March 22, 2000
BERKELEY, Calif. - Below are selected quotes from Cal head coach Ben Braun as he looks towards Friday's game against Wake Forest in the NIT quarterfinals. The game starts at 4:30 p.m. PT and will not be televised. The game can be heard on KABL Radio (960 AM) and KATD Radio (990 AM).
On playing Wake Forest:
It's a good opportunity for us to go and play against a very solid, very good Wake Forest team. I'm very familiar with their program and their coaches and I know it's going to be a tough team and a tough challenge for our team. This will make for a good opportunity for our team to keep playing against quality competition.
The disadvantage for us is that we only get one day of preparation and one day to get our team back on track since we're not going to practice at all today. At least we're playing on Friday, because I couldn't have imagined playing on Thursday.
(The Demon Deacons) do establish themselves inside. We have to go out there and do a good job collecting defensive rebounds much like we did late in the second half against Georgetown. We managed to do a good job of that down the stretch but didn't do such a good job of that throughout the game. That's something we have to do. It's not like we don't have some guards with some athleticism. We've got to go out there and get some rebounds, even if they aren't our biggest guys, we've got to go out there and at least neutralize them and get some loose balls. That's going to be a big key to the game and we know that.
On playing better down the stretch of game lately:
Interestingly, we didn't have many problems very early in the season, which was a good sign. As we got into the Pac-10 and teams got more familiar with us and the competition became fierce, we had some games where we just didn't have the experience. We didn't have the confidence. That's not just something you get overnight. You've got to develop that. I thought our clock management was better last night down the stretch. I think it's a sign that our team has taken some steps.
On point guard Shantay Legans' play against Georgetown:
I thought his decision-making was better. Down the stretch, he moved the ball and avoided traps. He was a little more clever with the ball. He utilized his teammates a little bit more. Part of it is familiarity. The longer the year goes, the more you should become familiar with one another. It takes a while when you've got a lot of new faces.