Wildcat Coach Lute Olson Quotes

Oct. 16, 2000

Head Coach Lute Olson Quotes from Men's Basketball Media Day

On Midnight Madness:

'I am very pleased with the way things worked out. Our guys were excited about the festivities. You could see the excitement during the day. The practice session on Saturday went very well. Sometimes its tough after having a late night of practice to come back the following afternoon. I did not feel that way at all. They were focused and ready to practice.

'As far as things we were looking for, we wanted to see how Loren would respond physically to running up and down the court. The surgery made it more evident to him how important strength is. The way he practiced on Saturday was indicative that he is ready to have a great year for us.

'I was anxious to see our two freshman scholarship players (Travis Hanour and Andrew Zahn) in action. The immediate response I had of Travis Hanour is that he is quicker than I thought he was and he played very aggressively.'

'Andrew Zahn has done some nice things in practice situations. He's been very active on the boards and does not back down from anybody. He's probably been in the best condition he's ever been in, but he realizes he's going to continue working hard to play at the speed we like to play at.

'Our focus in the off-season was getting stronger and focusing on individual skills.'

On Sophomore Guard Gilbert Arenas:

'Freshman to sophomore year is the biggest year of improvement because of the recognition they have of what it takes to play at this level. Gilbert gives us another three-point shooter on the wing opposite of Richard (Jefferson).'

On Sophomore Guard Jason Gardner:

'Jason has increased his range. He's shooting with a lot more confidence, as was evident at Midnight Madness.'

On Senior Guard Lamont Frazier:

'He's healthy and has worked hard in the off-season. He will make a huge difference for us on defense. Lamont will allow us to play more aggressively and up tempo.'

On Senior Forward Eugene Edgerson:

'There isn't much adjustment for him this year. During his redshirt year last season, he was an integral part of our practice. Eugene looks like the Eugene of old in terms of being aggressive to the boards.'

'As far as adjustments to the team, we will be a whole lot more aggressive defensively as a result of our added depth. That doesn't mean that we will extend full court because I don't think it will be very beneficial for us. Obviously we want Loren (Woods) around the basket and I think it will be best for us to create some half court trapping situations and possibly a little beyond that at times.

'Offensively there will be some adjustments from what we've done in the past. With everyone returning we want take advantage to everyone's individual strengths. The adjustments will be minor but we feel they will be effective for the personnel that we have.'

On the expectations of this team:

'I don't think there are many years where we haven't had high expectations here. That is why players come here and the way it should be. Along with it comes a strong focus and a willingness to work hard and the guys are doing that.

'This team probably has fewer question marks than any team we've had. One area that we need to work on in practice is developing solid guard play.

'I want to play 40 minutes of intense basketball, offensively and defensively.'

On the schedule:

'We've got a lot of games to be excited about this year. I think this team deserves to play a tough schedule. The months of November and December pose some very tough road games that will help continue the development of the team and preparing them for conference play.

On the Pac-10 Conference:

'Stanford, Southern California and UCLA will be very good this year. I think the dark horse will be Oregon State. They return a lot of their starters and is a solid team.'

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