Dec. 4, 2001
Here are selected quotes from head coach Ben Braun at this week's media luncheon. The Bears (4-1) host Saint Louis at 7 p.m. Thursday at Haas Pavilion.
Are you thinking more about your team or about Saint Louis this week?
I think at this point, we're trying to focus in on our team and get after some areas that we feel we need to improve. Certainly, we need to go back and continue to work on rebounding and offensive rebounds. It's really something that's concerned me. That's one of the areas we've got to do a better job of. Early in the game against South Florida, they got the boards and kind of set the tone.
What can Cal do to improve its offensive output?
We missed some shots, but on the same token, we're depending a lot on our perimeter three-point shots. It's always been my experience that those have been easier when you have the balance of inside-outside scoring. It's always been the case. To me, that hasn't taken place. I think if you have a perimeter emphasis and not an inside emphasis, you're dependable. You're going to have to shoot contested shots. And I don't know that many teams that can consistently hit contested shots, so we've rushed some shots and we've taken some contested shots. Our job is to get better shots. And how do you do that? Well, you do that off the defense, getting first shot rebounds and breaking. If they get put backs, we're not going to run a live offense after made baskets, so that hurts you. Securing defensive rebounds, outleting, running our break - I've been disappointed in our fast breaks. That's a way to get easy shots. We've got to get easier shots on our break. We've got to get more advantages. 2-on-1, 3-on-2, isolation. We have our big guys laid on the block and we got some space in the perimeter. We need to do a better job of balancing out our attack. I didn't think our team ran the floor very well.
I have been disappointed in the ability to go out and push the ball. It's always easier after a miss than after a make. So, we have to work on that. Running the floor, I have been disappointed. I don't think they are running the floor like they can. We have to push the ball more. And when we're doing that well, it doesn't matter what the defense does. That's something we can control. Those are some areas.
Going back to isolating big guys, we have to do a better job of that. When our big guys are being isolating down low and they're getting help, we're going to have better shots in the perimeter. They do go hand in hand. The teams are going to have a tough time taking away both if we establish it. If we don't establish it, then we're a guardable team.
Are you concerned that Solomon Hughes and Jamal Sampson rushed their shots against South Florida?
Our perimeter players are playing a lot. When you only two or three touches a game you have tendency to rush yourself. Both Jamaal and Soloman, I thought were doing that because it was not a steady diet of touches. Those are areas we have to improve.
Are you concerned about Cal's perimeter scoring?
For a lot of guys, it is about being ready. We made some penetrating dribbles the other night and I thought our spacing was horrendous. And we talked about it and we still need to work on it more. When attacking and penetration takes place, we need wings sliding into the open area. We need to get ourselves ready to score. And we're not. We were standing. We've got to get to an open area.