Pac-10 Men's Basketball Coaches Teleconference

Jan. 14, 2010

 

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller

No Questions asked

Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek

The balance of the Pac-10 Conference
“I don’t necessarily think it’s a function of youthfulness. Since I have been in the league, there have been a number of teams that can go on the road on win. There has been a tremendous amount of competitive balance, regardless of the age distribution of our Conference.”

Having experience when you play on the road
“I think it’s all relative. Depending on the experience both teams have, and as important as experience is, there has been a tremendous amount of young, really talented players in our league as well. Yes, with all things being equal, experience is a good thing to have.”

The balance of the Pac-10 being either positive or negative
“I don’t really take the perspective. My focus is on my team and trying to get us prepared and helping us improve. I think balance is not uncommon in college basketball. I don’t think the Pac-10 stands alone. If you look at most conference races, over the last many years, sometimes one game in the standings can separate you from lets say third place to ninth place. And I don’t think that it’s unique for our Conference. There are so many good players and so many good teams, that balance is a common attribute in conferences across the country, and most certainly here in the Pac-10.”

The inconsistency of young players in the Pac-10
“You know, once again, we can struggle to try to label it, but I think in college basketball there’s a lot of A beats B in January and then B beats A in February. I think there are a lot of non conference surprises. There are teams that hit a tough stretch in their scheduling and lose three or four in a row, and whether that is a struggle between balance and consistency is up to the person doing the labeling. I think it’s a very common occurrence in college basketball, when you have so many games and a stretch over a long, grueling season, you are going to have that every single year. I don’t think it is unique to this conference, or this season. I think it’s the nature of the sport.”

On teams perspective of sweeping Washington and Washington State last weekend
“Obviously, we were pleased with the results from this past weekend, but the next game is almost ready to tip off. The previous weekend we had lost two games and we had to quickly move forward and now the same thing is necessary for this week. The next game is on you fast and furious.”

On playing a team trying to reach the tournament vs. a team not eligible for the postseason
“Once again, it’s difficult to talk in absolute. What I find is the team most difficult is the one you are playing next. And the more talented they are, the more difficult they are. It is difficult to say, with any kind of certainty that all those psychological things are going to impact different teams. I find there is no easy game and if we are not at our best, regardless of all those moving parts we have a hard time competing.”

On junior guard Ty Abbott
“Abbott is really important to our program. Here is a young man who had knee surgery  after the second or third day of practice, so he basically missed the entire preseason practice time. Then he came back and was able to play very sparingly in games, but he has continued to get better and improve and work himself back into basketball condition. He certainly had a terrific weekend for us last weekend.”

Oregon State Head Coach Craig Robinson

Impressions that after the first two weeks, nine teams are separated by one game
“I didn’t think it would be this close after the first couple weekends, but I knew it would be close this year and speaking from our (Oregon State’s) point of view, it’s great to have three away games done and be only a game out of first place. I think it gives everybody a little more they have to pay attention to each weekend for a good race down the wire. I think this will happen all season, as long as no one has any major injuries, you never know from game to game who is going to be playing well and who is going to be playing poorly. Home court advantage compared to playing on the road. I think it can stay this close for awhile.”

On playing poorly against Seattle, then beating Oregon at Mac Court
“I think you have to take a look at the way we played at Seattle U. For the first time since I have been here, the guys split back into the way they played before I got here. We had a few days before the Oregon game we reemphasized the way we should be playing and I think the guys were quick to respond to that because they remember all to clear of the Seattle game and what it use to be like.”

“What people fail to realize, is that these guys are just a year away removed from losing every game in the conference in the their careers and it’s easy to slip back into that if you take your eye off the ball a little bit. When you start to feel good about yourself, you slip back into the bad habits because they are much more familiar when them then the newer habits. I think that explains what happened against Seattle and turning it around in a weeks time because they have had some exposure to what we should be doing that’s gotten us past where we use to be.”

