Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes

March 14, 2004

'I have seen Seton Hall. You never watch a game normally like you would watch a game when you know you're going to play them.'

'We haven't been speculating as to who we're going to play. The only thing we were going to look at is trying to avoid going to Buffalo or Milwaukee. That would have been a huge change in climate for us.'

On the crown in Raleigh, North Carolina:
'I wouldn't think that the ACC fans of North Carolina are necessarily Big East fans. If we get by the first round, I think that would interesting. I would think there would be the Duke fans, but there are strong feelings about basketball in the state of North Carolina one way or another.'

'We have played them twice. We beat them decisively in Los Angeles. In the second one, it was a close game. I remember that our key guy had a broken thumb in the second game.'

'I figured we'd be in. They have been talking about it all along. Two in the Pac-10 and possibly Washington as the third team in the tournament. The committee is aware of the fact that we try to play the best teams that we can. People were saying that the Fiesta Bowl tournament here was not a very strong tournament, and now all four teams are in the NCAA tournament.'

On Washington receiving a higher seed than Arizona:
'They should have. Based on head to head competition, and based on the last ten to fifteen games, they deserved a higher seed.'

'I am shocked at the Big Ten only getting three bids. I don't remember the Big Ten ever having less than five. For them to have their champion be a five seed, that has never happened in the past. '

'Our league really hurt themselves. With Cal-Poly beating Cal and then beating UCLA. There were some embarrassing losses in the first part of the season. Unfortunately based on those results, when we get into conference play people look at UCLA that got beat by St. John's and Cal-Poly, they struggled to beat Vermont. An awful lot of the time people look at UCLA as the league. Most people are not aware of where UCLA has finished in this conference the last three years.'

On being an underdog team:
'I think we will have a good shot at making a run. There have been a lot of comparisons to the '97 team. What they were able to do was make the big shots when they needed to be made. If this team can do that in the NCAA Tournament, there are a lot of games that go down to the final minute. You have to execute at that point.'

'It is great to see Hassan (Adams) come out the way he has been coming out. He was a terror in both games in Los Angeles. He is one of the first guys we've had to rest. He played well over thirty minutes in both games.'

'I am pleased we are playing somebody from the power conferences. So much has been said about the Big East in a positive way. The Pac-10 has been talked about in a negative way. I look forward to that.'

On the strength of the Atlanta Region:
'It is very strong. I haven't studied the regions yet, but everyone is already saying that Atlanta is the strongest region.'

'If you are an eight or nine seed, you have to go against a number one seed (in the second round). All we're concerned about is who we are playing in the first round. When you take a look around, I don't think there is going to be anyone who is going to have an easy second game. Sometimes the challenge comes against a team that is not as well known. Whoever has to play Air Force is going to have a tough time. They have great three point shooters and they never take a shot until there are five seconds or less left on the shot clock.'

'Seton Hall is not going to be a sit down team. They will get there and go after it.'

'Everything is building up to this weekend now. There will be somebody who will get hot at the right time; just like Syracuse did last year. No one was ever expecting Syracuse to be there. They had a great player to make plays for them. Guard play becomes so critical in the NCAA tournament.'

On Arizona being a 'sleeper' team thus far in the season:
'Without Isaiah (Fox), we don't have the depth, but we are a team that can catch fire. We are very much a momentum team. We have experience in neutral sites. Its not like we've only played in our area. We need for everyone to step up. It can't be a three-cylinder engine.'

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