Jan. 31, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. -
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery
On Nic Wise:
He's just really good. He's the best guy we've played so far. He splits the pick and rolls well. They space the floor pretty well, and I think if we stopped him and made him have to pick it up, we would have had a lot more luck in this game.
He didn't feel pressured and that's something we have to work on. We weren't aggressive on those pick and rolls and, as a result, he was able to split it and drive to the basket or dish it out to somebody else for a shot.
On the game:
The thing that's disappointing is you have a chance to win with two minutes left. All you have to do is get a stop and make a play. We didn't make a play and, as a result, we were not taking good shots or getting good chances in the end. You give yourself a chance to win, which is the positive, but we weren't able to finish. We didn't play well enough to win.
On the Pac-10
The league is better than people want to give it credit for. (Nic) Wise is good. (Jamelle) Horne is good. Fogg is good and they have a lot of good freshmen. Just because they're young doesn't mean they're not good. It's hard and you just have to play well.
Senior guard Patrick Christopher:
On the game:
It is what it is. We didn't fight as hard as we should have. I don't think we played with a sense of urgency in the end. It's all defense.
It was a fun game. The crowed was definitely involved in the game and there was a high level of intensity for both teams here today. I look forward to the second half of the Pac-10.
We know what to expect. We're mentally prepared, but Coach Montgomery always tells us, and we know, that we're not always going to shoot 100 percent.
On Nic Wise:
He is a smart player and he's quick. He's tough to defend. I really look forward to playing these guys again.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller
On today's win:
It feels wonderful. One of the major things we are consistent about in our dialogue is that we constantly talk about improving. We've got numerous, young players, and only a few veterans. We knew it was going to take some time to learn all the changes we made this season. Something that has really helped us is that we are a lot better at practice. We move easier, and move faster, and it has translated into our games.
Four or six weeks ago, there was no way we would have won this game today. When Cal built their lead in the first half, I knew that our team from a few weeks ago would have had a lot more trouble coming back than our team today. Had we had a heartbreak loss today, I would have felt just as proud of my guys as I do now. It would have been disappointing, but I'd still be proud of how far they have come at this point in the season.
On Nic Wise's three-point play at the end of the game:
We really wanted to have the ball in Nic's hands, and we wanted either him or Derrick Williams to create a mismatch that would have led to a score. When those two are working together, they really make the other three players on the court better. Nic did what you love every old, senior player to do. He drove to the basket, and we knew that there would be a high likelihood of him getting fouled. I knew that there was about a 95 percent chance that there would be a call that went our way.