Dec. 28, 2010
California head coach Mike Montgomery
On winning his 600th game
"Same (feeling) I had at 599. I'm happy to get a win. It's an even number. I've worked with a lot of good coaches, I've had a lot of good teams, I've had a lot of good players and I've put a lot of time and effort and sweat into it. I guess I'm thankful to have the opportunity 29 years ago at Montana, and still be doing it."
On Markhuri Sanders-Frison missing the game
"His feet have been bothering him. It would have been chronic. We tried to see if this is going to give him enough rest. He'll have a day off tomorrow. We'll walk through some things and look at some video. We'll see where he goes from here. He's a key part of this thing and we do need him. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was Hartford. It was just the fact that that if we played him he would have been out the next three days and we need to start preparing for conference. We really need for that thing to go away."
On the play of the freshmen
"Crabbe shot the ball well, and that was good to see. They played that 1-3-1 zone some and they mixed up defenses but he got some looks in the corner and he's pretty good from there. It was nice to see him shoot the ball. Richard did a pretty nice job on the boards. He still needs to improve his focus and know where he needs to be all the time, but he's able to go up and get the ball and finish some. Brandon shot the ball well early, which got off to a good start and got us going."
On the decision to start Brandon Smith
"I just wanted to try something different. I think Gary's been pressing. I think that he's been trying so hard to do everything that I thought if I could let him look at it for a minute, and see what was going on and see where he could go in and contribute, it might help him. I was also interested in starting Jorge at the two to start with rather than putting him out at the one. So those were the two things, and then Gary got sick so he wasn't really able to take advantage of that."
On starting conference play
I'd like to have another two years of practice if I could. I think the conference is such that there are some favorites, Washington and Arizona look to me to be a little bit above the rest of us, but there's a whole lot of people in that next group that could challenge at the top or drop towards the bottom. It's just going to depend on how we perform. Basketball is a performance game. At the end of the day you have to make shots and you have to play together. You have to find ways to win at the end. I think that there are going to be a lot of close games. Staying healthy and staying out of foul trouble is going to be critical."
Freshman guard Allen Crabbe
On Montgomery winning his 600th game
"He was just saying that he was happy. He was saying can we get to 612 or 615 by the end of the season. We just laughed about it. It's a challenge for us to go out and see if we can get some victories in the Pac-10."
On his performance
"Each game I just try to be more aggressive. I feel that Iif I'm not aggressive, then I'm not helping the team at all. Each game I'm going to keep stepping it up and get more aggressive. When I get more aggressive and see the results, I get more confidence. Whatever I can do to help my team win, that's what I'm going to do."
On readiness for Pac-10 play
"I'm really excited about the Pac-10. I feel that we can do a lot better than a lot of people projected us to do. I feel like we're going to open a lot of eyes of the people who are doubting us."
Freshman forward Richard Solomon
On his play
"It shows the level of what I can play up to. After the Kansas game, I wasn't too happy with myself or the way I played and finished that game off. After Christmas break, I came back with a new mindset. I'm going to go out there and play my game as best as I can. I want to try and keep it up for the rest of the season, especially going into the Pac-10. I want to go after everything - be active, play hard and stay aggressive. If I can steal the ball, steal it. If I can get a block, get it. If there's a rebound, get it. Just basically take what the defense gives me."
On the team's progress
"I think every game we're starting to pick up little things and learning as a team and getting better as a team. Like coach says, `Rome wasn't built in a day.' That's the thing we've got to remember as a team. The best thing for us to do is to go out there and keep playing; keep getting better and keep getting more team chemistry. I think we're ready."