Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 2, 2002

Opening Statement
'Regarding Luke (Walton)'s ankle, we've been told he'll work out with us today and that everything looks good with him. It was not the same injury that he had before, this was a different area. We'll see how he looks in practice today and see what we will do with him as far as tomorrow is concerned. The key thing for him will be that we want to be sure when we go back home on Saturday is he's at full strength.'

'Salim (Stoudamire)'s fine. He's way out of shape. He has worked really hard at conditioning, but you don't get ready to play basketball without playing basketball. When you see him out there, compared to the other guys, pressing and running all the time, he got tired in a hurry. He needs to get himself in good enough condition that he's ready to go full-speed.'

'We mix and match (our lineup) all the time in practice, so they're all accustomed to playing with each other.'

'They (Saint Louis) will prefer to go slower with the background of their system (and Coach Brad Soderberg) having been under Dick Bennett at Wisconsin. That's the philosophy that Saint Louis is going to play under. They're going to be more of a half-court, take-your-time offensive team with solid, aggressive man-to-man defense but more containment man-to-man as opposed to going out and pressuring the ball.'

On Saint Louis' style of play being something Arizona has not faced:
'That's the reason we try to schedule as we do - to see as many different styles as we can because there will be teams in our league that are not going to want to play full court with us.'

'If we get a fast break situation, we want that shot. And, usually, that's going to come off no passes or one pass. If you're coming at people on the break and you put up the shot and miss, you've still got a good shot at the offensive rebound because of the defense not being set. But when you get into the half court and you're going against a half-court defense and you make one pass and take a shot, that's not what we want. That's a stat that we make sure we're aware of. That's just not in our best interest.'

'So many of our points are coming off steals and turnovers. We've been up in the 30 point range per game that are points directly related to our defense. Offensively, from a coaching standpoint, we see a lot of things that we need to do better that what we're doing. But if it gets into a full-court game, it's not as noticeable as when you get forced into a half-court game. But it's early December and we're getting better. The good thing is that our practice competition is such that we'll get better and be efficient because a guy's going to have to get a lot better based on the competition he's facing in practice. A half-court offense always takes longer to develop than probably anything else.'

'He (Hassan Adams) has been unbelievably efficient as you can see with his percentages. He has shot the ball better than what we expected. His perimeter shot looks good, he probably needs to cut down on the number of three point shots he's taking. But he's really a good mid-range jump shooter because of his great form, plus he gets great lift.'

'We (Steve Fisher and Lute Olson) have been good friends for a lot of years. Steve was an assistant at Michigan when I was at Iowa. I got to know he and (wife) Angie at that time and we've remained good friends for a lot of years. I see Steve a lot in recruiting situations.'

On whether Steve Fisher can turn around the San Diego State program:
'I think he will because he's a very good recruiter and he works hard at his job. He's been in coaching long enough. He does an excellent job on the court and he really works hard at the recruiting end of it. With that new facility now, it's a much more attractive place for kids than before. It's always going to be tough to recruit against Pac-10 schools. I think he'll do a very good job, I think he's a very good choice for them.'

Now on Pac-12 Network
12:00 PM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network