Arizona Men's Basketball Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 25, 2003

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson's Remarks

On the Florida Gators:
'Florida is athletic, they have really good shooters, they score a lot of points, and they like going up and down the court. It should be an exciting, fun game to watch and fun for the players to play. We will press on occasion, and I hope that they do so that we get an opportunity to work on our full-court offense. We do (press) against ourselves, but it is always different to see somebody else's (defense). They zone about half the time, and I think we need that. They have a deeper bench than we do, but if we stay healthy and don't get into foul trouble, I think that we can go deep enough on the bench to do a good job.'

'I think this should be an interesting game. It is going to be a big-game atmosphere at a neutral site, which will be similar with what you face in the NCAA Tournament. I'm glad we have the game scheduled.'

On junior forward Isaiah Fox:
'Isaiah's return obviously made a huge difference and will make a huge difference because that gives us a big body that we can put in there, and it just gives us a lot more flexibility. With the number of guys who can play multiple positions, I think we are in pretty good shape. With Isaiah being available, we can either go with him or Hassan (Adams), or we can go with him for Channing (Frye).'

On sophomore guard Chris Rodgers:
'Chris Rodgers coming off the bench is a real plus for us because we can play him at any one of the three perimeter positions. That is very important.'

On Rodgers' shot selection against Northern Arizona:
'With the exception of two shots, I was pleased with his shot selection. Hopefully, and eventually, I will be able to say that I was happy with all of his shot selections. He is taking a lot of pride in making a good pass now, and from last year to this year, there has been a lot of improvement in terms of his overall play and his understanding that the open man should get the ball. I think the fact that everyone is willing to give up the ball is contagious, too. Eventually, you learn that if you are willing to give up the ball and everyone else does the same, you are still going to get the same number of shots, only they will probably be higher percentage shots.'

On junior guard Salim Stoudamire's performance against Northern Arizona:
'After he missed the first five, there were three of them that he tried to take a little bit sooner than he should have. If someone starts out cold, they should become more selective in the next shot to make sure that it is one they have a really good chance of hitting. It changes your mental outlook immediately as soon as you hit the shot. I think sometimes he gets impatient with the missed shot, so he has to get the next one in a hurry instead of making sure the next one is really wide open. He has shown a lot more maturity, and he recognizes there are a lot of other things he can do besides score. The defensive second half was really outstanding; he had seven assists and only two turnovers and five boards.'

On sophomore guard Hassan Adams' shot-blocking ability:
'He blocks a lot of shots in practice. He is so quick off his feet. Sometimes, it is the guy of that size who actually surprises people more than if they are going into a crowd of big guys where they expect that (blocked shots). He seems to come out of nowhere. Moving from the perimeter, he now is in a better area to get shot blocks if he is guarding someone inside. Now, it's not just his man, but it is also people who are driving to the bucket.'

On freshman center Kirk Walters:
'Kirk (Walter) is going to do a solid job for us. He needs to get stronger, and he needs to get better endurance, which is always a problem for a young, buy guy.'

On the team's lineup:
'It shouldn't make a whole lot of difference if it is zone or man. We need to have Andre (Iguodala) be more active when we hit the zone. We are really relying a lot on Andre to be similar to what we had Luke Walton be for us a year ago where we could get him the ball, and he could distribute because of his height. Andre can obviously shoot the ball, so that will be something that we will be focusing on. Channing (Frye) can shoot the shot from 17' and in, and Isaiah (Fox) shoots it well enough, too. Kirk (Walters) shoots it well. I think we can end up with good percentage regardless of whether it is zone or man as long as we are patient to make the extra pass.'

On opponents' attempts to slow Arizona with zone defense:
'I think there will be that attempt to do it. That is why we tell our point guards that it doesn't make any difference whether they are in a man or a zone. You have to attack and get the ball ahead and make it difficult for the zone to actually get set. I think Mustafa (Shakur) will do that. I don't think it should make a lot of difference; we just have to make sure that we don't slow down because of it, and that we continue to attack.'

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