Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Day Quotes

Nov. 6, 2003

Video Clips:
PAC-10 Commissioner Hansen
PAC-10 USC Basketball
PAC-10 Stanford Basketball
PAC-10 Arizona Basketball
PAC-10 UCLA Basketball
PAC-10 ASU Basketball
PAC-10 Washington Basketball
PAC-10 Washington State Basketball
PAC-10 Oregon Basketball
PAC-10 Oregon State Basketball
PAC-10 California Basketball

  • Tom Hansen, Pac-10 Commissioner

    The Pac-10 is not considering any change in its membership. We will not be expanding or contracting, that is sort of odd news, given the current landscape of the NCAA.

    With regard to SB 193, this bill would effectively remove four Pac-10 schools from the NCAA, along with 43 other colleges in California. It would effectively dismantle the Pac-10, and would drive California high school students to compete in college athletics outside of the state.

  • Dick Bennett, Washington State

    I am very happy and thankful to be a member of one of the most prestigious and successful conferences in the nation. I am excited to be back in the game I love and coach against some of the best coaches in the nation.

    I am excited, but realistic, about the rebuilding job that is ahead at Washington State. I have been very impressed with the young men on the team. They have had to deal with some very difficult situations, but they have not complained once. There is an unmistakable hunger that exists, and if we can capitalize on that and see where it best translates on the court we could turn that into some success.

    How have the players adjusted to your style:
    So much has been made of my style when it first appeared, but in truth it is not terribly different. In truth, the players have had no trouble, but they have embraced anything that might help us win.

    I missed the journey, even the tough times, I missed being with a group after a loss and the ability to pull together. I missed the practices, and most of all I missed the game. I think it was good for me to get away from Wisconsin, coaching for 36 years in one state is difficult.

    Biggest Concern:We seem to have a guy for every position and a backup for that guy, and everyone has accepted their roles and they battle in practice, but until we line up against another team I will not know. I think that we are better than people might think.

  • Lorenzo Romar, Washington

    As I stood up here last year we had a team with only one senior, we were very inexperienced. This year, we are still young, but this time we are a lot more experienced. We have some player who played a lot of games even though we are still young.

    We have a couple of new additions this year and they should all contribute this year, This year, we feel that we have several guys we can go to for scoring options. This is the quickest team that I have ever coached, since I have been a head coach.

    We need to do a better job of rebounding. We were an inexperienced group who got better as the year went on. I hope that we can build on that and that experience will help us. I think that for a number of reasons we will be better, but we have to take care rebounding.

  • Ben Howland, UCLA

    We completed our 16th practice yesterday, and our players are playing really hard, and they are beginning to understand what we want to do. We are really stressing defense, and we will improve on that. A lack of depth is a real issue.

    We have good kids, they are very hard working, they take directions very well. I really like their attitude, they are being coachable, both on the floor and off the floor, both academically, and athletically. We have a long way to go, but we have a good group of kids, and I am really happy about the kids we have.

    Right Now Brian Morrison has done a good job at practice, he is trying hard and he has a good attitude. He really, really wants to be a good player. He played all the time this summer, and he has a great attitude.

    Cedrick Bozeman was not able to do anything when I got here. I am very happy with him, he is without question our starting point guard and he will start every game for us this year. He has worked really hard in the weight room, I was worried that because he is such a nice kid he'd be a little soft.

  • Henry Bibby, USC

    Like I have said for the last eight years, I am very happy to be a part of the Pac-10. This Conference is one of the best in the country, we play a tough schedule every year, and we are only getting better.

    The Stewart twins do some very special things, Rodrick might be one of the best point guards I have ever coached. He is one of the first players I have coached who makes a difference on both ends of the floor.

    I cannot say who is going to start for us yet. All of our players are in the mix. We have our first scrimmage tomorrow night, and the starters then will not necessarily be starting on opening night.

    With kids who we have had come-in, our practice has improved. They have really taken the level of practice to another level that we have not had in quite some time. We have a lot of competition and some guys who are fighting for starting spots.

    We are playing four guards right now, and that is really good for us. That is something that I wanted to do more of last year. It creates mismatches and gives us a lot of quickness and athleticism.

  • Jay John, Oregon State

    Everybody in this room is able to look at stats and rosters, it is common knowledge that we do not have any seniors. But, coming into my second year I am very happy with the guys we have. We have a 100% commitment to our program, and they play really hard. We have a group of kids who work hard and they set goals for themselves and they work as hard as they can to achieve those goals.

