Cal Athletics

Postgame Quotes: Cal-UCLA

Postgame Quotes
By Cal Athletics on Wed, February 19, 2014

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California Head Coach Mike Montgomery


“They certainly played better than us tonight. They have some very good athletes and they played extremely well across the board. We had tough matchups. Anderson is a tough matchup for almost anybody. He started off the game shooting over the top. They did a good job of finding a matchup they felt they could exploit. They made shots. At this juncture it would be stupid to say they’re not better than us. They beat us twice pretty soundly. I think Steve [Alford] has done a really good job with that group. They’re good defensively, they’re physical, and they’ve got some really good players.”


On the game and offense

“We had four starters go 4-for-21. That makes it tough on us. We’ve had that before when we’ve had a couple guys in that group not make any plays and it puts a lot of pressure on everybody else. We’re not passing the ball very cleanly right now. The ball is being held too long and the passes we are making aren’t helping our teammates. As a result, we’re not getting into any kind of rhythm. We try to go to the post and half the time it’s at our ankles. We’re not coming out of the post to a shooter. We’re not making the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the basket. We’ve got to help each other out more. We’ve got to be better players. UCLA is big. They’re physical. It was hard. They load up on the ball side. We catch the ball and look for our shot and by the time we’ve decided what we wanted to do they’d loaded up. We were struggling offensively, there’s no question.”

On Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson

“He’s [Adams] a very good player. Anderson is a very good player. There’s no question about that. He [Adams] was in rhythm and he was getting through screens and he would rise up and shoot it in. Obviously, we could do a better job on that. The Wears – they can shoot very well. We knew that. When you looked at the percentages, we knew they had been shooting the ball when left open. We tried to accommodate most of that stuff. We felt like the last time we played them it wasn’t very good in terms of switching everything because they got matchups that they could exploit. We tried to fire the ball screen but we didn’t do a very good job of that. Anderson is so big that he passes out of that stuff. I would give UCLA credit. They played very well. Great confidence and very well prepared for what we wanted to try to do.”

On the confidence level

“We’ve been up and down. We’ve played poorly at times and we’ve played well at times. Oddly enough, we’ve played poorly at home as compared to on the road. We have a little bit of difficulty figuring out how to get ourselves ready to compete. That’s something we’re trying to work on and I don’t know what the answer is. They seem to be uncomfortable with the idea that this is a big deal and they get nervous. We get ourselves in the hole. We make a mistake early then the next guy makes a mistake and then the next guy makes a mistake and the next thing you know we all make a mistake. You think it’s just one play but then you’re down eight and you’re down 10. It makes it difficult.”


Jordan Mathews, Freshman Guard

On what went wrong:

“To be honest with you, they are a really good basketball team and they are playing great basketball right now. We had some breakdowns and things we all need to fix individually, but they are playing great basketball right now. Give them credit. We’ve beat a number of good teams this year. They are playing at a high level right now. We just had some breakdowns. Once again give them credit.”

On what Cal is capable of:

“Anything. We beat Arizona at home, but we’ve also had some pitfalls. We’ve just been up and down. We need to find consistency in our group down this five game stretch. Every game is critical. The next five games will be big for us.”

On the USC game on Sunday:

“It’s huge. Every game in this conference is big. You win one, you move up a slot. You lose, you drop four or five spots.”  


Jabari Bird, Freshman Guard

On defense:

“They came out and went 5-0. We didn’t have any intensity. We made a few changes and started playing harder. We got more aggressive. We got some shots to go in. But like a good team they sustained their run and pushed their lead back up. They made plays and we didn’t, give them credit for that.”

On the pace of the game:

“The pace of the game was fine. They just made plays that we didn’t. If we had made a couple of those drop-offs or hit a couple threes, it would have been a different game.”

On the Pac-12:

“It’s an interesting league. Even teams that don’t look good on paper can come out and beat you too. We have to come ready to play every game and right now we have to win every game we have left.”


UCLA Head Coach Steve Alford

On the game

“Getting this big of win on the road, that’s a big positive. I thought we played really well. Jordan [Adams] is really in a groove, and I think, I hope it is because we are really deep in our ability to score baskets. I think what Jordan is doing, he is starting to get rhythm. Zach [LaVine] was in rhythm early. I thought he showed some signs of getting back to rhythm after a couple sub-par games from him. Having a lot of scoring, you can afford having maybe one guy not having a good scoring night since we have so many guys who can pick up the slack. Jordan is in a groove right now, but I will tell you what, I think you are seeing Trav, Travis [Wear] is starting to really kick in and play the way we know Travis can play. I think Travis and Dave [Wear] have been tremendous as well and I thought Tony [Parker] gave us a real spark as well. Top to bottom I think all ten guys who played, played very well.”

On points in the paint

“Well we’ve been doing a pretty good job with that. We are a good offensive rebounding team, we’ve been a good rebounding team. We got out and ran. I thought we started the game well. I don’t know if it was eleven to five or thirteen to five but when you come on the road and immediately get a three to four possession lead early, it can at least set a tone. It doesn’t mean that you are going to retain that all the time but we never looked back. I don’t know if we trailed at all in tonight’s game and that is hard to do in this building and it is a great credit to the guys. They were focused, they concentrated, they made shots. As a team they had twenty-one assists six turnovers. You know you’ve got 10,000 people in here and you are on the road and to only have six turnovers, that is a credit to the young men in that locker room.”


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