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Postgame Quotes: California-McNeese State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/28/2011

Nov. 28, 2011

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CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Mike Montgomery

On the team's slow start
"I just didn't think we were prepared for the game, mentally. We didn't do much, yesterday. We had played four games in eight nights. We felt like what we needed was just to get up and down, break a sweat, and get away. We just weren't prepared to compete, and it showed. We were a little bit disorganized as far as running our fast break. We just had all kinds of problems. We didn't have good spacing. We turned the ball over when we should have had buckets. There were two things that were indicative of the first half: we were 2-of-8 from the foul line and we're a 77-percent shooting team and we only got three fouls. Granted, their shots were away from the basket. I still felt like they were out-hustling us on loose balls and not paying attention to the details. We talked about respecting your opponent, and respecting the game, and that there's really no excuse for that. I don't think they felt very good about it."

On playing to the level of the competition
"Basketball is different than football. McNeese State won 22 games last year. They won the league and they have everybody back. There are a lot of teams around the country that can play basketball. You make the assumption that because it's McNeese State, they can't play. It's not true. They were in the same tournament that we were in last year. You make this assumption based on name of school, that they can't play basketball. And that's not the case. It never has been. That's why you're seeing people lose to people across the country. It's probably against a team that has pretty good players that have won. That's why basketball is so competitive. There are 340 schools that have thirteen scholarships. There's nothing that says McNeese State is not a good basketball team. Now, could we have played better; should we have played better? Yes, absolutely, no question about it. We can't fall into that trap that says, `well we're supposed to beat them.'"

On San Diego State
"They're really good. They've kind of found a niche in that they get kickbacks. They almost recruit to get guys that are bounce-backs. They have a kid from Washington State who was a good player and kicked back. They've got it going, right now. They draw really well and they're excited about their basketball. They beat Arizona, at Arizona. They beat USC. They beat Santa Barbara."

On his team's shot selection
"We're trying to get the kids to play really high percentage basketball. We were open in a lot of places. We've tried to dunk layups and we've not been able to get them down, so we've not gotten the two points we should have gotten there. I know kids like to dunk. I would like to be able to dunk. You look at the game and if you've got the hundred-percenter, take the hundred-percenter. Why turn it into a lower percentage shot. That's not the way everybody thinks, but that's the way I think. I thought [in the] second half, we did a lot better. I want guys to take shots they can make. It's about as simple as that."

On senior G Jorge Gutierrez
"He did a really good job. I don't think he was as good, defensively, as he can be, in the first half. He very subtly took over the game. If you look statistically, he had five assists, seven boards, and a very good shooting percentage. He does what Jorge does. Jorge was very quietly efficient. He did his job. Of anybody, he was the one guy who was more in a position where he did what he does than several other of our guys who weren't necessarily in positions to do what they do."

CALIFORNIA PLAYERS

Allen Crabbe, So. G
On the team's slow start
"We just talked about it at halftime. We were playing a little sluggish and taking our opponent lightly. Coaches just told us to pick it up. I guess we came out more aggressive; we found open lanes. We got the defense to collapse, and then we kicked it to open people."

On the burst to open the second half
"We just got a little boost of energy. We got everybody pumped. We told everybody to just come out and play stronger in the second half."

On their play as a team
"As the games go on, everybody is going to improve, so everybody is going to know what everybody is best at. It's just a matter of time for everybody to get into sync with everybody's chemistry. I feel like we're getting there. We have good team chemistry, so far, so we're getting close."

On playing at San Diego State
"Any given night, any given team can knock off somebody. That's just a lesson for us not to take anybody lightly, anymore. I feel we're going to be prepared for San Diego State. We're going to come out hard."

On getting into a rhythm
"If I'm not knocking down shots, I have to find other ways to get myself going. I did a couple cuts to the basket, and got going off fast break. I just feel once I get into a rhythm, I get more comfortable. It's just the little things that I have to do."

Richard Solomon, So. F
On the team's slow start
"We've got to start games better than this. We just got to pick it up. We can't take our opponents for granted. We've got to play like it's our last game, every game."

On his improved play
"I'm just figuring out my role. My role is to get rebounds, and block shots, and play defense. I'm just starting to settle into that."

On his three-point attempts
"We practiced those shots. The coaches know that that's a shot that I can make. They just haven't been going down so far. Last year, I was making them. The coaches know I can make it. They haven't been going in lately; it happens that way sometimes."

On playing San Diego State
"We just want to play hard, as a team. We just want to keep getting better, every game. Against Missouri, we didn't really play Cal basketball. Nobody really came ready to play. We might have underestimated them, a little bit. We're just trying to take each day, one day at a time, one game at a time, and just get better as the games go on. For the next game, we're not going to have the same mindset we did going against Missouri."

MCNEESE STATE HEAD COACH DAVE SIMMONS

On the game
"We knew it was going to be a tough battle, coming in. Any time you come to a Pac-12 team that is ranked in the top 20, it was an adverse situation coming in. I was proud of our guys. We fought really hard and played as well as we have played, this year, for a half of basketball. They threw one in at the half to go up, but we were proud going in. The thing I told them was we have to keep fighting. The energy that got us there, in the first half; we had to double that energy if we wanted to come out with a victory. My hat is off to them. They turned it up a notch and I thought we got a little fatigued. They really took it to us for a stretch when they got the momentum going. I'm proud of my guys and this here was a better basketball team, no doubt. If we can play with those guys, then we can definitely play with people in our league."

On the attitude of his team
"I think that Pat Richard, who is our leader, just took control at one point, early in the game, and he was not going to let us falter. We started out both the first half and second half, a little slow, but I thought the energy and game plan were good. They are a very well-coached team that executes in the half court, on offense. We knew that we were going to have some problems trying to guard them, man to man, for 40 minutes, but I think our kids met the challenge. Hopefully, we will be able to continue to improve, and go from there."

On the defense against Crabbe and Gutierrez
"They got hot and they really threw in some threes on us. Good teams will find a way, and they just kept methodically playing. We played some zone and tried to change it up, as much as we could, to confuse them, but when those guys are stretching out the zones, we said we need to go man for a couple trips. They are a good ball club--a top-20 ball club--and they just found a way to win and stretch that margin, which made it difficult for us. The pace was what we needed. We needed to run when we could, but of course when they got their motors going, they got a lot a lot of easy baskets in transition."


Cal Bears Men's Basketball


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