Postgame Quotes: California-Stanford
Jan. 29, 2012
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH MIKE MONTGOMERY
On the stretch where Cal pulled away
"We were defending better. I thought the guys got tuned into what they needed to do, defensively. They got some stops. Coming down the floor, we actually got out of the set offense. We were having a hard time getting the ball where we wanted to, in set, so we weren't getting very good shots. So we spread the court a little bit. We kind of went to stuff that we have but that we don't run all that much but it allowed the court to open up. [Allen] Crabbe was able to curl and get the shot or curl and drop and Jorge [Gutierrez] did the same thing. We were able to consistently get some good looks and score either at the foul line or from the floor, but the key thing was getting stops. Jorge was spectacular on the defensive glass. We weren't giving them any seconds. [Dwight] Powell is a high riser. [Josh] Owens is a high riser. We had our hands full with those block-offs. Jorge was getting those rebounds off the defensive glass. Sometimes you don't get that and then you're back to playing defense."
On the defense
"We made a conscious effort to try to characterize what people need to do and what it is that they want to do. We wanted to pressure the guards and not let them get comfortable, and then they changed their lineup and started Mann, Huestis, and Randle, so it was a little different than what we had expected. Huestis had a great game. He's a nice player and is only going to get better. We talked about Owens being a focal point. Harper [Kamp] is a really good defender, but he got two fouls, and we had to make some adjustments. Jorge [Gutierrez], one, he can pressure the ball and cause a guy to get nervous. Or, he's also a very smart defender, and sometimes we'll say okay, let's take Jorge out and put him in help because he understands where the ball is going to go and he can be a factor. That's what we did with that particular matchup."
On being on top of the Pac-12 at the halfway point
"It's just a question of how many people you're going to be tied with. Oregon State got a nice win at Oregon. Everybody is trying to separate and it's not happening very much. We have to win at home, and we did. We still have to go over and play those guys, there. Our last three games are on the road. That's going to be critical for us, but we have to continue to win at home. We've got tough teams coming in, this week, in Arizona and Arizona State. We haven't played them, yet. As long as we stay on top of this thing, that's the spot we're trying to stay in."
On winning the rebounding battle
"Jorge [Gutierrez] was critical in getting 12 rebounds on the defensive glass. Robert's [Thurman] a big guy and he gets his hands on some balls. David [Kravish] got his hands on some balls. When you outrebound them, that's pretty incredible. I was pleased with that."
On freshman F David Kravish
"I think David is getting a little bit of an education as a freshman. He's facing all different kinds of problem sets. Each one presents a little different deal. David takes things quite literally when you tell him to do something he will really try to do it, and sometimes, we get angry because the adjustment doesn't come automatically like it might with Harper [Kamp]. Every game, he's getting an education, but the guy is really cool and he doesn't let much bother him. All he cares about is winning. He's kind of saved us with Richard [Solomon] out. Sometimes, we want more, but then we remember that he's a freshman and he's in a tough situation with some good post guys. We're really pleased with him."
Jorge Gutierrez, Sr. G
On the team's aggressive nature
"I think we started playing a little more aggressive on defense. It gave us a little cushion, and we started playing better."
On the seniors never losing to Stanford, at home
"Personally, I don't think it is a rivalry. Whoever is on top is our rival. We want to end up in first. Tonight was a good game for us."
On his 12 rebounds
"The ball wasn't going in for me, so I wanted to do something else to help the team. Rebounds were very important for us."
On the atmosphere in Haas Pavilion
"It was great. It was a great environment for us. I don't think I have seen the gym this packed. I have been here three-and-a-half years, and I don't think I've seen a gym that packed. It was just a great feeling for me."
Allen Crabbe, So. G
On the win
"It feels good. There are still other teams that are pretty good in the Pac-12. I just feel like with us, there is more on our shoulders. We just need to stay more focused so we can stay at the top."
On playing in front of a full arena
"It is always fun playing in front of a lot of people, like that, and coming out on top. [The crowd] really does get into it when we make runs. It gives us extra energy for us to feed off of."