On how he handled his team after the Seattle loss
“I tried to make the practices after Wednesday so hard that they would forget about the loss to Seattle. The practices were harder, longer, earlier and more physical.”

On Sunday’s win at Oregon
“I didn’t see it coming out the way it did. I thought we would have our normal effort. The main characteristics of an Oregon State team, no matter what the talent level is, we always play hard, try to execute precisely and play good defense. We did no of that on Wednesday, but did a good job on Sunday.”

On would the Pac-10 benefit from having a team run away with the conference, rather than the parity this far
“I think in order to get more teams into the NCAA Tournament, it’s better to have the top three or four teams ranked and the bottom six teams fighting it out in order to get the last spot in the NCAA Tournament. I think having a year like this with so much parity, with only one team ranked, it’s good for all the teams in a competitive standpoint. I think the games will be good within the league, but the national exposure is not as big.  We will have to see what happens at the end of the year when the NCAA Selection Committee decides who gets to play.”

On a Pac-10 team that may separate itself from the rest of the Conference
“No not yet because I haven’t seen everybody play yet and I have only watched game tapes on the teams that we have coming up. So I can’t say for certain who would pull away from the pack. I’m hoping for our sake, that no one can pull away from the pack. So that may give us a chance to pull away from the pack.”

On the Conference parity
“I think you have to look at the fact that a few years ago the league was filled with pros who left early and got drafted and are playing professionally.  I think that’s what it is. Which in turn makes it more of an inexperience issue, rather than just a youth issue. Guys that remained didn’t play as much as they guys did you left. At least from what I can see it’s more of inexperience than lack of really good playing sticking around for an extra year.”

On playing weeknights at 7 rather than 5:30 to get more fans in the arena
“It does not make a different for me. I like having the games being on TV rather than making it so more fans so up. I would rather play on TV.”

On the status of FR G Roberto Nelson
“He is practicing with us now so that is a positive. At some point we will have to make a decision, if it continues to take a long time, to not ruin this year. We are going to wait a few more games. It depends on how the Pac-10 race goes. He has been playing well at practice. It’s too bad that we couldn’t get him on the court sooner, but that’s how it works sometimes.”

USC Head Coach Kevin O’Neill

On JR F Alex Stepheson season so far
“Well, it’s his first season really playing at all. When he was at (North) Carolina he played very very limited minutes. He had that month before the season that he missed which really set him back a little bit. He is a young player who is learning the game still. He is getting a chance to play regularly and who has had a very good season to this point.”

On if he talked to former head coach Tim Floyd about JR F Alex Stepheson
“I never talked to to Tim about any of the players. We talked about other stuff, but not about the players.”

On teams adjusting their game plans around Stepheson
“We don’t shoot the ball well, particularly from three. So we have seen a lot more zone. We have seen a lot of ganging up, not just on Stepheson, but on (Leonard) Washington as well. He’s a guy that needs angles to the basket to score. He doesn’t shoot great for the outside, but that’s something that he is going to work on over the summer. As he gets more experience he will be play to be more effective.”

On impressions on California and their experience
“When you have that kind of experience in our starting line up and that kind of explosiveness, your going to be a good team. I thought they were very good. We had our chances. We were up seven (points) with under eight minutes left and tied with four minutes left. They got guys that can step up and make plays and when one guy is off, they have other guys who can pick up the slack. (Patrick) Christopher didn’t play particularly well against us, but other guys stepped up and did things. I think California is a very good team from what I have seen and they are tough to beat up there.”

