Nov. 16, 1999
BERKELEY - Below are comments from Cal men's basketball coach Ben Braun from his weekly media luncheon. Cal opens the regular season Thursday night against TCU in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. PT and the game can be heard on KABL Radio (960 AM) in San Francisco and KATD Radio (990 AM) in Concord.
On opening the regular season against TCU:
"I don't think anybody wants to open up with TCU. It's a tough opener because they are a team that will put pressure on you by running transition. They get a lot of easy baskets. They are very dangerous and explosive. When they get it going, they are pretty tough to stop, so our goal is to not let them get it going."
On the TCU defensive scheme:
"They'll give you a couple of different looks. They'll give you full-court pressure, they'll pick you up in a half-court trap, and they'll mix up their defense and play some zone. They'll play it all."
On TCU's ability to score points out of transition:
"They never strain to score points. They always manage to put points on the board. They are going to be one of the more potent teams we are going to face in the preseason. They can score. They are very athletic and they've got guys that I consider skilled at their positions, guys that will put it down, shoot it, get it off the glass and go. They have big guys that can handle the ball and step out on the floor. They are a very agile team and we've practiced very hard this past couple days, really working hard on the transition and not worrying about who you're picking up but just picking up people, stopping the ball, and protecting the basket. Those are things we are spending time on because this is a team that if you worry about just getting back to your man, somebody else can burn you, so you have to make a conscience effort to stop the ball and protect the basket."
On playing a more physical game against TCU:
"We know that for us, we have to be more physical as a team, and more physical with them, and that's going to be a factor. We are going to get a few fouls, but that's part of it. Hopefully depth with help us out there."
On team building in Alaska:
"When it's all said and done, it's a good place to go and spend some time together as a team. If there were a lot of things going on, our team would probably be divided and all over the place, putting their energies into something other than just being with one another. I think this is a good opportunity for us to take a young team over there and spend some time together. We are scheduled to do an assembly at a middle school on Friday at North Pole. I think our team is a close team, but I think trips like this make us closer."