March 5, 2011
BERKELEY - California Coach Mike Montgomery
On having a four game win streak entering the post-season
"Four-game win streak after we were coming off a three-game losing streak. We looked at the league and saw that if we won this game we could be fourth on our own. Unless USC wins in Washington, we will be in fourth all on our own."
On defending Stanford
"They have a good lineup. (Anthony) Brown can shoot and, obviously, (Jeremy) Green can shoot. By in large they did a good job. I thought Jorge (Gutierrez) did a terrific job on Green. More than anything, what happens is you wear people down and they lose some confidence in going to a particular guy. Our guys have been pretty persistent on defense. They took some charges, which we haven't been good about."
On the Pac-10 Tournament
"I think there are a lot of people in this league who could win the tournament. I would include Stanford in that group. It is going to be hard to play four games in a row, but Stanford has pretty good depth. It is going to be hard playing three games in a row for teams like us without a lot of depth. I just think there are going to be a lot of teams that can win it, and this is going to be a great tournament. This league is pretty good, even though we had some bad losses early"
On the season
"I think winning 10 (conference games) is fabulous. We expected to have four players we don't have. I don't know if we would have ever played this lineup with the guys we thought we would have had, and that might be a good thing since this group has such good chemistry. Looking back, the triple-overtime Arizona game took a lot out of us. Then we went up to Washington and had a concussion and a couple back injuries."
On Brandon Smith
"Brandon (Smith) is a tough little sucker. He got some fouls, and I tried to get him to ease up because I wanted him on the floor. He was having to handle a lot of pressure out there on the floor. When he can't get where he wants to go, he doesn't panic and he just gets it to somebody else."
On Cal's veteran players
"Last year's group that won the conference was fantastic, but there was always something. We talked about it with Jorge, Harper (Kamp) and Markhuri (Sanders-Frison) that somebody has to take over off the court. Over the summer, there were no ifs, ands or buts about working hard. They were fabulous out there. Markhuri is a great leader. He doesn't come off as a great player, but he is a big burly guy people listen to."
Junior forward Harper Kamp
On playing man
"The last few times we have (played man) it has been for our own sake to keep us aggressive. It is just to keep us aggressive and keep them on their feet.
On the meaning of this game
"We were sour about that loss at Stanford. Being our first Pac-10 game, we were just mad that we weren't prepared for that intensity in the Pac-10. We just wanted to come out tonight and change that."
On preparing for the Pac-10 Tournament
"We are going to take it one game at a time. If we loose, we are out. We want to extend it as long as possible, especially for Markhuri (Sanders-Frison). We just want to extend it as long as we can for him."
On having such a young team
"We have been through a lot. I credit my teammates and the coaches for staying focused and just trying to do as well as we can, especially with the adversity we have been playing through. Allen (Crabbe) has gotten really comfortable."
On elimination games
"When I was young, going into elimination games you don't realize what that one-and-done really means. Getting knocked out and looking back to realize you have no chance to redeem yourself is tough. The guys who have been there just need to remember what it is like to get knocked out and not be able to redeem ourselves."
On being happy with 17 wins
"I feel like we could have won every game except the Washington games. Every other game we could have won, but we let it slip. I can't say I would have wanted 17 wins before the season started. I would have wanted more."
Senior center Markhuri Sanders-Frison
On his last regular-season game in Berkeley
"I want to play another game somewhere else. The NCAA Tournament is what I want. There and the Staples Center, that's it. Pregame was very emotional. I appreciate all the love from the fans and my teammates. It was an emotional day. I haven't had this good of a bond since high school in '06."
On talking to the younger players
"I think that is one of the key roles in the team that I play. We need it and we need them. Coach can get on them pretty bad, and when they get out of the huddle, I just reassure them that they are doing great and have a bright future."
On preparing for the Pac-10 Tournament
"We have a lot of confidence coming into the tournament. We are just going to take it one game at a time and see how many wins we can rack up. Knowing every game can be my last, I just want to soak up every moment I can."
On the season
"Personally, I thought we were going to win the Pac-10 championship again. They work so hard and we have such a good coaching staff. We have all the keys to unlock the doors we want. If we seized a few of those close games, we would have been right there - Arizona on the road, UCLA on the road, triple overtime at home against Arizona. We were right there."