Dec. 17, 2009
BERKELEY - California head coach Mike Montgomery met with the local media on Thursday to discuss next week's game at top-ranked Kansas. The Golden Bears face the Jayhawks on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m. (PT) from Lawrence, Kan. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
I think rankings are a bit erroneous at this time of the year, but there's no question that they're a high-quality team with very good personnel and tremendous tradition. It's a tough place to play. We're going to have to be really good. They're very big and they're very athletic. They go inside and they defend very well. It'll be a tough job. When you're the No. 1 team in the country, you've got a variety of ways that you attack people. You're generally athletic, big and veteran. We've got to do what we do. We can't just double Cole Aldridge and expect that to be something that's going to allow us to win the game.
On Cole Aldridge:
He's very big. He's got great hands, and they use him a lot. They play a lot of high-low basketball. They go to him and make him very effective. I don't know who else we'll see in terms of an offensive player down below, but he's plenty good enough right now.
On Xavier Henry:
He's strong, aggressive and he can shoot the ball. He's a big wing player. He was a very highly-touted player coming into the program. He's a double-figure scorer for them as a freshman. I think part of that is because of the emphasis on their low-post game. People have probably elected initially to double up or play off and try to protect the inside, and he's taken advantage of that. I would guess that might balance out as time goes on, but right now, for a freshman to come in and average 18 points a game is pretty impressive.
On what it will take to win the game:
It's not about individual matchups. It is matchups within matchups, but it's about the team. For us to have any chance, we're going to have to play very well together. We're going to have to help each other out. If we execute, we'll have a chance, but if we don't, we're not going to be able to get things done. I'm not just talking about this game; I'm talking about generally across the board. People will have their hands full with their individual matchups, and we'll have to get help where we can.
On coming off of the two-week break for finals after two decisive victories:
It's been kind of tough. Finals have been kind of tough on the players. We've had days off in between, and everybody has finals after practice. Guys have probably been up late studying. We've gotten some things done, but as is normal, it's been a bit lethargic at times. We haven't practiced real long, but we've tried to get a couple things done in some areas that we weren't happy with.