    We are faster than a year ago, we shoot better than a year ago. One thing we do not have is meat on our bones. We have a little experience and in a conference like this experience is very important.

    One positive things about not having any seniors on our team, is someone saying 'now it is my turn.' We have young guys but they all play together.

    Liam Hughes gets better and better everyday. I am not sure that if he will play this year or if we are going to redshirt him this year. It is going to be excited to coach him. He is 7'2' plus, but he has a real mean streak.

    My three guys who played last year are ahead of the learning curve. Other than that, we have a few guys with a lot of life experience, then the rest of the battles for starting position will be between some of our freshman and sophomores. One thing that we have this year, that we have not had in the past is competition in practice.

  • Ernie Kent, Oregon

    We have not had a bad practice, which any coach will tell you is the mark of a good team.

    Our perimeter game is still intact. We will be fast we can shoot the ball, we have great depth... Probably our biggest surprise in the back court is Aaron Brooks. Aaron will bring an element to the Conference that I don't think we've seen since Tyus Edney.

    The reality of it is, there is no clear-cut team in this Conference. We all have reloaded , maybe to the point that you don't know about it... We have a feel for it as coaches and that's why we know it will be a very tough Pac-10 Conference.

  • Rob Evans, Arizona State

    I have been extremely pleased with the first couple weeks of practice for us... I think the biggest thing for us is we have some guys with versatility, we can go a lot of different ways.

    We don't have a lot of experience, but we do have a lot of experience in the point guard in Jason Braxton, and in Ike Diogu. As good as he was last year we think he has a chance to be better this year.

    On who will be starting:Ike Diogu and Jason Braxton... Other than that, its hard to tell. Other than that there is still competition at those positions.

    It's the same as it always is. There's no easy ball games in this league. I think the first time since I've been in this league its a pretty balanced league; it's wide open. I think anyone can win on any given night and it hasn't always been that way.

    I really like the components of this basketball team that I have.

  • Ben Braun, California

    I look for practice as a way to get better, You only get one game a week, but you get two months of practice.

    The expectations we have at this point our ours, not anyone else's.

    (Leon Powe) I've been pleased with his progress. He's probably the one freshman if we stopped practice that he would be on the floor right now. He's still learning and he knows he's still learning and that's important. He's not satisfied and he wants to get better. I respect that and I think his teammates respect that.

    I thought that as I looked at the standings and the picks and all that, Arizona has some people returning... They've got some good players coming in, and great players returning. But I think there will be some teams challenging like Stanford... I really believe that there is a number of teams that will challenge. It should be a great year for fans because there are going to be some great games going on.

    It is a season we go through in stages, we're not talking about March Madness or post-season right now.

  • Mike Montgomery, Stanford

    We're progressing nicely, practice has gone well, coaches think we are further along than last year at this point based on how many people we have back.

    I like our basketball team,and our seniors... Justin Davis- he's hard off the floor a good rebounder we hope he is going to have the year we think he can have.

    We expect (Josh) Childress to be a big part of our basketball team. I think if I I mentioned two keys, the first being Chris Hernandez at the point guard... He's had issues with his back, a couple herniated disks. The other guy I think is a key for us is Nick Robinson. He's a guy a lot of you probably don't know about. He's our older player coming off a Mormon mission, married, 24... He's playing three positions right now... He's in a lot of ways the glue of our team.

    If everybody keeps progressing I think we have a chance to go out and compete in each game and have a good year for us.

    The other keys four us , effort playing together... it is a group that understands that.

    I like the Conference top to bottom, I would pick Arizona, just like you. I think Lute will thrive with the players he has... But I do think the league will be tough top to bottom.

  • Lute Olson, Arizona

    The biggest problems that we have, the single biggest problem that we have is that we only have eight players on scholarship... We have a lot of walk ons filling the gaps. Last weekend we had our Red and Blue game and had two mangers suited to fill all our players.

    We had great leadership the last two years with Luke Walton and Jason Gardner, we're still searching for that.

    Salim (Stoudamire) needs to work on being steady all the time, but I think he's working hard at that.

    We're very quick, we're very thin on the inside. Certainly if anyone who has seen us would not be picking us to win the league

    I think there are five or six teams that could win it. I would be very shocked if it doesn't come down to the last weekend.

    On the perimeter we have Salim (Stoudamire) that can play the point. We have Chris Rodgers who can play the wing.

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