Quotes From March 11 of Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament

March 11, 2010

UCLA Quotes

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland

On the game…
“Today was a big win for us. Arizona is an outstanding team and we came out of a tough loss to them only a week ago. Unlike last time, we had Reeves (Nelson) and his numbers were a big help to us today.”

On the return of Reeves Nelson…
“Having Reeves back is a huge boost for us. He’s very good on getting the offensive rebounds, and he’s got great hands. Once he gets the ball it’s very difficult to wedge it away from him.”

On playing the early game…
“Thankfully, we have a little more downtime since we play tomorrow’s late game. Either way, our opponent is going to be a tough match up for us. Oregon has got great momentum going, and they’ve won a lot of close games, including last night’s. Cal on the other hand, is the best team in our conference. Their four seniors total for almost 5,600 career points. There’s no other group like that in our conference.”

UCLA forward Reeves Nelson

On being an inside presence…
“As coach has said, I’m the team’s only inside player. I just want them to pay attention to me, and I want to try to score whenever I get the ball.”

On his stamina…
“My legs were pretty sore early in the game. There’s no way to get the feel of how a game is going to go in practice, but thankfully I got my second wind early. I know that tomorrow’s game is going to be pretty rough on my legs, so I’m going to try to rest up as much as I can.”   

UCLA guard Michael Roll

On continuing his career…
“What I said to the guys in the locker room was that I’m not ready to go home. I love playing here and I love playing on this team and I don’t want that to end yet. I know we will do all we can to keep winning.”

Arizona Quotes

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller

On the game…
“In the end it was (Reeves Nelson, Nikola Dragovic and Michael Roll) that we didn’t really have an answer to…And uncharacteristic for UCLA, I thought they really got out in transition and got some easy ones, and that hurt us.”

On the NCAA Tournament streak…
“Any coach who came to Arizona to make the NCAA Tournament for a 26th time, is going to find he’s going to be a paranoid coach. The reason I came to Arizona is to rebuild our program, and hopefully one day get it back to the level that everybody has watched.”

On allowing 75 points…
“We’re not a good defensive team. We’ve worked hard to be better, we’ll get better in the future. It’s been the Achilles’ heel, as much as anything, of not allowing us to maybe experience more success.”

On the future…
“I’m confident that the price that we pay through 31 games and the 80-plus practices that we’ve had, it is a system that will continue to grow and develop. Young players will get bigger, stronger and older. And the more depth and size that we have certainly will help.”

Arizona guard Kyle Fogg

On UCLA’s defense against him…
“They did a lot of switching back and forth between zone and man, and I feel like they definitely just made sure they were aware of where I was on the court. Other than that, I think they just did their stuff. It was definitely tougher for me to get a shot off.”

Arizona guard Nic Wise

On the NCAA Tournament streak…
“We knew it would be tough. A whole new system, a whole new staff again, and with the five freshmen it would be a mountain to climb for us to make the (NCAA) Tournament.”

California Quotes

California Head Coach Mike Montgomery

On the game…
“This was definitely a game that we needed to win. We shot the ball well, and when we do that it makes us very hard to beat.”

“We defended well and I’m glad to say that no one played more than 30 minutes. I told the guys that I wanted to try to do that today, but I wasn’t sure if that would be possible.”

“Now that UCLA has Reeves Nelson back, they’re very dangerous. They beat us at home in a game that we thought would knock us out of the championship. Obviously, it didn’t, but any time you play UCLA in Los Angeles, on their turf, you have to be ready and I know we will be.”

California forward Patrick Christopher

On the abnormal tournament-style schedule…
“For not having a lot of time for shoot-around before the game and not having a normal pre-game warm up like we would have at home or even on the road, I feel like we didn’t have many problems. We rotated the ball well.”

On playing against a zone…
“There are times when we struggle in the zone defense, but we got past that and did great against it today. We are playing some great basketball now, and I want that to continue.”

California guard Jerome Randle

On the game…
“There were a lot of great passes tonight. The guys were able to find me and I made the open shots I needed to.”

“UCLA plays a great zone defense. In order to overcome that, we are going to have to be unselfish and find the open man.”

On the Pac-10…
“It’s great to represent the conference at the NCAA Tournament, but I don’t think the conference is down. Sure we lose a bunch of guys every year to the NBA draft, but the conference is still very competitive.”

Oregon Quotes

Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent

On playing through distractions…
“I’m proud of my guys for coming down here and battling; having to deal with so much extra noise in their head and everything. I thought they did a good job of focusing in, obviously in the game last night. This game came up on us quick here.”

On Cal…
“They’re playing at a very, very high level offensively. When you’ve got guys that can spread the floor and shoot it like that, it makes it very, very difficult to guard them…They’re certainly ready for tournament play.”

“We beat them up pretty good when they were sophomores. Now here they are seniors and their bodies have changed, their confidence is different and their games are different. And they beat us up pretty good when they were seniors.”

“They are an excellent basketball team, and they should cause people some problems in the tournament the way they can shoot the basketball. Might need to defend a little bit better, but they’re pretty good offensively.”

Oregon guard Tajuan Porter

On Jerome Randle…
“We’re kind of alike. You just have to make him take tough shots. He had an unbelievable game today. Pac-10 player of the year, he’s playing at a high level and he’s taken his team and put them on his back. He’s an unbelievable player.”

Oregon guard LeKendric Longmire

On playing through distractions…
“As players we try not to focus on it, but personally it sticks with me everywhere I go. Coach (Ernie Kent) is a great guy. Coming here, he has changed my life tremendously not only as a basketball player, but also as a young man. I can’t help but respect him for everything he’s done for me, and for giving me an opportunity to be here and play on this level…We love coach and we want him here. We need him here.”

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