Nov. 19, 2007
On the challenge brought to Haas Pavilion by Nicholls State and how Cal, including first-time starter David Liss, responded:
These guys play hard, they play well. They give you some difficult looks. I thought the first four minutes was one of the better defensive strategies. You have to give Nicholls State credit. They certainly did some good things. David Liss, what a great effort he gave us. He gave us some big shots.
On DeVon Hardin's impact:
I'm really proud of [DeVon]. I thought he did a good job of staying focused. He put his hand up, he affected so many shots. His presence on the floor was huge.
On going deep into the lineup and the injury status of players restricted to the bench tonight:
We had one healthy backcourt player available [Nikola Knezevic], in terms of returning veterans and starters. We hope Eric [Vierneisel, ankle] can come back. We hope it's sooner than later. We're not sure that he'll be cleared to play for Saturday [vs. San Diego State]. We do know that Jerome [Randle] will resume practicing, so I believe Jerome will be in uniform and available on Saturday - that's our hope. Those two guys would be great to get back, but at this stage we'll take one. Still waiting for Theo [Robertson], still waiting for Omondi [Amoke], obviously two big wing players, something that will help our team. Every day there's some progress. Taylor [Harrison] is still coming back from his knee, and I think he'll be cleared for practice later in this week. Max [Zhang] also, with a knee and an ankle, so it's been a tough road for injuries.
On non-scholarship players who contributed to tonight's win:
I've got to tell you, the guys that stepped up today - Eddie Miller I thought stepped up and gave us some pretty good defense, and Nican Robinson came in and did a good job on the defensive end. Those guys really don't mind playing hard defensively and helping our team. They're unselfish guys, and we needed all their efforts today.