On Conference race and if he has seen this parity before in college basketball
“When I was at Arizona two years ago it was the same thing. Maybe the league was a little better overall because of the number of great players, but every league race teams get wedged together. Look at the Big East standings right now or the SEC standings, they are all gonna look about the same. Our league is very balanced from top to bottom. It looks like anybody can beat anybody anywhere. So it will probably come down to the last week before anybody who’s going to win. What happened to us was we didn’t get enough non conference win early. When you get behind the eight-ball a little bit and you don’t have those big non conference wins the it’s hard to climb your way in back into the top 25 and if you lose at all you out of it. Overall as a league, we didn’t have what you would call any key signature non conference wins. When you look at that, that usually determines who is in the top 25. If your in the top 25 at the beginning of the season, you need to lose some games to be knocked out, and if your not in there you need signature wins to climb your way in.”

On new transfer G Jio Fonton impact on the team
“He is a very good player. We didn’t practice on Monday but I had the chance to work him out individually and he’s not in any kind of shape right now. He looks like he didn’t do anything for the last month or so. Which is probably true. He is going to be a big part of our team when he becomes eligible next January. We lose all three perimeter guys next year so we are counting on him and some of the newcomers.”

On how much the Conference’s strength help in recruiting
“I what I have found is that players care about their own opportunity. I mean every league has its ups and downs in terms of strength of the league. If you go into someone else’s area, which we have done this year, it’s more challenging and tough to do, but if your recruiting kids out west, it’s an easier sell than going across the country to New Jersey or New York so something like that.”

On if former football coach Pete Carroll was a resourceful resource 
“Pete was a great resource for all of us because anytime that ticker can up, or name was scrolling across it during football season. When we had guys here during recruiting visits, he was very active with it. He is gonna be missed by everybody here. I mean, the guy is a one-in-a-million type guy. He has an unbelievable personalty. Unbelievable loyal to the people he worked with and for. We are going t miss Pete very very much, but we will get another good football coach and the program will be great. He will be missed.”

Washington State Head Coach Ken Bone

On impressions of California and his team’s inconsistency 
“The first question in regards to California, I think they are really good. To simply it, they can score the ball a variety of ways. They defend extremely well. They have gotten better defensively over the last year. They rebound extremely well. And it’s a shame they haven’t been healthy because I definitely think they are a top 20 team. I know they have had their issues with injuries, but I think they are extremely good. And they will give us everything we can handle. Their guards are extremely aggressive. It helps to have some experience there.”

“To our team, the inexperience has hurt us at times like a few other Pac-10 teams we have been inconsistent. I think our team will get better and better, but I’m not sure if it will be in February or this weekend. I’m hoping that we get better quick. Against Arizona I thought we did a pretty good job in McKale Center. And then two days later against Arizona State we looked like a very young team.”

On how unique Arizona State’s defense is
“I think it is unique. Not a lot of teams are playing that type of match-up, but on the other hand Herb (Sendek) has had those kids for a couple of years and they fine-tuned the match-up really well. They know their shifts and they are there on the catch. It’s difficult to drive it, difficult to score inside and difficult to get good looks from the three-point line. They do an outstanding job with that defense. It’s similar to what was done here with coach Dick and Tony (Bennett). It’s good solid basketball. I wish I was a fan and just watched them. I would have left the gym with a smile on my face and excited about the way they played. Instead I appreciate it and respect it. It’s frustrating to go against.”

On SO Klay Thompson difficulty of scoring against Arizona State and Oregon State
“I think in regards to Oregon State and Arizona State they put a lot of attention of Klay. Therefore they were able to hold Klay down. It does open up opportunities for other kids and in those situations those kids have to be able to produce. If there goal was to shut down Klay or slow down Klay, they both did a very good job of that.”

On the heath status of his team
“Good. We are good in regards to health.”

On how to wipe the loss to Arizona State away from his players minds
“I don’t have anything planned. We are talking about California at practice because that is who we play Thursday, so it’s typical on to the next game. You play a game, then you move on to the next. If we were playing Arizona State again or a team that played a match-up zone, then we would go back to the ASU game, but Cal is a lot different than ASU. That game was three days ago and we play Cal two days from now.”

