March 23, 2009
LOS ANGELES - During the open locker room period on Sunday at the Galen Center, CalBears.com caught up with Cal's two freshmen - Angelei Aguirre and Casey Morris to chat with them about the NCAA Tournament experience as a first year.
CalBears.com: What were your thoughts on Selection Monday?
Angelei Aguirre: I was just really excited. When you're a little kid, you always watch the Big Dance on T.V. But to actually be there was so much fun.
Casey Morris: I was excited. I didn't know it would be like the way it was - with so many fans and friends coming out to the Club Room at Haas Pavilion to support us. It was exciting to be sitting there with my team, waiting for the big announcement. The adrenaline was going and everything.
CalBears.com: The team has played at the Galen Center several times already this year, so the arena wasn't so new. But did you have any expectations coming into the Tournament?
AA: I really don't know. I loved watching it on T.V. so I just pictured that it would be exciting to play in the Tournament. It's the basketball that everyone wants to play.
CM: I've always wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. It's been a dream of mine for a long time. I was excited to get here. Every team is so talented. You have to come out with 100 percent.
CalBears.com: You both got playing time in Saturday's game against Fresno State, were you thinking about anything in particular when you were checking in at the table?
AA: It didn't really register with me until after the game was over. I was happy to get into the game. After it was over, I was excited that I had gotten to play in the NCAA Tournament.
CM: I was thinking more about the game. The NCAA Tournament is what I was thinking about when we first got to the gym and Selection Sunday. When game time came, I knew it was like every other game. It's basketball. So I had to keep my composure.
CalBears.com: What was key for the Bears on defeating Fresno State last Saturday?
AA: Our defense, definitely. We just shut them down for the most part.
CM: I thought our defense did well. The starters especially picked it up on defense, and they came out hard.
CalBears.com: What's going to be the key for the Bears to defeat Virginia on Monday night?
AA: It'll be defense again. If we can stop them from doing what they like to do, then we can convert on the other end.
CM: Stopping their penetration. They like to run transition, so we need to make sure we stop the ball early. We've also got to make their go-to players feel uncomfortable and stop them.