Feb. 17, 2013
Sunday evening, University of California Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour and head men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery issued the following statements.
Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour
"Sunday's game was an emotional one for everyone who cares deeply about our men's basketball program, and the Bears certainly showed tremendous resolve coming back to earn a win over USC. However, it is unacceptable for our coaches to have physical contact with student-athletes regardless of the circumstances. The second-half incident was certainly out of character for Mike Montgomery, and I am confident that something like this will not happen again."
Head Men's Basketball Coach Mike Montgomery
"I have great passion for this game and tonight, I let my emotions get away from me in the heat of the moment. While my intent was to motivate our student-athletes, my behavior was inappropriate and I apologize for my actions."
Sunday's postgame quotes
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery
On motivating Allen Crabbe
"It worked, didn't it. We were standing around. No one was ready to play. We were just standing. Allen had come down twice and went to the wrong side of the court and his guy shot two threes and I was trying to get him going. What got over exaggerated was everybody jumping up and grabbing a hold of him like it was a big deal. Probably overdid it a little bit but Allen is my guy. I need him to be going. We can't win if he is not ready to play. USC's physical play took us out of the game mentally. I thought we were soft. They were very physical with us. We were frustrated and standing and not doing what we needed to do."
"I asked him if we wanted to play. He's really important to us. Late, he got blocks and rebounds and he was shooting the ball in. Mentally, he just needed a wakeup call."
On the comeback
"Somebody has got to make plays. This is a game of performance. I don't think that we thought USC was going to be as good as they are. I knew they were good. We had beaten them down there and I think we thought that we were going to beat them here. USC is playing good basketball. They've got a lot of confidence and they've won some games. Their physical play took us out of stuff. We let them get to us. We were on our heels. We were not doing what we needed to do. Three straight times we didn't even go guard our guy and they shot three straight threes and that's what got us in trouble. We got going a little bit when we got situated and started making plays. Guys have to make plays. If you don't you're not going to win. They had guys who were making plays and we had guys who were frustrated. We needed to get back to playing like we had the last 3-4 weeks."
On what changed to give Cal control of the game
"We played zone for a little bit and it bought us some time. We couldn't score. We weren't making any progress. Then we got aggressive in man and got some steals. We got out and got some easy baskets. Then Allen jumps up and shoots one or two and everybody gets confidence. They thought: `Now we got a chance." If we don't have our key people, Justin or Allen in particular, making plays, it's pretty difficult for us."
On the size of this win
"Every game is going to have more meaning because we've won some. All we can do is the best we can. All we can do is win games that we have a chance to win. I thought we had a chance to win this game and I was really fearful that we were going to come out like we did. They got physical and we got frustrated and stood around and let them get away with it. Once they get into your heads, they look at us like, `We got `em." We have to move the ball. Every game presents a different challenge. It's not like you can do the same thing against one team that you're going to do against another. I think USC is a good team. Obviously they've won some games lately. We made some plays at the end. Justin hit a three. Then Allen starts going off and Richard is getting inside and we're playing good defense. The crowd was big. The crowd was great."
Junior Guard Allen Crabbe
On Coach Montgomery
"It was just coach's way of motivating me. It was just a spur of the moment emotional game and he was trying to motivate me. It's water under the bridge. He's my coach, and there are no hard feelings. I've just got to leave it at that; it motivated me. Justin and Richard came over and just told me to keep my head in the game, we are family and we have got to stay in there together."
On the win
"It was just another good win for us; keep getting better as a team looking forward to the next one. We were playing from behind. Teammates made big plays when we needed them to. It was a very emotional game, I'm glad we came out on top."
On the difference between the first and second half
"We have to give credit to their team defense. In the second half we were just more aggressive as a team. When we are playing from behind we play with a different type of energy. We just made big plays on defense that lead to plays on offense. You have got to give credit to USC, they did their part but we made plays when we needed to and came out on top."
On coming back from being down 10 with 6:15 remaining
"We just kept playing hard. We knew the game wasn't going to be over unless we decided to fold. We told each other to make plays. We always seem to wait until the end of the game to play hard. We needed the energy from the beginning. You see the result, we won and keep getting better as a team."
On playing at Oregon next week
"We take a lot of momentum. They have a bad taste in their mouth after what happened here. They are coming off a big win at Washington State and also they are a ranked team. We want to take advantage of the opportunity and just go in there and play hard. When we play hard we're tough to beat. We need to play with a defensive mindset and just get the W."
Junior Guard Justin Cobbs
Did you think you were going to win down by 10 with 6:15 to go?
"I had no doubt with the guys we had out there. I was confident we were going to make plays. We were struggling to make plays the whole game. Allen just got motivated and just took over. You see the results when he is motivated and ready to play. I was happy to pull it out even though we came out a little slow."
On his words with Allen Crabbe
"I just told him you are like a brother to me. Anything you ever need I'm here for you. I told him to relax and take over the game and win us the game."
On how this win ranks this season
"I don't think it ranks at all. It is a home game we were supposed to win against a team playing well with their different style of play. I feel like it is just another conference win that we needed to reach out goal of making the NCAA tournament."