Cardinal Coach Mike Montgomery And Players' Quotes

March 14, 2001


Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery
NCAA First/Second Round
San Diego, Calif.
March 14, 2001

Mike Montgomery regarding looking past the first-round opponent:

'We haven't done very well the last couple of years in the NCAATournament, so I sincerely hope that that wouldn't be the case. You'retalking about the top 20 percent of all the teams that play basketballin the country and there are five teams in our leage, for example, thatdidn't make it, that we know are really good basketball teams, we had toplay really hard to win. They also know that if you don't play well inthe Tournament that you're going to be bounced. There is no NCAA rulethat says the No. 16 seed can't beat a No. 1 seed. I would suspect thatin every case the No. 1 seed probably played pretty hard and there havebeen some games where there has been some real apprehension late in thegame about getting beat. I don't think we'll have trouble gettingfocused.'

Montgomery regarding past early exits and his analysis of them:

'It wasn't anything we didn't do, it was our opponent. I am a firmbeliever that there are a lot of good basketball teams around thecountry. The upsets that people talk about are based more on somebodyplacing arbitrary number in front of their name as compared to actualtalent of the teams involved. Anytime you have a high number and a lownumber playing, the assumption is the low numbers play better than thehigh numbers, and I don't think that's the case in every instance. Wehaven't done anything differently, we have tried to win every game we'veplayed this year, and I think the one thing we'd like to do at somepoint is to stay healthy, be healthy and get healthy. I think thathaving everybody that you played with all year long is a critical partof your preparation in the Tournament. At some point in time, you aregoing to need eight or nine players that can play at the level you wantthem to play.'

Montgomery regarding the No. 1 seed and the 'bulls' eye' on the back:

'No. I don't think the number, again, has much to do with anything. Ithink that the one thing we wanted to do more than anything else was toplay in the West (Region) just from a logistical standpoint. For us andthe people in our conference, playing in the West means having to be aNo. 1 seed, because generally speaking the last few years, whoever wonour conference was the No. 1 seed in the West. So our job was to try towin the conference, which was very difficult and was a greataccomplishment. So I don't think there is any more of a bulls' eye. Atthis point, if you're smart, you're playing every game as if it's yourlast and every game like it's a conference championship opportunitybecause if you lose you're done. That's the way, I think, that youadvance.'

Montgomery regarding the perception of Stanford being susceptible toquicker teams:

'Basically, if we get beat, we'll get beat by somebody who plays better.Last year we got beat by somebody who was bigger than we were. The yearbefore, we got beat by somebody that played better and shot the ballbetter than we did. I don't think that there is any one thing thatdictates that we can't win. I think that we are more prepared to playevery style. Quick teams give everybody problems because they have theability to make up for their mistakes. The quickest that we haveprobably played against were Duke, Arizona and UCLA and we beat thoseteams. But we also played really well and we had to play really well anddig down. I don't think we're susceptible to any one style of play.Hopefully it will take a team that is very good and plays very well tobeat us.'

Montgomery regarding the graduation of every player at Stanford who hasplayed for him:

'Stanford is a unique institution in that their entrance requirementseliminate the kids who don't belong, so we have the benefit and theheartache of having to recruit great students to begin with. As a resultof that, the kids who come to Stanford are prepared to do top-qualitywork. And if we've done our job recruiting, they're prepared to dotop-quality work on the basketball floor as well.'

Stanford Players
NCAA First/Second Round
San Diego, Calif.
March 14, 2001

Michael McDonald, Stanford
Q: 'How do you avoid being overconfident tomorrow?'

A: 'They have pretty good players on their team. Courtney Eldridgeis a great shooter and penetrator. David Schuck is a really goodplayer. Anytime you make the tournament, you had to have had a goodseason. So we are definitely not overlooking this team.'

Ryan Mendez, Stanford
Q: 'A number one seed has never lost to a number 16 seed. Youobviously don't want to be the first. What are your thoughts?'

A: 'Everybody earned their right to be in the tournament. And atthis point if they didn't make plays down the stretch, you know theywouldn't be here. At this point there are 64 great teams left and weare not overlooking anyone. How can we overlook anyone, when we havelost two years straight in the second round.'

Jarron Collins, Stanford
Q: 'Going against the 16th seed, are you surprised with UNCG'ssize?'

A: 'A little bit. They are very talented players, but we knoweverybody is as good as anybody in the tournament. This team does havea little bit of size. I think they have a player, 7-1, 6-11 and a 6-7guy, so, they have some height on their team.'

Ryan Mendez, Stanford
Q: 'How has the experience changed for the seniors in the past fewyears?'

A: 'It was sort of a celebration when we got into the locker roomand knew we made the tournament and where we were going to play andeverything. Everybody was so excited about the whole experience andbecause it was all so new at Stanford. Now, we obviously expect to makeit to the tournament this year and it is still exciting for us becauseit is the last one. We don't want to take anything for granted,especially this year.'

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