Nov. 20, 2010
California head coach Mike Montgomery:
On the game:
"I thought the vets set the tone for how we wanted to play and what was going on out there. I was really pleased with our defensive effort almost across the board. We did a pretty good job of keeping them out of there. I thought Richard Solomon got in there and gave us a really good effort. I thought Brandon Smith also did a really good job. It was pretty encouraging all the way around. The second part of it was that I thought we shared the ball. We got guys shots they can make rather than forcing shots one-on-one. I was pretty pleased with our effort."
On the early game success:
"Effort and energy should not be a question. I don't see a reason for anyone to not give you effort and energy. We knew that New Mexico wanted to penetrate. Harper and Jorge do a good job taking charges. We did force from turnovers. They're also starting two freshmen, and they were on the road for the first time and we took advantage of it."
On the reaction to the Pac-10 preseason prediction of seventh:
"We've just got to play games. Every game is an experience for them. We're certainly not expecting to finish seventh."
On the early-season success:
"You can always play better. If this indeed can sustain itself, it was a pretty good step forward."
On the defense:
"We'll run into a whole lot better post guys than the ones on the teams we faced. They may make some shots over the top, but I'm not too worried about that. All of our perimeter guys really moved their feet and tried to keep guys in front of them."
On the freshmen:
"I think they're listening and that's encouraging. I think they're trying to figure out what I'm talking about. I like the way we managed the game tonight. There's an expectation in how you can play- do the best you can. We're not asking more than that, but that means mentally too."
On Richard Solomon:
"He's a freshman. He's going to make progress. He pays attention and has a wealth of potential. We're trying to get him to do certain things we think he'll be successful with. He runs really well. The more solid he lets his game become, the better he is going to be."
On Gary Franklin:
"I thought the shots that he made were the shots that he should be taking. I think he knows he's a little streaky. I'm ok with that as long as he's doing the other stuff. Let the game come to you, don't try to force stuff. I was pleased. He is a terrific kid."
Guard Jorge Gutierrez
On Brandon Smith:
"I think Brandon took control of the game. He did a pretty good job of it. He found open guys. I think he did a real good job, and gave me some support out there."
On the season and media predictions:
"I think it can be really good. We're not really listening to what the people on the outside say about us. We're just trying to focus on what we can do and be the best we can."
On the upcoming road trip:
"We just need to stay focused and have the same mentality. We need to keep playing hard and playing together."
On the fast break:
"I think it's more the defensive stops. I don't know how many times we tried to go bang-bang - where we get a stop and try to score. So we get a stop, then we got to run."
Forward Harper Kamp
On the 20-4 run in the second half without Gutierrez in:
"The guards were doing a good job taking care of the ball. We were playing good defense and just playing hard. When I saw Jorge go out, I knew we were going to have to play just a little bit harder on defense without him in there. Brandon did a great job taking care of the ball."
On the freshmen:
"I think they all brought a lot of good energy tonight. In the locker room and during warmups I think the freshmen were as excited as they had been all year, and that gave me a lot of energy tonight. Markhuri and I are usually the guys trying to pump everybody up and it was the other way around tonight. I was just feeding off them."
On his return to the court this season:
"Every game to me is the most important one. Every game is a little bit more valuable to me as we go along in the season. We got a lot better even since our last game. This one was a lot of fun tonight."
On his play:
"I think I was changing my mentality a little bit in trying to take shots that were open. My teammates were doing a good job of finding me when I was open. I had a few open looks that went in for me. I think I struggled a little bit in the first half, and at times I think I took the ball to the basket a little soft. I'm just getting used to finishing around the basket."