March 10, 2011
LOS ANGELES - California head coach Mike Montgomery
On the game
Well, USC played well. They deserved to win. They played better than we did. They were very well prepared, so no issue there. We didn't play, I don't think, like we're capable of. I think our inability to score the ball early really got to us. I think it hurt our confidence. I don't think that we at that point we seemed to lose a little bit of steam because we couldn't get the ball to where we wanted to. We turned it over too many times which led to some of their points. Not a ton, but some. We weren't up to the task today. We knew we had a tough job. We knew that SC was playing very well. We knew they were coming off some big wins in Los Angeles. Just a lot of stuff. We knew we were going to have to play well, and we didn't play well enough to win. So give credit to SC. They beat us, and they deserve to move forward.
On the matchups
Yeah, sometimes you bite the dog, sometimes the dog bites you. They're big at the post, I felt like early on that we probably could have been up 10, 12, 14 points. We got the ball exactly where we wanted to get it. We couldn't score. I think that probably weighed on us a little bit. I mean, if you look at it from the standpoint of the question you asked, they were bigger at the post, and quicker on the perimeter. So we had to make them pay from some standpoint there. We tried to post our guards up a little to take advantage, didn't get much from that. There were some tough match ups. SC was a tough match up for us each time we played. We did a job on Vucevic. I knew that Harper would handle that. We tried to get him help. I think at time that's caused some other problems for us. But we really had trouble keeping their quick guards in front of us. Especially in the second half, once they started to get to the basket, they were dropping for scores or kicking for threes. So SC shot it pretty well, 8 for 17 from three. Smith and Jones, the two guys that one hurt us here, one hurt us at our place, and they both hurt us tonight.
Well, Jorge's such an integral part of what we do. I think sometimes he's his own worst enemy in that when he feels like he's not playing very well or he makes mistakes he gets down on himself. Unfortunately, he's a guy that we need in there for a whole lot of reasons whether it be defensively or toughness or loose balls or whatever. So we can ill afford you know, we're playing basically six guys, so we don't have we really don't have the luxury of having key people have not good games. It puts us in real jeopardy unless somebody just breaks out and goes off, which we've had. We've had three guys get 30 in three different games. But we didn't have that tonight. But I think their defense took us out. I think it hurt us mentally to where we lost a little bit of our fire. I think then it hurt our defense. We weren't able be to stay this front of people. I think we got discouraged, but that's the game of basketball.
Junior forward Harper Kamp
On the USC defense
both their bigs are pretty tough, and obviously they're a little taller and pretty long. Early on I got a few touches down low, and Nikola played. He was pretty disciplined enough. He didn't fall for a few of my pump fakes early on. I was trying to draw some contact. I never really got a chance to adjust. So to his credit, he was able to stop me early. They just did a good job of digging down and things like that when I caught it. Trying to just keep you keep me from being comfortable down there.
On creating more scoring opportunities in the second half
I think we just kind of adjusted to their defense a little bit, and we were able to go to a few things once we realized what we wanted wasn't really working and we weren't getting the shots that we needed. So Allen was able to penetrate a little bit and get some shots. They just tightened up their defense again, and it got back into us.