability in their help defense to really jam the middle up. If our guards are over-penetrating against them, they will get called for charges.

They do some things that we need to take advantage of, and they do some things that we need to make sure that we aren't making poor decisions.

Does the fact that you've just played Saint Louis help in your preparation for this game?
It's important that you learn to play against all tempos. Marquette will play good fundamental basketball. They really go to the glass hard. Tom (Crean) probably picked that up from Michigan State. I think we can hurt them if we can rebound. If they get the offensive board, then it's a different story.

Please talk about the play of Travis Diener?
I told our guys yesterday that you're playing against (former Oregon guard) Luke Ridnour. He's just like Luke, maybe more under control than Luke, but tremendous off the dribble. He'll pull up for threes on the break. You can't give him an inch. He'll shoot it four or five feet beyond the three, so you have to be on him. As far as we're concerned, we have to get ready for him just like we did Ridnour.

At what point Tuesday did you realize that Andre Iguodala had a triple-double?
I didn't until after the game. I didn't realize that Hassan (Adams) had 30 either. I knew that we had good balance and I knew that Hassan had really been hitting. He was shooting the ball well outside and getting put-backs inside.

I'll make a prediction. It won't be the only one he gets this year. There is no way he should not be in double figures on the boards, and it will be unusual if he's not in double figures point-wise. So it all gets down to whether he gets double-figure assists or not. He's really good on the defensive boards, which means a lot of the time he will be leading our break.

Talk about how the game with Marquette came about?
I like playing teams that are fundamentally sound, that are going to exploit weaknesses if you have them. I like to play teams that recruit the same way that we do. I really enjoy Tom. I thought it would be a natural. We just need to make sure we play them early in the year next year (laughs).

This would have been a nice game to play last April.
Yes, that would have been nice.

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