Dec. 19, 2011
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH MIKE MONTGOMERY
On the win
"Very pleased. It was a very good team effort. We knew about Richard [Solomon] on Sunday, but we certainly didn't know about Harper [Kamp], Jorge [Gutierrez], and Robert [Thurman] who threw up all Sunday night. Harper was able to get home after pregame and get a little nap. Jorge was dead. He was laying in the training room and couldn't go. I thought that the kids really responded well. Justin Cobbs was spectacular. It would have been Jorge on Orlando Johnson. Justin accepted the challenge, and did a great job. I thought that that was the best Brandon [Smith] has played. [Allen] Crabbe was able to score the ball. We knew that somebody was going to have to step up. Harper showed a lot of courage, so obviously tired. David [Kravish] was good. We got good minutes off the bench. It was a good win. I think they're good. They've got four senior starters and have played people, tough. We just jumped them, early, and really defended well."
On Justin Cobbs' defensive play
"He took a challenge. Anytime you challenge a guy like that, he's going to reach, and try to not let him score, at all. Then you get in foul trouble. That's the worst thing you can do. Justin is strong, and Orlando [Johnson] is strong. I don't think Orlando got an advantage, that way. He didn't get much going. Justin was there. We did get help for him, occasionally. We had people in a position to help and Orlando passed it out. He wasn't selfish. He tried to pass it out and find the next guy. Justin took a challenge. It was good to see."
On Richard Solomon's injury
"Richard is out for a little while. He will be back, hopefully, soon. I don't know exactly what it is. It's a foot injury. He's not in a boot. We'll get him an orthotic and we'll see how soon we can get him back."
On the game
"It's just evidence of what a team can do if they're all on the same page. They're very unselfish. They weren't trying to force anything. No one was trying to be a hero. Their tempo was good, which allowed us to get good shots. They didn't force very much, and they played very good defense. They didn't get very much off the glass and they didn't get very much off the break."
On whether Pete Newell would have liked the game
"Yeah. I think so."
On Emerson Murray's play
"Emerson is getting better. Physically, he is moving around better. He's had a foot issue that has slowed him down. He's dunking everything in practice now. He's happy that he's jumping better and running better. He can defend because he's been moving his feet a little bit and he's been shooting the ball well. I think he is getting more confident."
On heading into Pac-12 play
"We've lost some tough games. I hate to even say it, but, I keep thinking of Dennis Green screaming, `We are what we thought we were.' It's kind of where we are. We're tough-minded. If we defend, we're pretty good. We don't have overpowering players, but we play well, together. The kids have confidence in one another. They've worked hard. One thing I have been pleased about is that they seem to understand the scouting report."
On Justin's three-pointer
"Nice shot. There was one second on the shot clock. I thought it was a smart play. It would have been stupid on my part to say to make another pass. It went in, but it was the only thing he could do."
Allen Crabbe, So. G
On winning without Jorge Gutierrez and Richard Solomon
"It shows that we have other weapons on the team. Once everybody realized that Jorge wasn't going to be able to suit up tonight, everybody got it in their head that they were going to have to step up; each and every player. That's what we did tonight."
On the team defense
"The Coaches did a good job at finding the other team's strengths. They put a lot of emphasis on [Orlando] Johnson and [James] Nunnally, and said just limit them to not getting shots that they like, and keep them from scoring. Justin did a great job on Orlando Johnson. He's a big-time scorer. To limit him to only nine points is a great job on Justin's part. We just played good team defense. That's been a big focus, this year. We just executed."
On preparing for the game without key players
"We just take it as a regular game. Of course we want all pieces of the puzzle to go out there, every game, but we have other weapons who can step up on any given night. Coach was saying that in a game like this, you've got to get people to step up and perform. Obviously, Justin [Cobbs] did a great job for us, tonight. Everybody just played their role tonight with a little extra."
On Coach Montgomery's reaction after the game
"He was very pleased with us. He said we played a great game and that we should be proud of ourselves. Even without Jorge [Gutierrez], we did a great job. He was just proud of us."
On Justin Cobbs' long range three-pointer
"I went up, and I was going to shoot it, but the ball was slipping. So I was going to get a bad shot off. When I passed it to him, I didn't realize that there were only two seconds left. Really, it wasn't a bad shot."
On the team
"We have a great group of guys. Our team chemistry is good. Everybody likes each other. Everybody is getting a feel for where everybody likes to get their shots off. We're just coming along as a team."
Justin Cobbs, So. G
On his offensive effort
"I was just in a rhythm, tonight. Knowing that Jorge [Gutierrez] was out, and knowing that Harper [Kamp] was under the weather, I had to go out there and pick up the slack, and be aggressive. That's all that was."
On his defensive effort
"I just learned it from Jorge [Gutierrez]. Jorge is a great defender. Watching him, every day in practice, I just look at the little things he does like take away space, slide your feet, be straight up. I just was minding the little things and that helped me, tonight. Orlando [Johnson] is a good player. He's averaging 22. So I just took away his space, and made him shoot tough shots."
On getting the bench more minutes with the scratches today
"I think we always want Jorge [Gutierrez] out there. I think today, we did see that we have more depth on the team. Emerson [Murray] came in, and gave us some good minutes. Jeff came in, and he hit a big shot and got a loose ball, so coach was impressed with our bench play, and I think that will get them more minutes."
On his long range three-pointer
"Basically, [Allen] wanted me to get an extra shot attempt. He didn't want to take it. He didn't want to shoot the ball. It just happened to go in."
On the team heading into Pac-12 play
"I'm very excited about this team. Disregarding all the expectations to win the league, I think we just need to go out and play hard, every game. I think this team is very excited to start Pac-12 play. Our main thing is to stay healthy. We go out there and do what we can do. Our play will do the talking and we'll come out on top."