Men's Basketball Teleconference Quotes

Nov. 20, 2001

Stanford Men's Basketball Head Coach Mike Montgomery Teleconference Quotes

Quotes from Monday, November 19 teleconference with Coach Montgomery...

Comment on Casey Jacobsen's performance against New Mexico:

'They (New Mexico) did a real good job on him defensively. That's what is going to happen this year in terms of people defending him with their best. He missed some threes and I think that surprised him but he was real close to having a real good game.'

After tomorrow's game with SUU, you will have significant time off. Does that concern you given you're still trying to figure out the roles on the team?

'It's not something we're ever going to have a choice about because we'll always take two weeks off for Dead Week and finals. It's always going to happen the first two weeks in December so that's not up for debate. We'll have an opportunity to practice. The game situation at New Mexico was intense. Kids played harder than they had in practice. The nature of the game is very different than what you get in practice. Things we'd been talking about that we hadn't seen in practice, we saw in the game so that was good. Some of the mistakes we're making and some of the things we need to get better at, you just can't do in practice. You need the game situations. '

Di d you see anything Saturday that really surprised you?

'Not surprised, but I saw some things that really pleased me. We competed. I was very fearful of the quickness New Mexico had thought it would be exaggerated at their place with their crowd. But I thought, by and large, we did a pretty good job of both point of attack defense and help-side defense. There were some things there that we need to get better at. I saw that there was a glimmer of understanding offensively and how to let it work for ourselves. Josh (Childress) was obviously pretty poised which didn't really surprise me but was good to see in a game. I was real please with Tony Giovvachini. He seemed very much in control and showed his quickness. Nothing really surprised me. There were some pleasant things we can build on but they had 24 offensive rebounds so there's some concern there too.'

Comments on Tony Giovvachini:

'The deal with Tony is just his confidence. He's a good player, I think people short-shift him a little bit. He's tough - it's just a matter of him having the confidence and doing it. What he really needs to do it make open shots and be aggressive at the basket. People try to overplay everything. He's got to have the ability and strength to get it in there complete and make plays. He's capable of doing that. I've got to believe that in that environment, for him to have that kind of game, it's a confidence booster for him.'

Do you think it was important for other players on the team to see you win without Casey having to score 30 points?

'If we have to expect Casey to get 30 points a game, we're not going to be very successful. We can't stand around looking at him. That's not how we're going to win. Casey is going to have the ball in his hands and should lead us in assists because he's going to draw everybody's attention. What makes a great player is that player's ability to draw attention and then make other players better. As I said before, he's going to end up with numbers regardless. What you'd like, though, is for those percentages to be on par with those numbers.'

Do think that Curtis (Borchardt), Tony (Giovvachini) and Josh (Childress) needed this game to see that they don't have to sit back and watch Casey?

'They can't. It doesn't matter if they want to or anything else. That's never been the nature of our team. When they become comfortable with Casey's ability to make them better, then we're going to be better. We felt that Curtis was a guy that was going to get better as time went by and I thought he took a huge step in that ball game (vs. New Mexico). Josh was a wildcard because he's a freshman in a hostile environment. Everybody's going to give Casey their best defender and maybe even find a way to run a second guy. The only way to be successful is to counter that.'

Can you comment on some of the success the frontcourt had against New Mexico?

'Well, we won't face many teams bigger than them since they were 6'9' and 7'0' and were 7'0' off the bench. They were pretty big. There might be teams more physically although they did their share of banging, too. We felt that it was really important that we have and establish an inside game offensively and be as successful going to the basket as going away from it. I thought we did that. We could have been more successful off the break. Justin (Davis) did what he could do - he traveled the first two times and really tried to do some things we didn't need him to do. After that he was real good and was 5-for-5 and that was great to see.

Facing Southern Utah at home is a slightly less daunting challenge than facing New Mexico in the Pit. Does that change what you're looking for out of your team?

