Postgame Quotes: California-Utah
Jan. 14, 2012
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH MIKE MONTGOMERY
On freshman G Alex Rossi
"We had a thirty point lead, and we just put him in there and see how he felt. I sent Christian [Behrens] over to the bike in anticipation of getting in the game, and I probably should have done something with Rossi. He has gotten better, every day, and we thought we would give him a look. The teammates were excited when he made the shot; it was nice to see. He came back after Christmas, however long that has been. He has not been able to go, full-go. He gets a little more comfortable, every day, but he is not going 100 percent every day."
On sophomore G Justin Cobbs
"Justin was very good. He had good pace. He did a really good job, defensively. We felt [Josh] Watkins is the key. He has the ball in his hands all the time and most everything that is created with them is with Watkins. [Dijon] Farr and [Cedric] Martin, the two starting wing players, don't get direct kicks; they are not creating much for themselves. I thought we did a good job on Watkins in the first half, particularly. He scored two points, and they turned the ball over, five times. That took the wind out of their sails. Eleven assists is good, [Watkins] was helping his teammates get shots."
On the upcoming road trip
"It doesn't make any difference how we feel. It is a road trip, and we just need to play good basketball. There is no added significance to Washington or Washington State. The only difference is that they don't come back; it is our lone shot against them. We have got to go up there, and Washington has given us troubles, in the past. We have got to prepare for them, their crowd, and their physical play."
On freshman G Emerson Murray
"Emerson has been working really hard on his shots. Obviously, he has a lot more confidence in his ability to shoot the ball. He plays hard, sometimes his court awareness and things like that. He has got more confidence, double figures, first time, for him, is good. Our substitution pattern was different without Brandon [Smith] since we had to move Jorge [Gutierrez] to the one, and fortunately, we didn't have to stretch anybody out with minutes.
On holding Utah to 15 first-half points
"When you don't score, we say we didn't shoot it well. When they don't score, we say we played great defense. It is a combination. You try to take people's comfort zone away; try to make it more difficult for them. Utah has had difficulty shooting the ball, this year. That has been their Achilles' heel, and tonight pointed that out. We got going a little bit and felt pretty confident. We didn't feel too threatened once we got [Josh] Watkins contained."
On senior G Jorge Gutierrez bouncing back from the Colorado game
"You let [Jorge Gutierrez] know you have all the confidence in the world in him, that he is a better shooter than that. He shot after the game and was shooting the ball better after he got in a rhythm. He should have worked harder to get a shot he should make, but Colorado did a good job."
Emerson Murray, So. G
On his first career ten-point game
"I was getting put in really good situations from Justin [Cobbs], Jorge [Gutierrez], and Allen [Crabbe]. I was just shooting the ball and making open shots. I just had to finish the play and not really start it. As for when Alex [Rossi] came in, and hit that shot, that made everything real good."
On filling in for junior G Brandon Smith
"I hope (I get more playing time). I have been working hard to get some playing time. The fact that Brandon is out means I need to step up and make some plays. Tonight I was able to."
On freshman G Alex Rossi
"He has been moving, really well, and just the fact that he was able to practice, and get shots up, and do extra work, is great for him and for the team."
Jorge Gutierrez, Sr. G
On coming off the game against Colorado
"It was just a bad night for me, that's all. We talked about being patient. I think we played a little more patient, today, and shots were open and we were making them. I was a little frustrated last game. Emerson [Murray], Justin [Cobbs], and I worked on it, after the game, and I felt like it was just being patient. Coach talked about it, and I know my teammates are going to get me the ball to put up the shots."
On playing Washington
"It is going to be tough. We always have trouble going up there, and playing against Washington. They pressure, they are physical, and they have a fast tempo. We are excited for the challenge, but we know it is going to be tough."
On freshman G Alex Rossi
"I can't even tell you how happy I am for [Alex Rossi]. I saw him struggle for a year-and-a-half trying to get healthy. Seeing him out there, feeling good and healthy, feels good for everybody."
UTAH HEAD COACH LARRY KRYSTKOWIAK
On the game
"I give a lot of credit to Cal. I think they are one of the top teams in the league, if not the top team. They defend inside, and they are a really good third- or fourth-option team where you take away their first or second option and they know what to do after that. They make you play every facet of the game, and they outplayed us today."
On a decline in play after a great game on Thursday
"I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. This isn't one of those times where we need to make a big deal for all of a sudden the ship is sinking kind of thing. It is what it is. They are a markedly better basketball team at this juncture, and they played like it. We don't have much room for error, and I don't think we played with the same intensity that we have been playing with, guarding those guys. Some of it has to do with the fact that they are pretty good players. Between the curling, the popping, the fading, and all of the skill sets that those guys possess, makes it a little disheartening, trying to guard them. A guy like [Jorge] Gutierrez is 2-for-19 or something on Thursday night, and you know that isn't happening again. We've got issues, and we'll continue to get better, but a lot of it has to do with who we are playing."
On going nearly 10 minutes without a field goal
"When I look at that film, I know for a fact that there were a number of open shots we missed. That is what we are trying to do is improve our skill level and our shooting. With that, a lot of repetition with our guys. We need to get more shots up so that those shots are going in. We did it on Thursday, made shots, so we know we can do it. But at the end of the day, when we did get open shots against a good defensive team, in order to have a chance, they need to go in. Otherwise, you have those runs where you don't score."
On the turnover disparity
"I thought that was pretty disheartening, and a lot of them were the certain kind of errors that are harder to live with when you have illegal screens, continually, and three-second calls, and travelling calls. When you look at the stat sheet, we had 18 turnovers but they only had four steals, so those are errors that are mental errors, in my mind, and they weren't forced errors. I just don't think we were plugged in while playing an elite team here."