Jan. 5, 2008
California-UCLA Postgame Quotes
California head coach Ben Braun
Both defensively and offensively, (the Bruins) were very steady early. To our team's credit, we came back, got within two, and I thought things were going our way the second half. I thought our energy was better, our confidence level was better. Certainly that was not the case early in the game, but sometimes you have to slug through a game like this. When our guys came out of the locker room (after halftime), I thought we had some pretty good zip, and you can see our players' determination was a lot better the second half.
On the individual performances by the Bruins:
Obviously, (Darren) Collison and (Josh) Shipp are their perimeter guys who can make huge shots - and they made big shots for their team. There was a sequence under our basket where Love went up and kept the ball alive, must have been three or four times, and finally gets a tip-in - that's a strong will, that's not just a strong body. He sure did a good job for his team making hustle plays and doing a lot of the dirty work. To come out and get 19 points and 14 rebounds, what an effort on his part. He's as good a big guy as we've seen all year.
On Cal's lower-than-average total of 12 team assists:
As I talked to the team afterwards, uncharacteristic to our team, we lead the Pac-10 in assists but if you watched us play today, that doesn't look like it. I thought the ball stopped a couple of times. We didn't embrace the double-team, we fought it. When the ball moves and the ball finds open guys, we're going to knock those shots down or make penetration plays off the dribble. We really didn't do as good a job as we should. When they trap off the ball screen (and) we know it's coming, we've got to make reads and plays. And again, you embrace the double-team. If the ball doesn't move, it makes a trap look bigger than it really is and it makes the floor shrink. We've got to really spread the floor and do a better job.
On the Bears' total of only two fastbreak points:
There's two things that really deterred us: one, we didn't push the ball and our spacing the first half wasn't what it could have been; and second of all, when we did defensive-rebound we were able to get and go, but when teams get 15 offensive rebounds - again, a nemesis for us - that's a big struggle and we're not going to be fastbreaking at the pace we need to fastbreak. So it comes back to the defensive end, getting a stop, getting a clean rebound, getting a deep outlet and pushing the ball down the floor. We really had some looks when we did those things today, but (too often_ we didn't secure the defensive rebound.
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland
On the win:
This was a great, great win for us today. I am so proud of our team. We played so well defensively - held Cal to 36 percent shooting. The defense really gave us a chance today. Darren had one of his best games with 14 and five (assists) and Kevin Love played like a man with 19 points and 14 rebounds. We had a lot of guys play well today, and we needed it.
On the defense:
Defensively, our doubles were really good. And we had good ball pressure. Everybody has to work together. We just really came out focused on the defensive end.
On Cal's comeback:
They made a run and cut it to two, but we showed our experience and composure. To open the conference with two wins on the road is big; I think both Stanford and Cal are NCAA teams. Both teams will be difficult to beat, home or away.
On the 14-1 start to the season:
I don't even think about 14-1; I just think about 2-0. It's a whole different season now. We won these two games because of our experience. We have a lot of guys who have played in big games.