Cal Athletics

Cal-USC Postgame Quotes

Cal-USC Postgame Quotes
By Cal Athletics on Sun, February 23, 2014

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California Head Coach Mike Montgomery

On the game

“We had nine blocks and we had 10 steals. I think eight of them were in the second half. They cause problems. We tried to double up on Oraby because we felt like we were going to get into foul trouble, which we did. I thought Kameron [Rooks] did a really good job just matching his physical size because Oraby is so big. We tried to monster and take our chances with the other stuff. Their guards shot it well early. Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell shot it really well early. They shoot a lot of threes. They haven’t been very good percentage wise, but they shot them in. We went small. We took a little bit of a gamble because we felt like we were stagnant offensively. We put Ricky at the four. Jovanoic…. hurt us again. Ricky fronted. David guarded Oraby and got some steals and used his quickness to get around. We quit monstering. We got out on the break and made some plays. Obviously Jabari hit some shots and that helped us. The game is not very complex. Somebody’s got to make shots and if somebody doesn’t make shots it’s going to be hard to beat anybody. If you do you’re going to be in pretty good shape. It was a win we had to have. We would have been very disappointed if we didn’t. We’re not into quality points. We’re just trying to win games. We’re tied for third. Right now we’re in about as good of shape as we can be in.”

On Cobbs’ offensive in the second half

“We spread the court. We changed what we were doing. We opened up the court a little bit and it made it easier for him to go. In the stuff we were trying to do earlier, they were really jamming the paint. We got the post up away from the basket and it opened up some driving lanes. Justin was good at finishing. Justin did very, very well in the second half.”

On the game

“We can’t sit back. We’ve got to get up and get into people. We have to force mistakes. We’re not a physical basketball team. If we sit back and let people do unto us, we have problems. We’ve got to get up and get into people and force some turnovers and get out on the break a little bit. Like most people, we’re better when we defend and get out on the break. That’s easily said and harder to do. We had to create some turnovers and create some easy baskets and then we feel good about ourselves because we play harder and get excited and the crowd gets excited and that’s what has to happen.”

On Jabari Bird

“You can kick all day to a guy and if he misses a shot that’s where Justin becomes frustrated because he doesn’t want to make those passes if guys aren’t making those shots. We have guys who are reluctant to shoot the ball. Jordan [Mathews] got one early and then made a nice drive to the basket. We know that the two freshmen can score. It was nice to see them come alive. That means Justin is going to start moving the ball because he can trust those guys a little bit more. Jabari had a good week. There was a little bounce to his step. He felt better. Everything in practice was better. It’s good to have him back in the mix and where we can feel he can contribute.”


California Players

Justin Cobbs, Senior Guard

On the game

“I think we gave them a little momentum in the first half, they were playing well making shots so when they were making shots it was hard to get it going on the offensive end, playing against a set defense. I think second half we came out and did a great job getting stops and being a little more ratchet on defense, digging out loose balls, getting steals, getting blocks…and that got us easy buckets. I think guys off the bench did a great job coming in giving us a push off the bench and you know they finished the game well. So give credit to those guys, but I think today was a great team effort.”

On USC as a tough opponent

“You know, they have a big 7-2 guy, he can see over the defense so we try to double and you know that didn’t really work out too well. So he’s a big guy, he’s talented. That’s what they have, a lot of talented players and the guards were also able to get to the basket. This conference is tough, everyone is going to be a struggle no matter who you play.”

On personal strategy

“I just do whatever coach—whatever the play call, I do whatever happens. I mean we just play basketball and I was able to get to the basket and make plays so it’s not really myself of course or when I want to make plays but at the end of the day, the coaches do a great job of calling the plays and strategizing the win and when I should be aggressive or not so like I said, I just follow them and today worked out for them.”

On his knee:

“I’m fine. It’s just basketball. You’re going to fall down and get hurt but it’s a couple nicks and bruises. I get iced up and I’ll be a 100 percent on Wednesday.

On Jabari Bird

“As a freshman you can do too much and you get a complex and it’s more than what it is. I think early he was forcing it, he had so many high expectations and he just wanted to play well. I mean, as an 18-year-old kid, anybody wants to play well. When it got late, he just started slowing the game down. Catching shots, something so simple, which he’s really good at so I think when he simplifies the game and just reads the game well it helps him play better rather than force things and do things he’s not ready to do.

Passing to Jabari Bird for the three

“You just want to always feed the high hand and I mean he (Jabari Bird) had the high hand. So like I said, it was just a pick and roll and the right thing to do is to pass it to the open man. And he knocked it down.”

Ricky Kreklow, Junior Guard

On winning at home, and past injuries

“We’re so happy about it. I mean we’ve been having struggles at home and it feels good to finally get one back especially a team that we gave one up earlier in the year. We know we can play a lot better and kind of get that win. Each game right now is satisfying considering how close the race is in the Pac-12 for those top three, top four spots.”

It’s nice to be finally able to get back to the point, or I mean the point before I got hurt especially given it’s the second injury in this two-year span…not the best luck. It takes a lot to get back into it. It feels good now that everything is becoming a little more natural and working my way back on the team and just getting a good flow with all of it.”

On the next four games

We have to get everyone we can. We’re trying to finish this as high up in the conference as we can. Hoping a few teams drop some ahead of us, especially this late in the year, I mean, weirder things have happened. People drop games. I mean a lot of things can happen, and we just have to go out and win every game we can and put ourselves in the best position at the end of the night.

On the importance of the first round bye

“Big time! I mean there’s not a player right now that’s not feeling it. At this late in the season, you have been going since October and since we started three weeks earlier this year…it’s just a long season. Every day you can get to rest is big in the long run, especially this late.”


USC Head Coach Andy Enfield

On the game

“I thought we played very well in the first half, we only had three turnovers, we played very good defense. They shot thirty-seven percent from the field. Then in the second half, it was a tight game and with about seven minutes left they ramped their intensity up and we missed a lot of open three’s, a one on one and had a lot of turnovers and they scored every time and they shot sixty percent in the second. I’ve got to give them credit, when they ramped it up in that four minute stretch, we missed some easy shots and turned the ball over and they happened to score every possession down the court.”

On the difference defensively between the two halves

“They put four guards in there and spread the floor and they gave the ball to an all-league point guard and I thought they got great production from Jabari Bird off the bench. He made those two critical three’s from the left corner and he had been struggling shooting the ball but you’ve got to give him credit. When you have an all-league point guard like Cobbs he is very tough to go against, he had twenty-two points and seven assists and we did a decent job at containing him but the second half he played like a senior all-league player.”


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