Montgomery Dec. 1 Press Conference Quotes
Dec. 1, 2008
BERKELEY - California coach Mike Montgomery
On his assessment of the team after a 1-1 split in Las Vegas, beating UNLV and losing to Florida State, for a 5-1 overall record:
We're on the right track with what we're trying to do. We've got a lot of things we need to get better at, but we're on the right track. It will [work] if we can execute offensively and be consistent defensively to the extent that the limitation of our personnel - Florida State was very big, very physical. There's not a lot we can do about that. Doing the right things - when we do them, we've been successful. When we don't - Florida State made us pay a lot when we made a mistake. They capitalized consistently on a mistake.
On the prospect of facing DePaul and its larger lineup:
Everybody's going to have big guys. That's just college basketball. It really depends on how good guys are and what they're able to do and how they play. It causes you concern if you start getting in foul trouble. Both Jordan [Wilkes] and Jamal [Boykin] got two fouls in the first half against Florida State, Jamal fairly early. It forced us into some different substitution patterns that cost us a little bit. But no, I'm not concerned about anybody else's size. [Against the Seminoles] it wasn't so much an individual situation, it was kind of collective thing, trying to get shots versus the length.
On his observations of the Blue Devils' personnel, including center Mac Koshwal and his 12 rpg:
Very aggressive, very aggressive to the glass. They're a good defensive team. They've got a couple of guys that can really shoot the ball and will shoot it. It's like anybody else: [Koshwal is] aggressive, he's strong, he's physical, he goes hard to the glass. If you don't block off, he'll kill you. That's just one of the fundamentals that you have to be consistent with, so we hope we don't get into foul trouble there and try to do a good job of blocking off.
On DePaul forward Dar Tucker and guards Jabari Currie and Will Walker:
Tucker can shoot it. He's more of a scorer. He can put it down, he's got some size, he shoots it deep. And the other guard, he shoots it really deep. And they look to score. They've got pretty much a green light, it looks like. They've got range. They'll be a good opponent.
On the play of freshman guard Jorge Gutierrez, who logged 23 minutes vs. FSU:
He plays hard. He's a freshman, he makes mistakes, but they're not mistakes from not trying. If we could get more people with that kind of fire, that play as hard as he does, it would really help, because he has no quit in him. He'll get after the ball. He didn't have a great game against Florida State - he made some mistakes, got in traffic and took some shots that were ill advised rather than try to score hoping to get fouled - but he plays hard and he does defend.
On whether Gutierrez is a viable option as a backup point guard:
We just have not been able to come up with a clear-cut backup point guard that we're comfortable with in terms of what different types of games might dictate. Nikola [Knezevic] is probably one our best defenders on the perimeter, maybe not as good against quickness. Nican [Robinson is] a little quicker but maybe not as good against a bigger, stronger team, so we're going to have to get Jorge in that spot a little more and see what he can do and give him an opportunity. Maybe we limit the package for him and let him go, but I think that at some point we've got to keep our best players on the floor as much as possible. I like these kids and I'm sensitive to playing time. I'd love for everybody to have an opportunity, it's just that it seems apparent that we have to have certain people on the floor either for us to score or whatever it is, so I need to be aware of that. [Jorge's] got really quick hands and he's got a mindset that he wants to defend people.
On Harper Kamp's health after playing back-to-back games (knee):
He felt OK. Now he's just got to play better. He missed a layup and threw a couple of balls away. He's not doing the things that he's capable of. He needs reps, he needs to get into practice more and he knows that. We've been pretty cautious with him, and at some point we've got to get him out to where he's repping and playing and competing so he can get some kind of feel. He's goes into games and, gosh, he hasn't done anything [to be prepared]. It's pretty hard on him.
On how deep his rotation may end up being:
We're going to have to develop our depth, but at the same time, some of these games we have, maybe most of them now if not all of them, we know we've got to have certain people on the floor for us to win. It'd be great to get some guys some experience ... but you still have the responsibility - the kids want to win, we want to win. I see an awful lot of teams playing seven or eight guys, and we're probably about eight, maybe. And we're going to play nine, 10, 11, but they're not to be big-minute guys right now.