Jan. 3, 2008
California head coach Ben Braun
I really was proud because USC is very talented, and every time they made a run, every single time, we had to answer the call. When you get hit, you can't flinch. I told (the team) it was going to be this kind of game and it's going to be that kind of year, and gear up - this is what the Pac-10 is going to be all about. You've got to ready to play. USC, give them credit, they came storming back. Boy, did they run their transition and did O.J. Mayo show you he's as good as everybody says he is. For our team to make some of the plays we made at the times we made them, I thought was crucial.
On DeVon Hardin's play tonight:
DeVon was very aggressive on the glass. I think he had his best week of practice of the year, and as a result I told him he's due to have a good game, and he went for a double-double. Solid game - 15 points, 10 rebounds. Tremendous defensively. I think he's being smarter, more selective of where he's trying to challenge shots, and he stayed in the game.
On the play of Eric Vierneisel, who contributed a career-high 15 points:
He knocked some big shots down. If you remember, it was Eric Vierneisel just two years ago that really helped Cal get into the NCAA Tournament by beating a very talented USC team down in LA, so he's had some good games against USC. He really was a separator tonight. When we needed to get some separation and find another guy to knock down shots, he did.
On the key to the Bears' victory over the Trojans:
You underestimate sometimes how important the defensive end is. When we're getting stops and we can get breaks, and we can execute, we're going to find opportunities to score. But really, psychologically, when you're getting stops, it's a lot better. We held them down to 32 points in the first half and they've an explosive team.
USC Head Coach Tim Floyd
On Cal's three-point shooting:
"The threes were definitely a factor, particularly when we had a three-point lead. We took Gibson out to get him a rest and then had a missed assignment and Wilkes hit an open three. Then Vierneisel hit one, then Randle. So the threes were definitely a factor, but their poise was also a factor."
On Cal's team:
"Christopher was outstanding tonight. Anderson was outstanding, as well. And Hardin was, too. Randall is much improved. They're a very good team. We played pretty good defense for stretches, but this was a much better caliber opponent. Cal played really well. They're a good basketball team. They're a team that can make this [Pac-10] race very interesting. They can score; they can shoot the three; they rebound. Everybody knew coming in [to the season] that this league was great. We'll have nine teams good enough to make the tournament."
On the technical:
"The technical was a lack of poise. We had a lot of momentum at that point. But the injury to Angelo was a factor, as well. But I am sure it was the right call and we'll address that."
On the start of the second half:
"I am proud of our effort coming out of the locker room. But we have to play smarter, and we will."
On the atmosphere:
"The crowd was great; it was a great atmosphere tonight."