Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes

March 6, 2002

2002 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
Press Conference Quotes

University of Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson

'They're (Arizona State) very tough on the boards, and we've been hurt by their penetration. Those will be a couple of things that we will hopefully be better at at this point than we were, especially at Tempe.'

'I think our rebounding has been better of late. It's still been inconsistent. The key for us is that we have five guys on the defensive glass, and that our guards don't feel that it is spectator time for them when the shot goes up. We'll need good balance (on the boards). If we get that, we've been a pretty good rebounding team a lot of the times.'

'Anytime you're talking about a one-game situation, anything can happen. You just take a look at the matchups, and every game is going to be tough. If you look in (Oregon's) half of the bracket, if Oregon does get by Washington, the next one (winner of USC vs. Stanford) is as tough as anyone you could face, I think.'

'We had no idea what our team was going to be like (at the beginning of the season). People talk about losing four of the five starters. That really isn't the whole picture. We lost seven of our top nine. This was a year that I had no idea what to expect. I still don't know what to expect.'

'I can't see how he (Arizona freshman guard Salim Stoudamire) would not be (considered for the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year). You take a look at his numbers, and the other thing that probably isn't as evident is that he was selected by his teammates as our defensive player of the year. He doesn't turn the ball over a whole lot. He's hit big shots. I can't vote for my own player, but I certainly feel that he should be the favorite.'

'The task of stopping (ASU guard Curtis) Millage is a difficult one because he's an outstanding player. He does a great job of getting in the lane and making things happen, and if you play him too conservatively, he shoots the lights out from outside. He's developed into a really outstanding player. He's a hard player to defend.'

'I think (ASU head coach) Rob (Evans) has done a great job of getting that program to the point now where they can compete with anybody in the league. Had ASU been able to hit free throws down the stretch during the course of the season, they would be right in the mix with all of us. They defend as hard as anybody, and they have really good athleticism.'

On the Pac-10 Tournament:
'I think a lot of good things have happened, from what I can see, just in the first day here (at the Staples Center). This is being handled like a first-class affair. I think the difference - then and now - is the organization that has gone into this. It's very different from what it was , frankly.'

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