Feb. 16, 2010
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery
On the previous game against Oregon State:
They caused a problem for us, and they get aggressive in that 1-3-1. They've got great size. It's hard to pass, through. People are open but it's real hard to get it to them. I think all the three games that we've played have been almost mirror images; we've gotten up, we've played well, and then it's gotten dicey toward the end.
We just have to attack their zone. Now, if they're not scoring, then they're not back in the 1-3-1, they're back in the 2-3 zone, which is pretty standard, so obviously playing a good defense would be a positive for us. They're coming off a road win against Arizona, so they're still playing very well and playing competitively and he's made some lineup changes so we're going to have to attack the zone patiently, consistently, and intelligently.
On getting closer to winning the Pac-10 title:
Well, I'm not responsible for the past. We wanted to give ourselves a chance to compete for the title and we've done that. There are five games left and really, whoever wins out is going to win it. There are probably three or four teams that are capable of doing that. Some of them have got to play each other so obviously they can't do that, but we put ourselves in a position where it's in front of us, and we`re going to have to go on the road and win. That's all we can ask. The kids are excited about it, I think, not so much thinking ahead to a championship as much as just the fact that we're in first and we've been there for a while, and it sustains us.
On whether or not Cal is playing its best basketball right now:
Yes and no. The key thing for us is that we've played well a lot, we just haven't played well for 40 minutes. We've played stretches of a lot of different games where we've been pretty good and we've had stretches in games where we haven't been as good. Maybe we're sustaining it a little bit more. If we play hard, we've been pretty good. If we keep our focus, we've been pretty good. We've played well, gotten ahead, and lost our focus, and got ourselves in trouble.
But when we've played hard, and been mentally in to what we're doing, and understand what we're trying to do, we've been pretty good. Maybe the stretches of the time we've been able to play well has been a little longer. I know the Washington game was tough. That's a good Washington team that came out and tried to do the same things to us here they did there. Having Jorge back, having Markhuri back a little bit longer, Omondi got hurt on Thursday last week so we need to get him back, and that will help us. That gives us more flexibility with guys who can give us different looks, so that's still a key for us.
On Omondi Amoke's shoulder:
He got treatment Sunday and yesterday, he's still a little bit tentative with it. He's got to get through that mentally where he's willing to go in and not afraid to get hit and go up with two hands.
On the seniors leading the team:
Well, our best players are the seniors. They're the guys that have been here and they're the guys that have had the big performances. We've had a lot of discussions about leadership and about this being their last go-round at this and what it means and how they try to take ownership with it, and I think they've done a pretty good job. They should feel that way. They're the guys getting a majority of the minutes; they're the guys getting a majority of the shots. It's been tough on some of the younger guys. They haven't got a lot of run, and we've kept a pretty tight rotation so they should feel that way.
I just came here two years ago, and they'd have a tough season the year before. They were young and they'd been here. I think that last year they made a good turnaround as far as moving up into third place and being much more competitive so we have not had a tremendous opportunity to recruit a lot of guys so we've pretty much gone with the players that were in the program. It's their baby.
On Jamal Boykin:
He's been great. I don't know whether it's the weight training routine, you know, Jamal's got a lot of routines, and things that he does as far as stretching and lifting and all that kind of stuff. Since he's been home, he's been able to lift a couple times and he just feels better. I know his energy level has been better and that's really helped us. He's been very motivated and I can remember a game when he was very fired up. I guess it was Kansas where he was really good, and we need him at that level.
On the team focusing more:
A little bit, sure. Whenever we have something that we don't focus on, we tend not to be as good and then the kids are disappointed. It's just a matter of them staying on top of their game and concentrating on trying to do what we're asking them to do in terms of a game plan and it's not easy. Sometimes it doesn't work. You have to make plays, and you have to do things, and you have to take charges, and you have to get loose balls, and you have to get yourself tired, and it's not always easy. But yeah, it has been better.