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Cal NCAA Press Conference Quotes
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/14/2002

March 14, 2002

Below are quotes from head coach Ben Braun and seniors Solomon Hughes, Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Dennis Gates from Cal's press conference prior to the Bears' NCAA Tournament opener against Penn.

California Head Coach Ben Braun on the perception of Ivy League basketball...
"I don't pay attention to what it should be - I know what it is. I think the league gets better every year, I've always been impressed with the coaching and I believe that the players are getting better and better every year."

Braun on the challenge of having no go-to player..
. "As the year's gone on, we've had different people step up. We haven't had to depend on one guy to carry our team and at the same time we've been able to get a couple of guys on different nights to step up."

Braun on Pennsylvania...
"We certainly have respect for Penn. Their forwards are very athletic, their guards have a lot of quickness - they're really quick off the dribble and quick getting their shots - and we've been impressed with them. Fran's done a great job developing this team and he's got some great players in his program who are now playing great basketball."

Braun on travelling to Pittsburgh...
"I'm not concerned about people who have made a big deal about where we're playing. We're playing where we're playing. Am I going to write a letter to my congressman? That's not going to change anything."

California forward/center Solomon Hughes on the style of play in the Ivy league.
"We played Penn my sophomore year and they beat us in our own tournament. Our perception (of the Ivy League) is hard-nosed basketball. They might not have as much talent but they get after it.

Hughes on location of the Regional...
"Every team was looking forward to staying at home. But the game is our focus, not the site. Defense wins games and that's what we try to focus on."

Hughes comparing last year and this year...
"Things are a lot different, we're a lot more mature. We know the feeling we had after that loss (in the first round of last year's tournament) and our defense is a lot stronger."

California guard/forward Ryan Forehan-Kelly on the style of play in the Ivy League
"We've seen Princeton play in the tournament. Their style is just work hard, play good fundamentally, a team effort. Penn is a hard-working team They have really good players. Ugo (Ugonna Onyekwe) and KoKo (Archibong) are real good and they share the ball."

Forehan-Kelly on the location of the Regional...
"We're happy to be one of the selected few. It doesn't really matter where we're sent. The court is the same and the basket is the same. It comes down to how you execute.

California guard Dennis Gates on the style of play in the Ivy league
"They play hard-nosed. They play together. They're unselfish and disciplined... all a coach could ask for."

Gates on Cal.
"We help each other and play as a unit. We're on the same page and we have each other's backs. We trust each other and have confidence in the person to the right and the person to the left to make any shot given to them. To our advantage teams have a hard time knowing where our scoring will come from, and sometimes it comes from our defense.

Cal Bears Men's Basketball

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