Nov. 24, 2009
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery
On his thoughts on the way things turned around tonight:
It's about coaching and trying to get better. I think we tried to get them fired up a little bit. I felt like we play hard, which is a big deal for us. If I don't do anything, I shouldn't get paid. They shot 28 percent tonight. One of our goals was trying to get better defensively. I felt like coming out of New York, we were a little wounded. I thought that psychologically we were a little bit unconfident, and I wanted to get them to play hard. I thought they did that and that was a great starting point for us. If I ever get to the point where I'm satisfied with everything, we're either going to win a national championship or we're not worth coaching.
On what Cal could have done better:
We could have done a lot of things better. This is November college basketball. We have a couple of people injured. We have people playing in positions that they've never played before. We have people playing college games that have never played in them before. We're just trying to get better as we go. If they get one offensive rebound, it's too many. They got 17. If they turn the ball over one time, it's too many. We turned it over 13 times. This is an imperfect game and you're always striving to be better. It's a game of mistakes. I'm not trying to be negative. We have a really tough schedule, and we're down a few players so we have to be as good as we can be.
On Patrick Christopher's game tonight:
He missed two shots early that you really don't see him miss. That's where you have to be positive with the guy. It was just a matter of time and he got going a little bit, and I'm sure that really helped him. For the first time, Patrick led our hustle chart with deflections, loose balls and rebounds and that has not happened- that was a plus.
On the first-half turnovers:
We have to have them on defense. We challenged them to be aggressive, to have enthusiasm and to play hard. Coming out of New York, their confidence was waning a little bit, and we were beat up a little bit. We needed to go out, play hard and get that out of our system.
On Omondi Amoke:
He did fine. He's a different sort of small forward. We gave up 17 offensive rebounds. We have to get better at blocking off, but Omondi can do some things in that four position. He's more of a kind of hybrid.
On Jorge Gutierrez shooting the ball more:
You shoot shots when you are open and you shoot shots that are there. You let the game come to you. If you don't, what you're going to do is expose yourself. If the ball moves cleanly, he has the ability to make the open shot - we're good with that. In 17 minutes, these are statistics, but if he makes his free throws - he has nine points and four assists in 17 minutes. That's a pretty productive day, and you always know that he defends his position.
Somebody said to me yesterday, "Well you have a cupcake coming in here." I just hate that. You have a bunch of kids trying to compete and they all of a sudden become somebody not worthy. I just can't stand that. It's college kids playing basketball and they're picked to win their league. What I want is our team to play as well as we can play and whatever happens, happens. To get involved with the rollercoaster of whether they are supposed to be any good or not in somebody else's opinion doesn't work for me. And it frankly doesn't work for our basketball team. We have to play hard every game out so that when we're against an opponent in an even game, maybe we can play a little bit harder than they do or maybe we can want it a little bit more.