March 13, 2008
California Coach Ben Braun
"I thought our guys battled back. I thought Washington did a good job stretching it out and getting a lead. I thought our team battled back. That is something that our team has done this year. I think our team showed confidence in the huddles and timeouts. I think that we were a little frustrated in the first half. Uncharacteristically we were not hitting shots and we were rushing ourselves and playing a little too quickly. The second half we got defensive stops. I thought our communication was better. I thought the guys did a good job of helping each other fight through screens and locating Appleby because he got a couple of shots and we had to get back on top of him. At the same time, I thought DeVon [Hardin] gave us great energy. He came back from the injury and played with emotion. He allowed us to get some stops and get us going in transition. Jerome [Boykin] was big today only getting one turnover against a team that pressures so well. Washington is a team that constantly pressures their opponents and the guys today made big plays. Ryan [Anderson] and Patrick [Christopher] hit some huge baskets. Ryan got some huge rebounds, got some scores, made that big three. Patrick made some huge shots off of some curls and he got that steal that really was a big momentum turner. He was in the right place and that is our motto. He got it pretty clean and that was a huge momentum turner for the game."
On what the team talked about in the timeout before Anderson's 3-pointer
"We had a couple of options. This is a really good group of guys offensively that play well off of each other. Ryan made the screen to start that and DaVon sets a good screen and all of a sudden Ryan gets loose. I think that is a shot you can live with. Ryan has had that shot numerous times. I really think with Ryan and Patrick being our go-to guys all year long, the ball really got into their hands late into the game. We have done a really good job offensively this year. These guys have really improved their offensive games immensely and they have made big shots for us all year. That was a huge shot Ryan hit for us and Patrick made some huge shots, layups at the rim, some scoop shots. He was not just settling for jump shots, and to go for 25 and 22 is just huge in a game we really needed."
On getting a chance to play UCLA again
"Well we are pleased that we have an opportunity to play UCLA again. We thought we played them well last game. It is an honor to play the top team in the conference, and we played very hard that game. We get to go back and play the best team in our league and the guys are competitive and we enjoy that competition and that challenge. We get a chance to play the best and when it comes to this time of year, you are going to be playing the best. Especially in this conference where there are so many good teams. So we appreciate this opportunity and we have to work awfully hard, I do not want them to forget that. We played hard tonight against a pretty tough Washington team."
On Ryan Anderson's shooting ability and the team getting back into the game
"He has made shots like that this year, as has Patrick. Good players make plays, they create separation. They have a lot of confidence in themselves and I am really proud of not just these guys but our team. To get our spirits up, it took about a half to get to the level that we wanted to play at, but I have never seen our spirits down. They come back and they have the capability to make those plays. These guys have executed this year offensively and we have gone from last place to first place in scoring and Ryan and Patrick have a lot to do with that because they play well off each other. I thought the key was the big stops we got and then we had to make some big shots. It always seems to go that way, you get the stops and then you have to go and make the shots."
California Forward Ryan Anderson
On getting to play UCLA again
"Obviously we were really upset and we competed so we came to practice this week early in the morning ready to go. It was one of the first times this year that we were ready to go at 6:30 in the morning. We know we can come out and beat them and we know we can come out and beat them. I think we are the most ready I have seen this team all year."
On his 3-point shot towards the end of the game
"Like coach said, we ran a play and had a couple options. Jerome [Randle] could have passed it off to Patrick or Eric [Vierneisel] spotting up. We played for me come off a screen and I guess I had an opening for a second. There was a hand in my face, but I turned and tried to shoot it as normal as possible and it went in. I think we deserved a close win like that especially after the UCLA game."
California Guard Patrick Christopher
On having the opportunity to play to UCLA again
"We are going to look forward to going out and playing those guys again. The intensity and focus at practice has been great. So it is going to be a fun game to play. Fasten your seat belts."
On his steal and dunk in the second half
"On the steal I saw he had his back turned and the ball exposed over his shoulder, so I said `Hey' and I saw the ball and went and got it. It was over after that."