Dec. 18, 2010
California head coach Mike Montgomery
On the game
"To their credit that's what they do. They make themselves difficult to play against. I don't know what you could do differently; they're going to play that way regardless. Obviously, if you shoot the ball better or take advantage and make your free throws and so forth, it would make it more difficult for them to do that, but that's what they do. UCLA had 51 or 52 and won by six or seven. San Diego State put up 51 or 52 and won by six. That's just what they do. We worked on it, trying to establish inside because we felt that they would bring players down to double. Probably, given my emphasis this week in terms of good shots, guys were gun shy and afraid to shoot the ball. So, as a result of that, we weren't very smooth. It's hard to get in rhythm. We've just got to gain some confidence in ourselves in terms of what's a good shot and what's not, and that's going to be an ongoing process."
On Gary Franklin at the point
"We're trying to get Gary going a little bit. People who have had him and coached him feel that he needs to have the ball in his hands a little bit more, and that he's having a hard time getting in rhythm as just part of a catch-and-shoot deal. We played him in there with Jorge. I think Jorge liked that a little bit, getting off the ball. We tried to mix it up. Gary did a good job in practice of advancing the ball and moving the ball. It gave Jorge some opportunities, as well. We're just trying to put people in the best position that we can so that whether it's a rhythm or whether it's a feel, I don't know, but we're going to have to continue to improve and play better."
"Gary will give the ball up. Jorge sometimes hangs on to the ball too long trying to create too much. Gary will give it up early and let others have an opportunity. We're just trying to get Gary where he felt more in rhythm and have the ball in his hands a little bit. It was fine. It was nothing that was revolutionary, certainly, but there were some good plays made both ways."
"Kansas is Kansas. They're really good. They're going to be really big and strong. They'll wear you down. They run out 10 guys at you and they're all really good players. I think Selby, as is evidenced; he's a legit really good player. He'll get some more playing time as time goes on. They really try to pound you inside. It's going to test our big guys as far as their ability to stay in there. They've got good shooters. They're just a good basketball team. I think one would look at the USC and UCLA scores and say `Wow gee,' but what USC and UCLA both have is real big guys. We like our post guys, but we're not exceptionally big, so it's going to be a really big challenge for us."
Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison
On the game
"It felt slow, which was the way they wanted to play. It looked like everybody was kind of out of sorts a little bit. We played at their tempo, and that's the way they like to play. They are a tough team to play against because they force teams to play like that."
On the offensive struggles
"We were missing some easy shots, some inside-out shots where they were all good shots. They are going to start falling sooner or later."
On the defense
I think we did solid. I think we contested a lot of shots, or at least made them difficult. One part we did struggle at was post defense, including myself. I couldn't move that well. They are bigger guards, posting them up. That was a change for them.
On if it was frustrating playing so well defensively but only having the small lead
No, because we knew it wasn't going to be a high-scoring game. As long as we had the lead going into halftime, we weren't going to be mad at all. A lead is a lead. We wish we were up by 30, but hey.
It's going to be a great opportunity for us to play against Kansas. Everybody knows that they're a good team. They have a lot of size at almost every position and they're good athletes. They're beatable, though. We have to keep that in mind, practice and watch tape and be ready to play. We treat every game the same. We want to win every game and we respect our opponents."
On playing the point
"Today felt really good playing the point. I felt like I got the opportunity. I feel like the coaches are getting to trust me more and more in practice and now in the games. I'm feeling happy about that."
"It changes my whole mentality. In college, this is the first time I've been a valued shooter. Throughout my life I've been a guy to take less shots and score more points. So I feel like this gets me in the mindset to help my teammates be more aggressive and then, once the defender that's guarding me forgets that I can shoot a little bit or that I can score, that's when I take my shots."
On Markhuri Sanders-Frison
"Markhuri has been the anchor of the team for a long time. I think tonight he helped us regain the ability to push the lead in the second half. Night in and night out, Markhuri is going to get good rebounds because that's what he does."
On the close game
"I'm very optimistic on and off the court. Any time we're down or even in a tie ballgame, I still think we're going to win."
"I'm a sore loser so I never think about losing the game at all. Plus, I have confidence in our coach and our team. We're going to come together. Usually defense wins games and that's what has been helping us this whole year."