Cal-Maryland Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Mike Montgomery
We didn't play as well as we're capable of. This is a stage on which you have to come out and do what you're capable of doing, maybe you have to do some things better than you've done. I didn't think we really did that... You know, I can sit here and tell you all the things we didn't do and so forth, but, you know, for us it's a first step getting here and having the experience now of seeing what this is, maybe heighten the juices a little bit to work hard and get better collectively. We've got virtually everybody back, you know, other than Jordan Wilkes and we just got some things that we can do better and I'm hoping that this spurs us to want to work hard to do those things, and, you know, on one side of the coin I'm extremely proud of these kids for what they've accomplished to get here and on the other side I'm a little disappointed.
On the Maryland Terrapins:
Maryland is fairly comparable to ourselves, I think. I felt like that going in. They're not real, real big but they're a little bit quicker to the glass than we are.
On Maryland's Greivis Vasquez:
Vasquez was a great player and ended up with pretty good numbers and, you know, hurt us repeatedly getting back to his own missed shots.
On Cal's problems with rebounding:
[I] didn't think we rebounded the ball. We had an opportunity to get some stops, [but] we didn't rebound the ball like we needed to.
On shooting under 30 percent from 3-point range:
[When] we don't shoot the ball we're not as good as we need to be. I think that's been kind of apparent all year long, that we have won a lot of big games, important games, games on the road, Washington, Arizona when we shot the ball well. I don't know truthfully that Maryland did anything appreciably different than others did. They got us out of our rhythm a little bit. Maybe that's a consequence of their press. But we just never seemed to really get much of a rhythm. So it's very difficult for us to compete against a good team and Maryland is a good team without shooting the ball well.
On the play of Jorge Gutierrez, who was tasked to guard Greivis Vasquez:
We ruled out Jerome [guarding Vasquz] early at 5-8, so we don't have a lot of choice. Patrick is maybe an inch or so taller than Jorge. It's not like we have a lot of choices. You know, Jorge is our best defender. We were willing to take our chances there. I think part of the thing with Patrick defending him early, probably tired him out a little bit because we did make an emphasis of trying to defend him and maybe Patrick's legs were a little bit shot. We talked about starting Jorge. Our best lineup has been with Jorge in there, maybe small but then we're awfully small and we kind of want to keep that in reserve.
On what Maryland may have done to disrupt Jerome Randle:
People make adjustments. If I'm scouting us I'm going to say look, I would get up into Jerome and not give him any opportunities to get a clean look. At 5-8 he needs a little space even though he has great range. He needs space because a bigger player can maybe change shots. One of the problems we have, we don't have a lot of ball handlers and, unfortunately, Jerome has to do a lot of things. In many ways you like to have Jerome off the ball, have him coming off screens because he's probably our best shooter. We don't have very many people that can create for him by putting it on the floor. Maybe Jorge at times can be able to do that so, you know, he's got a lot of hats he has to wear out there. He has to handle the ball versus pressure, get back on shots. There's just a lot of pressure on Jerome to be good and it's tough on him. I feel for him sometimes because those guys rely on him
On both teams' defensive alignments:
We actually went to a Triangle 2 for a couple possessions and they missed the first two, three and, you know, think, well, maybe this is going to get them out of rhythm because the wrong people took shots for them. Our best defense is man and we're just okay because we're not physical, we're not big, we don't have shot blockers. So we need another way to change tempo, to try to get something different and we just don't have something that we can go to that we're very good at, very comfortable with. So that hurts us, and -- the zone seemed to hurt us more than we should have. We couldn't get movement. We probably talked about lack of ability to get it to the low post. What you're supposed to be able to do against a zone is rebound the ball.
When we struggle offensively we sometimes lose our focus defensively. It's kind of a deal that we struggle with all year long. We've tried to establish and get better on defense and we've gotten better but -- a lot of that -- it's funny how it works. One of things that we've had a hard time with is what we call a V back where you come over and help. Somebody has got to help. You got to V back and help the helper on that. It's a concept we're working on. There were second shots and dunks and rebounds where we didn't have anybody coming back to help. We've got a long ways to go defensively in terms of our whole team concept of what we have to do.
On the Bears' foul trouble:
At one point we had five people with three fouls. Some of them were just silly reach fouls, pretty good shape and rather than make them make a shot, we reached out. That's a little bit of discipline issue that we've got that's going to come back on me. I've got to get them to where they understand what good defense and what sound basketball is and what a good defensive possession is. It's all part of the building process.
On Cal's accomplishments this year:
It's hard to balance at this point, you know, the pride that you feel in the kids for getting to where they got. You know, you feel good about a kid like Jordan Wilkes who is a senior, started most of the year, if not all the year, has that to look back on now, but, you know, it just seemed like people figured out what we had to do and they were willing to take chances and take those people out as best they could and make other people have to make plays and we weren't always able to step up. You know, we got hurt with athletic teams. We got hurt with physical teams... We've got to change this. So we have to get better at what we do and we've got to get a whole lot better at what we don't do. That's the challenge for the off-season. I'll be real curious to see how much guys are willing to work in the weight room, to improve on the areas that we're not very good at because working on our strengths is easy. The hard part is working on the areas that you maybe aren't quite so good at and that's where we got to head.
On how Cal can continue to improve:
We've got to bring people in, we've got to continue to bring people to augment what we have... The easiest example is Jerome is not going to get bigger. We have to figure a way to make him more efficient. We've got to get tougher-minded and some of that comes in the weight room. It was really hard for us with our bigs. You know, Jordan has been wobbly, Harper has been, gosh, I don't know if you give a percentage what he's been all year long, thought he wasn't going to play and Taylor never got back. Lots of them are freshmen. I want to see Max develop. D.J. is a freshman. Our guys are going to get better... the hard part is working on something that you don't do well perhaps because you don't understand it, perhaps just it's a limitation that's not going to change, you know. But that's our job. We can't give into it. We're just going to have to do everything we can to change it and maybe we won't be 50 percent better but improve 15 percent. Get to the same place with a better opportunity to win a game like this. So I don't expect it will change overnight but we'll be better. We will be better next year.
On Maryland's press:
We didn't handle it too great. [I] feel like I should have been a leader out there and got everybody in the right positions but, I mean it wasn't really a tough press. We just didn't, handle it well so I just feel like we should have just been smarter and just got the ball in the right spots when we needed to and it definitely hurt us, because we got a five count and got a couple turnovers [and] changed the game a little bit.
On Maryland's personnel:
They were good players. Vasquez is a great player. They just wanted it more. That's basically it.
On the difficulty getting good looks:
It's a little bit of a combination of what Maryland did, [but] I would say more so on the part of ourselves. We didn't really have five guys out there on the same page. It seemed like, you know, we weren't functioning as a cohesive unit. [There's ] something to learn from this experience. We just got to really be tuned in to things we're supposed to be doing and making sure we're on the same page out there.