On if the Pac-10 would benefit with two teams in the top 25 from a national standpoint
“I think it would help the national profile, there’s no doubt about that.  Whether you have one, or two, or three teams in the top 20, that definitely helps the national profile. I personally feel that the Pac-10 is a very good conference. It is young as a Conference, Washington State included. We have been inconsistent. It’s unfortunate that Cal had a couple of key injuries early when they were playing some of those national teams.”

On how difficult it will be to sweep at home and on the road
“It really looks like that so far after two weeks. It’s been really crazy. How do you explain and good Oregon State being beaten by 50 by Seattle U at home, then three or four days later going into Eugene, Ore., and pulling out a win. That’s a good example of our Conference up and down.”

On possibly playing zone against California and stopping Cal’s guard Jerome Randle
“I hope we guard Randle well. In my mind he is an NBA guy and he is hard to defend no matter how you try. If it’s man-to-man, I’m not sure if we have a guy that can guard him. And we will definitely play some zone against California.”

Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins

On G Jeremy Green’s production this season
“I’ll tell you, I have been a little surprised from the standpoint of everything he has gone through and he has been able to get better.  He has battled a lot of injuries and got off to a slow start.  To give him credit, he has stayed focus and improved and I have really enjoyed watching his development.”

Any pleasant surprises on his team
“I think the more games we get under our belt the more active our big guys have become and the more comfortable they are getting. I can see the improvement with them and sometimes the stats don’t bear that, but they have been making improvements and I am excited about that as well.”

On Jeremy Green taking pressure off Landry Fields 
“I think it’s important because Landry has had to carry the load for us this season and he has down a terrific job. He has taken on the responsibility and I am proud of him, but it’s good to start to see other guys emerge and make contributions. I would like to see even more guys contributing. It’s a process and each guy stumbles across their own as they get more comfortable. So I am excited to see the development of other players to.”

Coming off a couple of good defensive performance, the defense against Washington State
“I have yet to see Washington State play. I know they are playing with some terrific players, but I have yet to see them play. So it would be hard to say what we would be doing against them. Against the LA schools I thought our guys played well and played with a lot of energy. We executed well offensively. Defensively, we were engaged. We did a good job of covering for one and other and that’s something that we have been working on.”

On preparing for Washington, who has lost three-straight
“They are a good team. Every team has their ups and downs and they are fighting through it. We respect them. We respect them as a program and we respect their team. That’s what I told my kids. We have to go out there and play hard and be ready to compete because I know they will be.”

On the progress of his team from November to now in January
“We had moments when we were playing well in the season we just didn’t finish games as well. I told our guys we just need to keep hanging in there and that will turn around as long as we keep hanging in there and put ourselves in position to win games. Our kids have been very competitive in all our games and we have had chances. We have won some and lost some. In one stretch we had lost two or three in a row and that was difficult, but our kids showed a lot of character and stuck with the game plan and now have won some of those games now.”

On Jeremy Green’s maturity
“I think he has really matured. He had a major set back earlier in the year and he has been able to focus and grow from the experience. Any time you face a situation like that, that is serious, I think you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. He’s done that and has matured even more and I think you can attribute that to being a better player because his level of focus has had to go up and he has learned what is very important to him in school and athletics.”

On Jeremy Green’s health
“He is playing injured. A few things have happened over the last couple of months that have slowed him down. Starting with the ankle injury he had, which was a high ankle injury. It’s probably still healing now, but he’s is managing that thing well. Of course he traps, underneath his rib cage, he sprained that recently so he has been padded pretty heavily for games. And his right wrist which he injured he tapes up for games. He got an MRI on that and there was no ligament damage which we were very excited about, but it is sprained pretty good. He has had to fight through that so give the man a lot of credit. He has had to work through a lot of things that have slowed him down, but he has continued to work and he has gotten better.”

Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent

On the loss to Oregon State
“I thought Oregon State did a very good job of handling themselves. They got blown out on Wednesday and I think Craig (Robinson) got there attention and they came in a much more different and focused basketball team. They played the way they played last year. They played with the same kind of energy and focus. They did what they needed to do, game plan wise.”

