Mike Montgomery Dec. 19 Press Conference Quotes

Dec. 19, 2008

BERKELEY - Below are quotes from head coach Mike Montgomery from his weekly press conference with Bay Area media. The Golden Bears face Nevada Saturday at 3 p.m. in Haas Pavilion.

On the Nevada Wolf Pack:
They're good defensively, particularly on the perimeter. They've got good athletes, good concept. They run all the stuff we used to run [at Stanford]. You look at it and you can see how they've tweaked it based on what they want to do. They run four or five things which we are running. It's all my stuff: 2-3, basic. They've done some different things out of it that they like a little bit better, but yeah, they run cutters off posts and post-duck. They've always been a little more open. They run a five-man spread game. They'll go small and [Luke] Babbitt will then be their small guy at 6-9.

On Nevada F Luke Babbitt:
Babbit's the real deal. He's a very good player, a great pickup for them. He's strong, he's fundamentally sound. He's got great shot fakes. He can put it on the floor. If he gets to the basket he can finish very well, and he's got three-point range. He's a prototypical 4-man that's probably going to play at the next level.

On who will guard Babbitt:
He plays 4 for them, so, depending on if we have issues, Jamal [Boykin] will start with him.

On Wolf Pack PG Armon Johnson:
A scorer. They'll try to post Jerome [Randle], I would think, a little bit. They run some stuff late where they - again, which is a little rub-action - where they look down at [Johnson], because he is 6-3, so we'll have to talk about that. He can shoot it and he's probably the first or second guy looking to make plays for them. He'll play pick-and-rolls and he can drive and he can pull up. He's not shooting great from three yet, but has that capability.

On whether Jerome Randle can be exploited defensively by all teams because of his size:
Nevada looks to post their guard off of their rub, so I would think they could do that. [But] sometimes you spend a whole lot of time looking to do something [like post up a smaller player] and it breaks your continuity. You end up standing around and it turns out not to be so good.

On the status of Harper Kamp [knee]:
Every once in a while he grimaces, but he's getting close to the point where look at him and you're not sure that he's injured, other than that brace. He's bouncier in practice, able to go longer. You don't want to put him jeopardy but basically you feel that he can play every day. You feel like he can put a fair amount of time in, so that's been pretty encouraging.

On the status of Taylor Harrison [knee]:
He practiced twice, the whole practice, and then wasn't able to practice yesterday. We'll see how it is today, but he was out there running and playing. His timing and so forth got better quickly. He was able to move around and actually knew more than you anticipated. He does post up and ask for the ball. Physically I think he could help us.

On his assessment of the team, with its contrasting results between beating UNLV and Utah, and losing to Missouri:
I hope we're not the team that played Missouri. I don't think that was indicative of us. I don't think we're as good as Missouri and I don't think we're going to fly back to Missouri and just beat them, but I think we can compete with them. There's always the issue of how you match up with somebody. Utah and Vegas are not as good as Missouri either. You play each game, and each presents a different challenge. You still have to execute. I don't know if Vegas or Utah stacks up well in our conference. I don't know if either of those teams finishes in the top half of our league.

On what the team needs to accomplish as it approaches the Pac-10 schedule:
We need to establish an inside game a little bit. Hopefully we'll figure out that if people are going to really defend us on the perimeter that we have to have the ability to go in and try to create something inside. We're still working on that, how to do it and who can do what with it. We've been a little reluctant, and part of that's been my fault for not emphasizing it, but we need to have an inside game. We need to be consistent on defense. We need to develop our depth so that if someone were to go down that we'd have the ability to not fall apart, substitute and be able to do what we need to do. But we've made progress consistently every week. We need to get consistent with what's going to win games: execution, defense and effort.

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