March 15, 2002
California head coach Ben Braun on the win.
"I thought we had to work awfully hard today against a very tough Penn squad. I've been impressed with Fran's team all year long. I think they showed you they weren't going to quit and we had to close the game out. I thought we played pretty solid defense throughout most of the game."
Braun on facing Pitt.
"We're going to have to make some defensive adjustments and I think that's something our team has done well this year. That's going to be our goal, to work hard on defending Pitt, because they're a solid basketball team. It's really just a matter of going out and playing solid defense. I don't think it's really a case of just stopping one guy."
Braun on playing a "road" game on Sunday.
"Everybody in the country wants to play at home and we were not one of the teams to stay at home. Somebody's going to have to travel across three time zones and in this case it was us, and there's not much we can do to change that. So our guys have to acclimate and that's something they're going to have to deal with. Our team understands it's out of our control and so you make the best of it."
Braun on Penn's Ugonna Onyekwe and Koko Archibong.
"They're tough offensive players. Not only can they post you up and isolate you on the block, they can step out on the floor, make some plays and knock down some shots. They're two of the most active post players we saw all year long."
California forward Joe Shipp on playing Pittsburgh
"They're aggressive. We'll play our game as hard as we can and hope to win."
Shipp on hitting a key three and his power dunk
"I got a great look on the three, just took my time and stroked it. It was a good shot. A.J. gave me a great pass and I saw I had the lane. I went as aggressive as I could and dunked it."
Shipp on the key to victory
"Our post players are good strong athletes and we wanted to feed them the ball as much as we could and get them going. We had the advantage over smaller players from Penn. Our focus every game is to make the other team take long shots that are challenged and we were successful in doing that today."
Cal guard Brian Wethers on Penn
"We knew Penn came in fighting for respect, but once you get to this stage, you can't take anyone lightly. We knew we would need to maintain our intensity for 40 minutes."
Wethers comparing last year's team with this year
"We're a lot more focused. We're prepared, ready, hungry. Last year we were excited to be in, but this year we wanted to get the win and make a run in this tournament. We're confident right now. We have confident shooters and we did a great job sharing the ball, getting our feet set and hitting shots."
Cal center Solomon Hughes on playing Pittsburgh
"We'll go out and play like we always play. They have some big-time athletes, so we'll make some type of adjustments. I'm confident about the effort we'll put forth."