Feb. 4, 2012
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH MIKE MONTGOMERY
On meeting their win total from last year
"We hoped it would happen at some point. We've got seven games left, so we've got a chance to surpass that. I'll be disappointed if we don't. We've generally done our job, I'd say. We've been pretty effective, generally speaking. We've had some games where the other team has played well. Whether that's a result of us not playing as well... But we've played some teams that have really shot the ball well. So, naturally, you could say that we needed to defend better. We're hanging in there, and that's all you can do is just give yourself a chance. We've got to get road wins and we've got the two toughest games at home coming up. The formula remains the same. Win at home and try to sneak out what you can on the road. We've got our last three games on the road and hopefully we'll be in good enough shape that we'll look at those last three and kind of know what we have to do and if we can do it remains to be seen but we can't do it if we're not in good position."
On the game
"I was pleased with the first half, defensively. I thought that we picked up and put pressure on. We did a nice job that way. Obviously, ASU has had a tough time. They've been a little turnover prone. We thought we could force them. We had 21 points off turnovers in the first half which was good; it was key. Then you get stuff without having to play against the matchup. I didn't think we moved the ball as well as we would have liked, in the first half. In the second half, we challenged them to try to get to 20 assists. We came very close to doing that, and we would have, had we kept certain people in the game. We moved the ball better in the second half. We were just looking to try to make one pass to score. You're not going to do that against a zone. We haven't played against a lot of zone. That's really not what's supposed to happen against a matchup zone."
On preparing for the zone
"Denver played a matchup zone, and we played very well against it. We kind of have a way to play against it. We kind of stumbled across it a couple of years ago, and it seems to work for us. Santa Barbara played one and we moved the ball and got good shots. Monday, after Sunday's game, we didn't do very much. All we talked about was matchup zone in today's game. We didn't run up and down and do much. Yesterday, same kind of formula. What we do for us, we're fairly comfortable with it. We don't have a lot of problems. It suits us pretty well."
On playing the bench
"I like when we're able to do that. The objective is not to win by a bunch of points. That's not what we're trying to do. We're trying to win the game, which I felt comfortable with. When you get kids time in a game situation, you probably find things out that you don't see in practice. Maybe you find a guy who's a little bit more comfortable in that situation, maybe the lights come on, or maybe what concerns you to begin with is confirmed. It's good to be able to do that. You're maybe going to be in a situation just like with Robert [Thurman], where you're going to have a chance to have to do some things, and getting over the nervousness, and getting out there probably helps you a little bit. The more confidence we can get guys, the better off we're going to be."
On junior F Robert Thurman
"Robert's been good at catching and finishing, obviously. His bulk gives us a different identity. The first time we told him was with [Josh] Smith, we told him, `Robert, you're going to play because we need your size against UCLA and Smith.' Obviously, he responded, and he finished a lot of plays. He's just different than [David] Kravish. Kravish is longer, but Robert weighs a lot more. He provides that presence in there. Like anything else guys are going to have to learn when to throw him the ball and what he can do with it. He sometimes gets jumbled up with where he is. He's generally been able to finish pretty well inside."
Justin Cobbs, So. G
On the change from Thursday's game
"Arizona came out with a little more energy than we did; they were a little more physical. We came out with more energy, tonight, and were more aggressive. We just wanted to get some pressure on them on defense. We wanted them to start the offense a little higher than usual, and I think we did that."
On shooting zero three-pointers
"I take them when they are there. I'm not going to force anything. If it is there, I am going to shoot it. Otherwise, I am going to go on to the next thing."
On the game against Arizona
"We are a fast-paced team, but sometimes you have to control a little bit. We need to control the tempo a little bit. I don't think that is a disadvantage. We were up, nine-to-22, in the first half, so (Arizona) just started getting it going. It is just little defensive things we didn't do, that game. It is a learning experience, and we know what to do next time around."
On Arizona State's defense
"It is a little difficult knowing you have a seven-footer running at you as soon as you catch the ball. In that matchup zone, it is always open in the middle. You want to catch the ball and look opposite to see what is open."
On playing in his hometown of Los Angeles, next week
"It is exciting. I am already asking people for tickets. I am really excited to play in front of my family, my mother, and father, and my sister. They haven't seen me play in a while, back home. It's really exciting seeing my cousins. Road wins are important, right now. We dropped one at home. We need a road breakthrough, so hopefully we can get a sweep."
Alex Rossi, Fr. G
On his injury recovery
"I feel good. I haven't had any hiccups, the last couple weeks. Today, when I went out there, I felt athletic. I need to work on my strength, but I am making good progress and coming along, quickly."
On his fan base
"I don't think I deserve the Alex Rossi fan club. I get great support from fans, my teammates, and coaches. They have faith in me to come out and do what I do. I need to continue to get healthy and help my guys out."
On his stamina
"I am making all of practice. Today's game is the first time I have played a lot in a real game. Towards the end, I was pretty gassed. In practice, I have been doing fine, and making it the whole way."
ARIZONA STATE HEAD COACH HERB SENDEK
On where the team goes from here
"Back home, to practice, on Monday."
On the game
"The level of play just clearly isn't where it has to be. We struggle, mightily, with turnovers and getting into our offense. I think, without belaboring the point, the situation is pretty obvious that we just turned the ball over, and are just really struggling, mightily, with our offense, right now."
On whether the team needs to do some soul searching, going forward
"I don't think it's a matter of soul searching. I really don't. I think it is a function of being able to play, given the situations we have. I don't know that anybody goes and just souls searches and that is the answer, right now. I think the answer is on another page than that."
On whether his team is still battling
"Last weekend, we battled. The game against Washington, if we made shots, we would have been right there. Then, we had a good win against Washington State, but the last two road trips have been difficult for us. We are just not playing nearly good enough to have a chance to be competitive in this league, on the road. I think that, fir the most part, those reasons are pretty clear."
On the ball not moving well, this road trip
"I'm not in a position, right now, where there is any advantage to trying to place the blame. There is enough to go around. Suffice it to say, we are struggling on offense, in many ways; from making open shots to not turning the ball over. We got off to a pretty rough start, today."
On the early timeout
"The first two possessions, we turned it over. The message to the team was: don't turn it over."