On his game as a whole
"I just felt like I helped out my team, tonight. That is what we are here to do. Everybody knows their role and everybody knows what they are capable of doing. If I miss shots, I just try to find a way to find the open person."
On Stanford's defense
"[Huestis's defense] was pretty solid. He played great defense, and they played good team defense. When I drove, they got help defense over. We played well together, tonight, and executed our offense well. That is how we got our easy shots."
STANFORD HEAD COACH JOHNNY DAWKINS
On Cal's surge near the end of the game
"They had second chance opportunities and were rebounding the basketball. It was a three-point game down the stretch and then just rebounding the basketball hurt us. They ended up out-rebounding us, 41-31, and out-rebounded us on the offensive boards, 11-4. They were just able to get more second-chance opportunities that hurt us down the stretch of the ballgame."
On the lineup change in the backcourt
"The lineup change, for us, was just based on the week of practice we had and the two prior games we had. We just wanted to take a look at chemistry with another group. I think it is one of our better lineups with regard to defending the basketball, and I think they showed that for a good part of the first half and a good part of the second half of this game. I thought that part was a positive in making that adjustment before this game."
On Stefan Nastic's game
"Stefan has a lot of potential. Stefan is just in one of those positions where we have a lot of depth at the big spots with those three seniors; Jack Trotter, Andrew Zimmerman, as well as Josh Owens. It's been hard for Stefan to kind of crack the lineup and get opportunities. I was very proud of his effort tonight and he is capable. We have a lot of confidence in what Stefan can do in the low post and he will continue to grow as a player for us because he is only a freshman."
On Cal being able to take away the post with double teams
"They started collapsing and double- and triple-teaming our post guys, but we were fine with that would give us opportunities on the perimeter to do some of the things we want to do. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out that way for us tonight. I thought our guys did a good job of valuing the basketball in a tough environment, and I think we should get better from this experience."
On how he feels about his team, halfway through conference play
"We've had a tough stretch being on the road for three straight games and come up empty handed. For us, we have to regroup, go back, and work on getting better before we start a stretch of home games. We have to look at improving and moving in the right direction, but, at the halfway point, I think it is a competitive race. We are about two wins behind the leaders in first place with the whole second half of Pac-12 play to go. We thought there would be a lot of parity in the league this year and there has been."
Josh Huestis, So. F
On being close until Cal's surge
"You have to give them credit. They fought the whole game. We were right there with them until about the 14-minute mark. We had some letdowns, defensively, turned the ball over, and weren't rebounding like we should, which came back to hurt us. Again, you have to give them credit because they never gave up, but we just kind of put ourselves out of it there with letdowns."
On Cal's defense
"They have a really good defense. We practiced against their defense all week. You have to give them credit because they played great defense a lot, but you look back at us too and we made a lot of mistakes ourselves. We will be watching film on that and trying to learn from that for the next meeting."
On playing defense against Allen Crabbe
"As far as [Allen] Crabbe goes, we know he is a great shooter and great player. I went out there and just couldn't leave him to make sure he couldn't get any open shots. You have to chase him through all the screens to get a hand up on all of his shots and make him drive. That is the plan we had going into the game, but he had a good game still."
Stefan Nastic, Fr. C
On being outrebounded
"I think that was a deciding factor for us. Rebounding wraps into a lot of things, definitely toughness and something that we know we are, but we didn't show it tonight as much as we could. We are a great rebounding team, but we have to show that every day. Tonight we had a bit of a let up towards the end, but you have to give them credit because they kept going. It is something we will look to keep stride on. They are a good rebounding team. It surprised me that we didn't rebound as much; especially myself, but next game we just have to rebound more."
On having a bigger role tonight
"Coach always says stay ready so I prepare just like these guys in practice. I'm just as capable so that when I get the chance, I am doing my best to contribute to the team."
On getting the ball into the post more
"Definitely, once we realized that was a good strength and that was really getting to them. You know, why not exploit a strength like that? It really helped us out where we were playing the type of game where we were settling it down and it is just something to hold onto and move forward to continue to do that."