On if team took Oregon State lightly after the Beavers came off a 50-point loss
“I don’t think we took them lightly. I think we had won six games in a row and were coming off a road swing in which we played very well. I think the, not taking anything anyway from Oregon State, I think the layoff hurt us. I think watching them play on Wednesday hurt us. The start of school hurt us. It’s a lesson well learned and we will bounce back and be ready to learn this week.”

On if he was surprised about the conference this season
“No I am not surprised. With the departure of so many players from last year and so many of them going to the NBA and to graduation, it’s just a young conference. And what happens with young players is that some nights they have it figured out and other nights they don’t. When talking about freshmen and sophomores, it’s hard to get consistency. Therefore you are going to get a conference that is up and down a lot. I think again, like we said in the preseason, the conference has gotten better since the preseason, but all that means is that it’s gonna be even more up and down the rest of the season and who is ready to play every night.”

On attacking Arizona State’s zone defense
“Herb (Sendek) needs no help from me on how to attack his zone. He is really good at what he does. We have had some success in the past with some things, but for me to discuss them with the media right now, I don’t think that would be very smart on my end. They are very good at what they do, very good.”

On the impact that Associate Head Coach Mike Dunlap has had all season
“Mike has worked well. He has been very very helpful for us. He’s a good fit. He’s a great coach and he’s been very good for us. He does a little bit of everything. He is very knowledgeable. We try not to put him into one area. We try to use his expertise all over the floor. He’s been very good for us.”

On which Pac-10 team that may pull away 
“Well, after watching everybody play, and when California gets healthy because they have the most experience and guys who have been there. There are some teams that have played well really well on their home floor. USC was in a great rhythm there. I think Herb (Sendek) has done a great job with Arizona State. If there is a team it’s probably Cal, but Washington was so dominate coming in. Some teams have the potential to get it rolling again and can be very dangerous. The team with the most experience is Cal and I think that says a lot about where somebody needs to be who has gone through all the battles and the seasons. Then there are so many questions with the rest of us like who is going to get the job done day in and day out?”

Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar

On must alarming things in teams recent struggles
“Our lack of defensive pressure and rebounding. Those would probably be the two things to me. There were times earlier in the year when we had good pressure and rebounded the ball. Recently we haven’t done as good of job.”

On team’s mental state to overcome slow start
“We will find out. We will see. I don’t know what to expect, but I know we are going to do everything we can to make sure we head in that direction.”

On the mood of the team
“Maybe, where you have hit a real low. You start realizing that each individual, players and coaches that everybody has to sept up.”

On winning on the road, will it be harder than in years past
“Has there been anybody other than Arizona State who has been undefeated at home? I think both are difficult at this point. I think the Conference is more up for grabs at this point.”

On last year’s triple-overtime game with California
“It was a good game. It was a thriller, that was the most memorable thing. There were some plays that sent the game into overtime that I don’t have a fond memory of.”

On playing back at home during three-game losing streak
“I certainly hope so being back home with help. We played against Oregon at home and it didn’t seem to help our guys at that point. Our fans were good, we just didn’t respond the way we should have. It’s definitely better to come back home where we are at, then go back on the road.”

Impression of Stanford
“They are together and playing with a purpose on both the offensive and defensive ends. The role players know they are role players and the scorers know they are scorers.  They mesh well together. They understand what a good shot is and the understand what they have to do to be successful.”

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland

On which team that’s more dangerous: a team playing for an NCAA Tournament spot or a team playing with nothing to lose
“Your talking about that because USC has determined they are not going to the postseason this year. I think their kids and there coaching staff are trying to put everything in to win the Pac-10 Championship. Any time USc and UCLA meet each other it’s always going to be a big game, regardless of what the records are for both teams. You just throw that out. It’s a rivalry game and I think SC has great talent and it’s a game where we have to be tough. They have great size inside and (coach) Kevin (O’Neill) has done a great job with this group of kids.”

