Dec. 1, 2007
California Head Coach Ben Braun Quotes
On Cal's ability to shake off an ineffective first half to play well in the second 20 minutes:
I watched Michigan State, I watched Arkansas and I watched Maryland [other Mizzou opponents]. Those coaches - and they're all pretty good coaches - they weren't happy playing Missouri, either. They're a good team and they put pressure on you, and they had us down, they almost had us buried. Our players, we came back with some composure, with some guts and some determination.
On whether certain personnel moves made a significant difference between the two halves for Cal:
Putting Nikola Knezevic on the floor [where here guarded the Tigers' Matt Lawrence]. You put Nikola on a guy defensively, he's as good as we have. He gutted it out, he got through screens, put pressure on the point of attack. He was in the right positions, help-wise. He just did some great things. He's been big in a couple of games now for us. I also thought offensively he took the burden off of Jerome [Randle] for ball-handling situations.
On the value of having two point guards, Nikola Knezevic and Jerome Randle, on the floor together during much of the second half, and how other players stepped up:
I thought it helped us in two ways. It helped us defensively and offensively. Defensively, we had to put a stop on them, and when we got stops, we started scoring. And I thought DeVon also stepped up. He became a real factor for us, not only defensively, but he was taking control. I thought he was poised in and around the block. Every basket he got led to a surge for our team and gave our team a lot of confidence.
On the balanced effort for Cal, which had five players in double figures, including the performance of Harper Kamp:
He really does work hard. He's an intelligent player. He's a guy that really does complement his teammates, he's at the right place at the right time. He understands assignments, he knows his role.
On whether this win creates more national attention for Cal:
It may and it may not. I've never heard our players talk about national rankings. I don't think they really care. I think our team cares about playing to our potential and winning. I think winning takes care of itself.
Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson
On the outcome of the game:
It was a tale of two halves. We started off great and got off to a quick lead we kept. We had opportunities in the second half, but we couldn't get to the free throw line. I think in the second half their size allowed them to take control.
On second half poise:
We came out at the half and made some plays, but we got out of kilter. I don't think there was any panic when we were down by four or five points, that isn't something you let affect you, but we couldn't get to the line when the game was close, and that made the difference.