Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 26, 2002

Opening Statement:
'With Stanford coming up, this has been a great series and I'm sure it will be the same on Thursday. The problems you're dealing with start with the first two names out of your mouth: Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt. Both of them created a lot of problems for us up there (in Palo Alto, Jan. 31). We'll go as we did up there with (Luke) Walton matched up with Jacobsen and the post position with us will be either (Isaiah) Fox or (Channing (Frye). We'll determine that based on how they do this week. Certainly, both will be counted on heavily. A lot of it will be determined by rebounding. We were pleased that Isaiah got 12 rebounds vs. ASU.'

'With Jacobsen, you just have to be really concerned with him all of the time. His range is so far beyond the three-point line that it spreads your defense all over the place. Borchardt killed us on the glass and from the field. Channing was able to score well, and that was helpful, but Borchardt's work on the boards was outstanding, as it has been all year long. We'll try to force him to cover out, as we did up there in the second half. We need to do a job on the boards.'

'You have to collapse (on Borchardt). The problem is that they have guys that shoot the ball well from the perimeter, particularly Jacobsen. What happened up there is that their perimeter people did not have good shooting nights. If that's the case, you can afford to sag. If they had hit some early threes, it would have been a quick change in strategy. It's unusual for them not to shoot well at home.'

Mike Montgomery said that Stanford is a shaky team right now. Is that true?
'I don't think you're ever very confident when you drop a couple like that, particularly two at home. I think young teams more than anybody, if you drop a couple the confidence goes down. That's something that any team is going to battle if you're relatively inexperienced and drop a couple.

Do you feel that Stanford will be playing with a greater sense of urgency?
There's no question that there has to be a sense of urgency. Everybody has a sense of urgency now. You've got two games left and a whole lot of crazy things could happen. (Heading into the Pac-10 Tournament) I think that we could all beat each other's brains in and head for the (NCAA) Tournament exhausted. There will certainly be good competition. Other than missing three days of class, it will probably be a good experience.

Some national media types are saying the Pac-10 deserves six bids to the NCAA Tournament. Is that legitimate?
Yes, a lot of key analysts are saying that the Pac-10 deserves six (teams in the NCAA Tournament). It may have something to do with how well the Pac-10 has done over the last six years with the number of teams we've had in the Sweet 16 and the national titles. Last year certainly was very impressive for the Pac-10.

How much would it mean for this team to earn at least a piece of the Pac-10 regular season title?
To me, it would mean a lot more than winning the tournament because it's based on 18 games, including home and away. It would be very meaningful. When you talk about league championships, you don't really talk about tournament championships. Three games at a neutral site is so completely different from a having to go through 18 games in this league. It's been a battle. That's why the league champion is a much bigger accomplishment than the tournament championship.'

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