On the importance of having three-straight home games
“It’s important and in the past we have always had a non conference game during this week and I think it’s better that we don’t. We practiced yesterday after watching the film of our best game against Stanford. We will practice this afternoon and take tomorrow off, then we have two more days of preparation. Obviously I like that much better. Our guys are getting back into school. We missed the first week of school because  we played on a Wednesday so our guys are getting back into the aspect of things. It’s always going to be a big game when rivals play each other in this league, whether it’s UCLA and USC or Arizona and Arizona State.”

On the parity of the league
“It points to the fact that there is a lot of parity. Anybody can beat anybody on a given night. So it’s going to be one game at a time and you need to bring your best every night. We had a great win at California and followed it up by not playing very well, and definitely Stanford had something to do with that. Our 23 turnovers in our last game really really hurt us. We trying to do a better job of taking care of the ball this week. We need to be a little more patient offensively and not be in such a hurry.”

On what USC player has impressed him the most 
“The kid Nikola (Vucevic) has really impressed me from his freshman season to now. He is there second leading scorer. You have to like the fact that he is averaging nearly a double-double 9.4 rebounds per game. (Alex) Stepheson is almost at a double-double. There starting inside guys are close to averaging double-doubles. And (Dwight) Lewis has been a consistent performer. They have two great athletes in (Marcus) Johnson and (Marcus) Simmons. And (Mike) Gerrity has made a difference because he is a true point guard. He gives them a facet of the team that they didn’t have before he got eligible.”

On USC Alex Stepheson
“It’s amazing how massive and strong he is. He just man-handles people in the post and he can throw you around. From when he was a high school player, he must have put on 40 pounds of per muscle. He has done a great job rebounding and playing physical and playing smart.”

On not having a team in the top 25
“Obviously we would like to be in the top 25. The has been a tough year for us and then you look at our league and it’s a little surprising because our league is tough. I think there are a number of teams with really good talent who can beat anybody in the country on a given night. That being said, in terms of recruiting I don’t think it’s going to effect recruiting in any way. You just have to point out that we just lost 13 guys to the first round of the NBA the last two years, the most draft picks than anybody in the country. The Pac-10 is doing something right. 

Impressions on Stanford
“First off, it didn’t surprise me. Johnny (Dawkins) has done a great job and he has a great staff. You look at their players especially (Jeremy) Green, he jumped out on us. He had like 30 (points) on us and he tore us apart up there. He is really a good shooter, great shooter, one of the best shooters in the country with a quick release. Then obviously (Landry) Fields, but we knew how special he was. He will be an NBA player because he is so versatile. They have two big-time players. I think their two inside players (Jack) Trotter and (Andrew) Zimmermann do a good job of playing hard, playing tough and never take a possession off. They do all the little things. They block out consistently on every possession. As we watch them as a team, I point out to my guys how hard they play. I’m not surprised right now that they are one of the better teams in the league right now.”

On stopping practice every time a turnover is committed and the players running
“Actually, that’s something we have done in the past. We are having such an issue with turnovers that we are trying to understand the value of each possession and how important it is. In out game against Stanford, in out first 14 possessions we had seven turnovers and turnovers that were not necessarily forced, but mistakes on our part by being to loose with the ball. Yesterday at practice we had a control scrimmage and at the end we add up all the turnovers and run them at the end. Hopefully that will help us value the ball a little bit more.”


On beating California then losing to Stanford
“We got a number of good shots in the game against California. We had 64 possessions against Stanford and got below 15 seconds on the shot clock seven times in 64 possessions. In my opinion, we were shooting the ball too quickly. We did shoot 55 percent, but we had too many turnovers. We need to understand that for us to win we need to be smart and patient, not take the first semi decent shot. We need to work for a higher percentage shot. We did do a pretty good job against Cal.”