'Southern Utah presents one problem that is unique that kind of negates what you just said. On paper I would agree with you - just looking at names and so forth. But they won 25 games last year and were really a good basketball team. They play a zone that's somewhat unique and you don't see many people play it. Fresno kind of initiated it years and years ago and they are very, very good at it. There the only team that runs that kind of zone right now. You'd better attack it correctly because they're not getting out of it. Just because you score a couple of buckets, they're not going to go back and say it's not working, let's go to man. So the preparation is a little bit different. You have to attack it intelligently. It can give you fits. They gave Boston College absolute fits in the NCAA tournament last year. Boston College was a good team. They cause a lot of turnovers out of that zone.'

How do you attack it (SUU's defense)?

'You have to be aggressive. You have to attack it. Part of that will be our ability to defend and get out on the break some. With any good halfcourt defensive team, you don't want to have to face that every possession. It swings to them. You've got to get points off boards and off the break. That starts on defense. You've got to be aggressive. You can't let them back you off and that's what they'll attempt to do, to put you back on your heels. They'll trap all penetration and they'll trap in the corners and they're very, very aggressive with it. If you don't attack it, the advantage turns to them.'

Who do you expect to do most of the attacking?

'All of the perimeter guys. They run at you at really close out hard. They want you to put it down and get into trap situations. We have to cleanly handle the ball in those traps and get it turned and get good ball reversal. And you have to get some good shots and have some success on the glass. Like any zone, they have problems on the boards, particularly one that's as aggressive as theirs. But if you get stuck and get trapped, they get their hands on the ball and score a lot of points.'

In the first half against New Mexico you played 10 or 11 guys. Was that an altitude thing or just to get some guys experience?

'Not at all, I wanted to play guys in the first half. I didn't see as many problems with altitude as I thought I might have - no visible signs. In the second half, I thought Justin (Davis) got tired. On the bench, they said Justin's really tired and he got his fourth foul and I should have avoided that. I didn't think the altitude played as big a part as it might have. I wanted to get people in the first half. Then if I needed to go back to people in the second half, they would have had a chance to feel the altitude and the pace of the game and be ready to go. So I had at my disposal all of those players who had played in the first half.'

Do you have a number that you want to get that rotation whittled down to?

'It's difficult right now because I want to give people a chance to compete. Really Kyle Logan could have gotten some run in there, too. He's played well enough in practice to warrant that. But I can't go that deep - that would be at 12. I just can't go that deep and be successful. Chris (Hernandez) has been out for a week. And really, Chris, up until he hurt his back, had been doing really well and I think he deserves a chance and will earn his way back into a solid rotation. You need to be at 10 but you have to understand Casey's minutes will be such that one of those spots is not going to have a lot of minutes.'

What is the latest on Chris Hernandez?

'He's at about 80 percent. I think he feels pretty good but I don't think he's at point where he can just forget about the back. His limited minutes is a little bit a product of personnel. He hasn't practiced for a while. He needs to get back on the practice floor and get back to where he was before he hurt it.'

How did Curtis' foot react?

'It was sore. The intensity of a game is different from practice. He was fired up and into it - he didn't want to come out. One time I took him out he told me he wasn't asking to come out - he was asking for the ball. But 35 minutes is probably the most he's played and the foot's sore. But it's not structural - it's just lack of use.'

Do you have a per game minutes range in mind for Casey (Jacobsen) this year?

'No. He's in fabulous shape. He could play two games if he had to. He's in exceptional shape. But like anybody, I think it really helps a guy to get off the floor and breathe and look at what's going on out on the court. He got handled pretty good (at UNM) and he was getting frustrated.'

On Josh Childress, was he tentative in the first half or was it what the defense was providing?

'He didn't get a lot of opportunities, just a couple open shots. He's real good at finishing around the basket. He's got good hands and gets to the basket pretty quickly. In the second half, he seemed to get a little quicker and a little more physical and just bounced off the floor much quicker.'

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