Cal defeats UC Irvine, 73-56

Postgame Quotes: Cal-UC Irvine

Postgame Quotes
By Cal Athletics on Mon, December 02, 2013

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California Head Coach Mike Montgomery

On Richard Solomon coming back

“Mamadou [Ndiaye]’s a presence. There’s no question about it…. He’s a big dude. He got into our heads a little bit. Just because guys had to figure out what they could do. We knew that he doesn’t like to come away from the basket very much and they leave him down around the basket. I thought Richard [Solomon] did a really good job stepping away and hit some early ones. David [Kravish] stepped away and hit some shots. They pay a little bit of a price for that. Richard had made a comment… that when you miss a couple games like that, then you’re not in game rhythm. I think that was true. I didn’t see the same Richard that I did going into Maui. I think he was a little bit tentative. This game will really help him get his rhythm back. He battled the big guy. He stayed in front. If you let Mamadou catch the ball at the block there’s nothing you can do. Unfortunately Richard got those two early fouls. Those were kind of careless fouls that he hasn’t made recently. I’m glad to have him back.”

On David Kravish

“He’s a good facing shooter. He’s got a good left-handed jump hook. Not having Richard in Hawaii really hurt David. Now he had to play against their center. It was as little harder for him. If we have the two bigs in there, Richard is typically guarded by the five and we can take advantage of having a second big who is pretty skilled. David has played well. I thought that he would have had more rebounds but we kept knocking the ball away from ourselves on the defensive glass. You don’t go with one hand on the defensive glass. You go with two because you know it’s your teammate. I thought defensively we were good. We basically followed the game plan we wanted to follow and we did a pretty good job that way.”

On Tyrone Wallace

“We’ve talked about roles and guys understanding that not everybody gets to shoot the ball every time, nor should they. You’ve got to figure out what your advantage is in any given situation.  We’re trying to figure it out. Tyrone did what he is capable of doing. He got to the basket a couple times and he got 11 rebounds and five assists. That’s perfect. Truthfully we don’t win without Justin [Cobbs] distributing the ball. Justin had nine assists and should have had more. He came out and played a really good floor game. Those things don’t show up…. Between Tyrone and Justin doing what they did… it allowed some other guys to get shots.”

On the offensive flexibility.

“Nobody could do anything in Maui. He [Justin] was the only one who was able to do anything. You’re not going to win doing that. What you do has to come in the context of spacing and movement and shot selection. That’s what we’re trying to get to. Guys coming off the bench don’t need to come in and score a lot of points but they need to come in and defend and get some boards and give us some energy and all of those kinds of things.”

On Ricky Kreklow and managing the bigs

“Ricky has done a really good job of going in and picking up some minutes in there. We’d like to get Roger [Moute a Bidias], bring him along and have him help. We said from the get-go that we’re a big short and we are. If they’re both able to play, that’s when we’re better. With those two guys, we’ll have to rest them as much as we can and play off of them. But, toward the end of the game, if they’re both able to play, that’s when we’re better.”


California Players

Richard Solomon, Senior Forward

On coming back to the lineup after missing the last two games

“It felt good to be back. I felt like I was just trying to get my rhythm back. Overall, I think we had a great team effort. It was good coming back.”

On how his eye felt in the game

“I had a couple elbows here and there by the big guy but not that much. I am going to be wearing the goggles the rest of the season. It felt a little weird wearing the protective eyewear today but it is something that I am going to have to get used to.”

On guarding  Mamdou Ndiaye

“He was giant. I was staring at his chest the whole game. It was a good experience to guard a big guy like that. He is a nice young kid. I just came in excited to be back on the court with my teammates. Once I saw how he was playing, I just tried to get into his body and draw the foul. I tried to get him to foul me or use my quickness against him.”

David Kravish, Junior Forward

On his early scoring run

“We knew when Ndiaye was in the game, when they were in the zone, he was going to sit back and so that was one of the things that we talked about, we had to be able to hit that mid-range jumper. I hit a couple and they just kept giving me the ball. Justin [Cobbs] could have just as easily pulled that jumper, Tyrone [Wallace], Ricky [Kreklow], or even Richard [Solomon], it doesn’t really matter who makes the shot, just that it goes in. They kept handing me the ball and I was making them.”

On being a more assertive shooter

“I have been working on that because he has been telling me that too, not just you guys. I am trying to be more assertive. I am one of those guys I don’t care who makes the shots, I just want the team to win. If I don’t get those shots or if I pass the ball to someone else and they hit the jumper I am just as happy, it is not that big of deal for me. Coach is making a point to tell me where I’ve got to take that shot because I can make that shot just as easily as everybody else. If they pass me the ball, I am just as happy taking the shot but I care more about the win than the points.”

On Richard Solomon being back in the lineup

“It was great to have Rich back today. I love playing with Rich, my partner in crime over here. It’s because I know if I get beat he is always there. Tonight was a little different because he had his hands full with Ndiaye, that guy, when he posts up he has got his hands right at your face. You are looking right into his chest. It is nice to have Rich back because he is such a great defender, and he takes the pressure off of the perimeter shooters because of what he can do inside, he has got a great technical game down low, so the perimeter players can get open. It is great to have Rich back.”


UC Irvine Head Coach Russell Turner

On the game

“We didn’t play very well.  We didn’t make our shots.  I’m disappointed in that but we’re not going to make excuses and we’re going to get better. We just didn’t have a real good performance.  But that’s why we want to play a really tough schedule.  That’s why we want to come in here and play against Cal. We got down early and we didn’t handle that very well. In sports or life or whenever, when you get punched in the face or something bad happens to you, you have to figure out how to respond and I don’t think we did that today.

One thing I want to see from us is when we can’t score, we need to show some grit as a team. We have had some huge runs against us because we can’t score and there’s been other times when we’ve looked dominant offensively.  We have a dual personality that we need to overcome.”

On Mamadou Ndiaye’s foul trouble

“He didn’t make the adjustments he needed to make.  He got an offensive foul early, got two rebound fouls. He needs to avoid those mistakes. But I think we should be a very good team when he’s not on the floor so I don’t think him being in foul trouble should affect the level of play for everybody else.  In some ways we can be better when he’s out.”


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