Mike Montgomery Jan. 6 Press Conference Quotes

Jan. 6, 2009

Press Conference Video: Mike Montgomery | Press Conference Video: Harper Kamp | Press Conference Video: Jerome Randle

BERKELEY - The following are quotes from California head coach Mike Montgomery at his weekly press conference with Bay Area media. The Golden Bears travel to Pullman, Wash., on Thurs., Jan. 8, to play the Washington State Cougars, followed by a visit to Seattle on Saturday to face the Washington Huskies.

On whether this team has been a quick study of his system, and whether it is the same one he has used previously at the collegiate level:
The system is not the same. It's kind of been based on the fact that we are pretty skilled on the perimeter and not quite as established on the inside, which is the opposite of what we used to have. Patrick [Christopher], Theo [Robertson] and obviously Jerome [Randle], these guys are good shooters, so you try to find ways to get them shots off of screens and that's what we did, but its just basketball. It's the break that we're trying to run with moderate success and we're trying to defend the other teams the best that we can. It's just basketball.

On the season Jerome Randle has had thus far:
He's a good shooter. There are times when you are surprised that he misses, he just rarely misses two in a row, and I'm talking about in practice. He makes shots. Jerome does not have bad shooting days like many other players do. He's quick enough to keep the ball in his hands and get out of trouble. You're not going to pressure him so that he cannot get away from you and do what he wants to do. There are some nuances as a point guard that he has not been exposed to or hasn't been asked to do before. But it's not because he cannot get it from point A to point B because he can do that.

On the post defense of Harper Kamp:
He's a smart player. He just gets it. He knows where to be. He understands what concepts are. He understands what we're trying to do and why. He does a real good job. It's been a little bit of a late development because he was missing so much practice early on. He doesn't jump like he probably used to because the knee doesn't allow him. But he knows the footwork and knows what the job is.

On the challenge awaiting Cal in the form of post players like WSU's Aron Baynes and UW's Jon Brockman:
Baynes has become more of a go-to guy, where in the past he has been a drop-off guy who went in to finish what the others started. And now he is a first/second option along with Rochestie. He's big and strong and takes up space. Brockman has been a beast for a long time and he's relentless. He's been on the offensive glass not so much on the defense.

On how to attack the Huskies' defense:
You have to be patient. There are not going to be as many possessions. They're very tempo oriented. If you get impatient, you're going to have to wait and play defense for 30 seconds until they get what they want. And then you're going to go down, and if you shoot it early, then you're going to have to go back and play for 30 more seconds. It's frustrating. They want low-scoring games, so there's not as much margin for error. But theirs is very much a contained defense. They don't want you to score off the break; they don't want you to score off of the second shots. They're going to take away certain things, but they're not going to let you penetrate; they're going to make you shoot from outside. Percentage wise, it's a high-percentage defense, designed to make you have to shoot low-percentage shots.

On how to stay successful on the road:
It's way harder because you're not as confident, potentially, you're not in a comfort zone, your positives are not reinforced by the crowds and your negatives are reinforced by the crowd. It takes a takes a pretty good mental set and toughness to just play your game and win consistently on the road. We haven't played a lot of road games. We've played three games with mixed success. But we haven't been away from here a whole bunch.

On how beneficial road wins at UNLV and Utah can be heading into this trip:
I think you have to say that they jury is out. I think that people understand the value of winning at home and they are ready to play. They know that they have to win at home to compete in the conference. So you have that aspect of it. I think we've proven that we can play on the road.

On the value of being a good road team:
If you are going to get up and compete for the top three spots in your conference then you are going to have to win on the road. And no matter how important the game is you are going to have to win it. You do whatever you have to do in order to win on the road.

On Cal's confidence coming off its wins over Arizona and ASU:
There's a recognition that we can play a little bit.

On the Washington State offense:
They are struggling to score. Harmeling and Forrest are guys that have been there for a long time but they have been in more of a supporting role. They are more of guys who came off of the bench and got nice drop-offs form Low and Weaver and were able to hit open shots. And now they are becoming primary performers and it's not very easy for them.

On the readiness of D.J. Seeley and other freshmen to enter games and be factors:
It's up to [D.J.]. It's his responsibility. Freshmen are freshmen and they are typically coming out of situations where they didn't have to play as hard or play consistently hard. Freshmen have to earn the trust of the team before they are ready to play. The more often he plays hard, the more often he goes in.

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