On a team that is dangerous and maybe separate themselves from the rest of the pack
“There are a number of teams that can fill that, but I still think at the end of the day both California and Washington are going to be there in the end. That’s just my general feeling, but we will see how it plays out.”

California Head Coach Mike Montgomery

On reasons why his team loses
“They play better than us. No point in making excuses, but we have had some issues with some kids being down. We will have another kid down this week. We are not as deep as we would like to be. We are just going to have to play with what we have. No excuses. We played a tough schedule and people have played well against us. Sometimes we haven’t played with enough energy. So we have to play with what we got.”

On if he is disappointed with how things have gone
“Not at all. We would like to win every game like every coach in the country. In order to do that you have to play better. We played some tough people. We went to the (Madison Square) Garden.I’m not sure if we would have beaten Ohio State or Syracuse,but at any rate we could have played better, but we are going to play the best we can. The UCLA game is tough because it’s a loss at home and in the conference and any time you have that, it’s a tough deal.”

On primary concerns with preparing for Washington State
“It starts will Klay Thompson obviously. He is playing great. The leading scorer in the Conference. He is a great shooter. They are playing very confidently. They are not slowing the ball down. They have the ability to shoot it when they are open and they are playing with a lot of confidence. So we are going to have to preform. We will have to bring energy and shoot the ball well. We may be a man or two short, so that means other people are going to have to pick up slack. Ken (Bone) has done a nice job with them. (DeAngelo) Castro is definitely a presence inside and they got a lot of people that can shoot the ball and they keep the ball spread. And Thompson is averaging nearly 25 a game so they are playing really well.”

On why Oregon State and Arizona State were able to slow down Washington State’s Klay Thompson
“Well he got in foul trouble, so that helped them. The match up zone that Arizona State plays is unique and is difficult for anybody. And Oregon State plays that 1-3-1 zone and that’s a little bit unique in itself. We don’t play zone that causes a lot of problems. We are pretty much going to play straight man-to-man defense. Hopefully we have someone that will accept the challenge and minimize Thompson. I don’t think you going to shut him down.”

On Patrick Christopher not getting a lot of looks in Conference play
“He’s an All-Conference player and doesn’t have the ball in his hands all the time. Jerome (Randle) has his hands on the ball all the time. People are taking themselves out of help and going to guard him. I don’t think we have done as good of job screening for him, nor has he done a good job of using those screens. As a result, he probably hasn’t had a lot of attempts. Not to make excuses, but he was ganged up a little last week. He didn’t practice last Thursday or Friday. And we need him to be good because he is an All-Conference player. Pat is too good to hold down too long. Hopefully if people are going to come and help, we can find other ways to hurt them.”

On injuries to Jerome Randle and Theo Robertson
“Randle just had a little stomach flu that threw him off a little bit. He is not going to miss a lot of the shots in made. We counted on him making those deep shots. He got thrown off which made him miss some shots. Theo is starting to get into shape. When you have missed as much time as he did, it takes a little time to get back into shape. We have a lot of little nagging things. We just have to play through it.”

On any player at California that has surprised him this year
'No not really. We pretty knew what we had. We had a veteran team. As a result from that, we except our veterans to be better players Max (Zhang) is playing better and that’s a plus. Omondi Amoke is playing better.” 

On Washington State freshman point guard Reggie Moore
“Well, he is a great penetrator. We knew that he was. We had him on our radar and knew everything about him. We knew what he was capable of. He has done a great job for Washington State. We have to keep him out of the paint. If he gets in the paint he can make other players better. We have a lot respect for him. He has done a great job as a freshman.”

On Jorge Gutierrez status this weekend
“Jorge won’t play this weekend. We hope to have him next weekend. He has to be able to go. Right now he is about 80 percent, in terms of running. We are hoping to get him back. He is a big part of our team. We have had some guys get banged up. We hope to have him next week.”

 

 

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