Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes
Jan. 5, 2004
They (California) are very talented. They are very young. I've been asked if I was surprised that they've been inconsistent. Hey, if you've got that many freshmen, you are going to be inconsistent. Generally speaking, they will be more consistent at home because they have the security of the home crowd, and they are going to have problems on the road, because the crowd is not going to be with them.
I'm sure (California head coach) Ben (Braun) would tell you that they are tremendously talented. The future of California basketball is very, very bright, but there are going to be some rocky times between now and when those kids become sophomores.
Can you talk about these milestones you keep reaching? How do you feel about them?
In looking back, I didn't realize there were so many key wins on the 100s. The 100th win at Iowa was a key one (Feb. 3, 1979). The 200th win here was against Oregon State (March 25, 1984) when they were really good. It was a big upset by us. The 300th (March 27, 1988) got us to the Final Four (in 1988) with a win over North Carolina. The 400th (Feb. 13, 1992) was probably the only one that wasn't significant. Five hundred (Feb. 11, 1996) was Miles (Simon) throwing that 64-footer in. Six hundred (Jan. 8, 2000) was beating Stanford when they were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country, and 700 (Saturday) came in our first league game of the season.
Those were big wins for us. Hopefully, there will be a number of wins still to come. Frankly, the time you reflect on things is when you're coaching. Then you have time to do it. I don't have time to reflect. We've got two really critical games this week.
What changes with the start of conference play?
Hopefully, the intensity will be consistent. Like I've said, we're not an old team with three freshmen, three sophomore and two juniors. We should get better every day given the fact that we're still as young as we are.
I think focus is going to be there. Focus always comes when you hit league play because you know that every game is important. If you lose one in non-conference, big deal. It's a loss. You don't want losses any more than what you should have, but now in conference, every game counts.
Our practice today was good. It was intense. I'll be shocked if they are not that way from this point on.
Could you comment on Mustafa Shakur's performance in his first Pac-10 road game?
Mustafa's not going to get bothered by anything. He works his tail off every day in practice. He knows only one way to play and that's all-out. If the pressure is on, he is going to be better than if it's a non-pressure situation. The two thing he needs to work on as he progresses is to continue to work on the leadership end of it - to become more vocal out there. The second thing is to improve on his assist-to-turnover ratio. He's turned the ball too much. Most of the time - and it's not unusual for a freshman - it's because he's trying to do too much. He doesn't have to do too much. He's got enough talent around him where he doesn't have to do everything.
Can you speak to the play of Andre Iguodala?
We didn't play Andre in the last 10 minutes and he could have had another triple-double. I had no idea he was at that position (9 points/8 rebounds/8 assists Saturday), but he's going to have some other triple-doubles based on the way he plays.
For him, it's effortless. He's in the middle of the action all of the time. Because he's such a great defensive rebounder, it gives him the opportunity to come out with the ball. He's going to have some other triple-doubles.
Have you ever had two players like Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala?
We've never had two kids on a team as athletic as they are with that kind of size. The kids are bigger, quicker and can shoot it better these days...everything really. Kids are just getting better and better now.
Can you comment on California's Amit Tamir and Leon Powe?
He's a great shooter. You'd better not give him any space. He's a really good player, and he plays within himself. I really like the way he plays. He's a good passer as well.
He's (Leon Powe) really good. He's got great size (6-foot-8, 230 pounds) and he has a nice inside touch. He's similar to (Arizona State's) Ike (Diogu), but they've moved Ike outside more, where Powe has been strictly inside. But Powe is a great athlete. He can play.
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