Postgame Quotes: California-UCLA
Dec. 31, 2011
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH MIKE MONTGOMERY
On the game
"I was pretty happy with both halves, to be honest with you. I thought that we played very well in the first half, but I thought UCLA played well, also. Tyler Lamb had 16 points in the first half and his career high was 17. He kind of kept them in. We kind of felt like that wouldn't last, but it sort of did. But we did a great job on the two principles. Jorge [Gutierrez] did a great job on [Lazeric] Jones, and going into the game, I almost apologized to [David] Kravish, trying to put him on [Josh] Smith. He's just unfazed by stuff. He just plays. I thought that we had a good game plan. We forced some turnovers, and took them out of rhythm, a little bit. It probably did give up a lot for Lamb and he took advantage of it. 28 assists on 34 baskets. I just don't know when I've seen that. We really passed the ball, and distributed it, well. When you can do that, and when you're unselfish, and when you can recognize who's defending who's helping, and who's open, it just makes everybody's job that much easier. We shot the ball at 65 percent, but it's based on the fact that we passed the ball, and were getting easy shots."
On the second half
"I think they started to identify what they could do and became a little bit more comfortable with what UCLA was trying to do and felt like there was a little bit more that we could do to influence the shots that they were getting. I thought that our help was really good. Justin [Cobbs] was stopping, at the basket. We just were tuned in to what was going on, and everybody was on the same page. You don't have that all the time and it was fun to watch."
On Cal's season-high 28 assists
"I can't really think of a time where we distributed the ball and got after loose balls like that. We didn't let the physical play bother us. They got some offensive rebounds, obviously, but we held our own, there. They're big. The Wears are big and strong and of course [Josh] Smith is, as well. It was pretty good."
On senior G Jorge Gutierrez's leadership
"He doesn't say a word. He just goes to work. He was 8-to-3 assists. Justin [Cobbs] was 8-to-1 assists to turnovers, and Crabbe 6-to-0. When you've got your three perimeter guys with 22 assists, that's pretty impressive. They were moving the ball, and they weren't forcing shots. Jorge sets the tone. If he's able to take the head of the snake out, it makes it difficult if they're counting on a certain person to be a significant factor. That was kind of what he's been able to do and people will start to pick up on that."
On junior F Robert Thurman
"I told him before the game that he wasn't going to play. I didn't think there was much choice that we had to play him just because of the size. He could possibly match up against [Josh] Smith. Smith is going to wear you down with his size. We told him what we needed him to do, and he did it. As far as the scoring, I think that was a byproduct of passing the ball and putting him in position. He was open, and he finished it. He doesn't need to create shots for himself. He went up on the glass, a couple times."
On playing his starters heavy minutes
"I just felt like we had it going on, and I didn't see any reason to change that. I just thought the guys were really playing well, so we stayed with it. They played really well. I don't think I want Allen Crabbe playing 40 minutes a game, but he felt pretty good and he was passing the ball well. I could've gone back with [Bak] Bak but [Robert] Thurman was playing pretty well. As we kept getting up, it just felt pretty good."
Justin Cobbs, So. G
On Cal's play
"I think we did a great job, tonight, executing. We cut off the bigs, ran our motion offense, and came off picks. If they came out, high, we just hit the man, down low."
On knowing the scouting report
"We always have a great scouting report. The coaches do a great job prepping us with what to look for and how to know the play before it happens. Our main thing was just to get stops and then get out on the break and get easy shots."
On freshman F David Kravish's play
"David has great feet. David is also a smart player, so he uses his feet to get around. He used his body and made Josh [Smith] shoot over him and that helped us a lot. The main thing was just to keep him off the glass and not let him get easy baskets. I think he did a great job tonight."
On his own play
"Coach was telling me to be aggressive and take control of the game. I think I did that, well. Getting on the break helps me a lot to get me in a rhythm and get some easy baskets, and just maintain myself and not try to do too much at one time."
On junior F Robert Thurman
"Robert was tremendous, down there. He had fun tonight. He went 5-for-5, and grabbed three rebounds. That's incredible. He just went out there and put forth the effort and the results followed."
On how the second half compared to the rest of the season
"As far as that second half went, that might have been the best half we've ever played in terms of executing our offense, getting stops, and playing a whole 20 minutes worth of basketball. Even with everybody playing heavy minutes, we still maintained the whole half."
David Kravish, Fr. F
On the scoring distribution
"When we've got guys coming off the bench, and everybody is scoring, it means that everybody is getting the opportunity and everybody is creating it for each other and that creates a really fun environment on the court."
On playing UCLA for the first time
"It's great getting out there especially in front of all those fans. That was probably the most fans we've had all season. It's crazy. It's a great environment. Obviously, I didn't rebound, too well, but that leaves room for improvement."
On guarding Josh Smith
"It's a unique experience. We have a great scouting report, so we worked on that in practice. The last couple of days, I've been really guarding hard and trying to be at the spots. They didn't want to wrestle with him. They wanted me to beat him to the spot and make sure I fight high. And if they were going to make the entry pass, jump low and fight for the ball."
On the offense
"We had 28 assists on 34 field goals. That's incredible, and it means we're all working together. The offense was flowing and we were executing well. It doesn't get much better than that."
On what Head Coach Mike Montgomery said, at halftime
"He was telling us that we were fighting and that we just had to come out in the second half and play hard. I don't know if he was ready for what we came out with, but we came out hard."
UCLA HEAD COACH BEN HOWLAND
On Cal's offense
"They played great, offensively, the entire game. We felt good only being down one, the way they were shooting the first half. They really executed well. They were scoring whether we defended man or zone. It was really our defense that was the problem, all day. They just continued to score, time after time. Their point guard (Justin Cobbs) did a great job running their offense. [Allen] Crabbe is an outstanding shooter and [Jorge] Gutierrez can just play. [Harper] Kamp is really strong, inside, and does a great job for them, the way they battle."
On starting Pac-12 play with a 0-2 record
"It's tough. We had a chance to win our first game. We knew this game would be tougher without the preparation time, and playing them on their home floor, where they are very good. They haven't been beaten at home yet this year. We've got to bounce back. We have five of our first seven on the road."
On Cal's offense
"I thought they just continued to score, time after time. They just scored too easily, today; whether it was man or zone, they just scored so easily. We were keeping track of what they were scoring in, and it was very even. They were a little better against man than zone, in the first half. They just execute off of screens very well."
On UCLA's defense
"I thought that in our first game (at Stanford), we didn't execute very well. We shot less than 40 percent, but played defense, and gave ourselves a chance. Today, we didn't do anything, defensively. In the first half, we played pretty well (defensively) to keep it to a one-point game, but when you keep letting a team score when they have the ball, you are letting yourself down."