Mike Montgomery Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 11, 2001

Stanford, Calif. - On having two weeks off and practicing during finals:
'We had a good four days of practice last week and worked on hustling. We got out-hustled against Texas. This week (finals week) their minds have been preoccupied and tired. I have never really expected to make a lot of progress during finals week anyway.'

On the Texas game:
'Free throws. When you miss so many opportunities at the free throw line, you are not going to win many of those games. I thought we were lucky to even take the game into overtime. Rick (Rick Barnes, Texas Head Coach) coaches physical defense and the team came in feeling that they were better than 1-3. They came out aggressive and usually the team that does that wins the game.'

Free Throws:
'Casey went 3-8 and for his career is 80%. Curtis is also normally good, but he went 0-4. We just missed way too many and it was disappointing to lose that game. It may have been the atmosphere, due to the big building and playing at 9 a.m. our time.'

On the Texas perimeter defense:
'They played good defense and checked us a lot, but you will see that now. We just did not respond well. Losing Curtis for 16 minutes due to foul trouble really hurt us. However, we watched the tape and learned a lot from it. We saw some things that we need to improve on.'

On Rob Little's play:
'We might actually start Rob and Curtis together. Rob plays better in the game than in practice. He has to work on his passing skills, which actually have not been bad during the game but in practice. Rob is a banger who goes and gets the ball.'

On Justin Davis:
'He has got to play harder and go out and get the ball. He has got to think that every time the ball is shot, it is his. We did not block off against Texas and they ran right over us. We are trying right now to get back to the fundamentals.'

On Rob Little and Curtis Borchardt playing together:
'It is a lineup that we could use. Curtis needs more touches on offense. He is skilled and we are still looking for the best combination. We are looking to get more skilled players on the floor.'

On Teyo Johnson:
'We are unsure of his status because of football practice. It might be difficult to hit in football practice and then come and play basketball on Saturday night. He is rusty and I don't think people realize how hard it is to get back to the level of a major college program. Some days he can't hit anything and might step the wrong way, but he gives us energy and athleticism. If football continues to be successful and goes to a bowl game, it is going to start to wear on Teyo because of all that time away from basketball. He is a good passer though, and we don't have that right now in the high post.'

On the high post position:
'Like I said before, Curtis need more touches on offense, but he is a great rebounder and shot blocker. We just don't have the same offensive presence as we did before and we have to develop that with Curtis. We said early on that he would improve and he got better as a rebounder, and now he just needs to continue that on the offensive side. Curtis used to avoid contact, but now he is bigger and a well-built kid. He is one of our best.'

On Julius:
'Julius has settled in comfortably. He is a tough kid and delivers the ball well. We have to keep him aggressive with the ball. Julius does not take shots by the numbers. There are certain things he does well and other times passes it off when he's open.'

On Long Beach State:
'I have looked at their scouting report and they have good athletes. They have two bigs guys returning from last year and their guards are real quick. They are a good team that is very capable.'

On the conference:
'UCLA is awfully talented and have outstanding wing athletes. I like USC and their starting lineup is really quick, very fast and aggressive. California is good and is playing very solid basketball. I thought ASU would be better, but they have lost some games. Arizona is continuing to play well and are looking great. Jason Gardener is making clutch shots for them and I've always like Luke Walton. Washington State has lost some tough games. Washington is improving and Oregon is looking good. Oregon State is a little thin, with not a lot of depth. It will be an interesting league and I am curious to see if the tournament devalues regular season conference play.'

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