Cal Athletics

Utah Valley-Cal Postgame Quotes

Utah Valley-Cal Postgame Quotes
By Cal Athletics on Wed, March 19, 2014

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California Head Coach Mike Montgomery 

On Utah Valley and the game

“They’re very well coached. The thing you need to understand is 10 out of the 12 kids have been on a Mormon mission. So if you’re talking about a senior you’re talking about a 25-year-old man. So, they’ve got older guys who know how to play and I’m telling you, guys from Utah know how to play basketball. And they’re very disciplined and they execute the heck out of it. And we knew that. They ran a bunch of stuff to the extent that we didn’t even bother showing them too much stuff. They back screen, they flare screen, they rub screen, and the bring people around. The good news is that with that kind of execution they’re not able to jump above you or run past you. But they execute really well. If you could get really good athletes to execute that well, boy you’d be in trouble because they make it tough on you. The coach’s son, I thought he did a really good job. He can shoot the ball and he made a believer out of us. He was 5-8 from three. We knew he could shoot the ball. I coached against his dad way back when I was at Montana, he was playing at Weber State and I’ve watched Dick [Hunsaker] coach at Utah. He took over from Majeris when Rick got sick and boy he was intense. We knew what we were going to get and frankly had we not shot the ball a little bit it would have gotten dicey. But Jordan [Mathews] shot it well, Jeff [Powers] shot it well, and that really made a big difference.”

On the game

“The advantage we would have had against that team would have been size. I thought we could have rebounded the ball and posted up against two big guys because their second guy is 6-7. I thought obviously that would have been the advantage. But they really packed the pain and they weren’t going to let you I thought playing four out was good. I wasn’t very concerned against this particular team playing Rick and Jeff at the four. We had visions of playing Roger there a little bit and maybe Ty [Wallace]. It restricted us a little bit offensively. What happened when we started getting out on the break, we started getting to the basket, and started getting some baskets, and getting to the line. That really helped us without running set stuff. We tried to run a four side for Jeff, figuring pick and pop and they just squeezed. They just ran right up on the screener. It’s really a good way to do it if you can do it. It’s called pushing up. They’re very well coached. They’re older veteran guys that work really hard in practice to do things the right way which is why they won their league, they just didn’t win their tournament.”

On Jeff Powers

“With Richard [Solomon] being out we had just said Rick and Jeff are going to be the four. He knew he was going to play. Jeff has stayed pretty attentive to shooting the ball and staying around and hoping for another opportunity to play and it came. He did a really nice job. Jeff can shoot the ball. There’s no question about it. Athletically he wasn’t overmatched in this particular game so it was a little easier for him to defend. The ball moved… which was good for us. We said let’s get 20 assists and we did. The ball was moving and we were getting good shots. Everybody got to play and that was a real positive. Everybody felt pretty good. We had five guys in double figures. Roger [Moute a Bidias] got in. It was a positive for everybody I thought.”

On Arkansas

“It’s a pretty good deal to be able to get a team like Arkansas on your home court in mid-March. If you think about it, that’s a pretty could deal. We should be excited about that. If you want to see some athletes, come out Monday. They’ve got some. They’re going to pressure you for 40 minutes and 94 feet. We played them in Hawaii early and we scored 88 points. They force you up and down the floor. We were playing pretty good at that point. I’m sure they’ll be fired up and ready to go. That should be a really challenging game for us.”

Jeff Powers, Senior Guard

On the game

“I think without Richard [Solomon], I had to be prepared to play more. I’m just really happy that we won, a post season win is always good.”

On playing time 

“Not really, I’m always around my teammates and they always keep me uplifted. I love basketball, so I’m doing what I love- especially David [Kravish], David’s always been there for me.”

David Kravish, Junior Forward

On the game

“It’s different because Rich [Solomon] demands a presence, with his rebounding and athleticism on both ends of the court so it was a little different. We got used to it, a little bit difficult in the beginning but next year we got to get used to playing without Rich. We’re not going to have Rich next year and that’s something we’re going to have to work with. We’ve got a couple of new guys coming in. Teams lose players every year, and they re-build. Today, we played well, we moved the ball, and everybody was loose.  I think we had fun out there and that was the key to our success. Everybody was playing hard and together.”

On Arkansas

“This team is good; I mean they won their conference so you can see why. They play hard, they run crisp offense. They’re nothing to sneeze at, but I think it’s easy to look over teams that get lower seeds and, you’re looking at the way these games are playing out and a lot of lower seeds are winning the games. I don’t think it’s something to look at one team over another, but Arkansas is a good team. With the rematch, it’ll be interesting to see how far this team has come given that we played so early in the season.”

Utah Valley Head Coach Dick Hunsaker

On The Game

“We were able to contain their scoring in the first half. I think we had consistency, obviously we kept it pretty close for a while and then they made a spurt. We never were really able to quite grab or get any type of contingent position after late in that first half. You’ve got to give them credit for giving themselves emotionally and mentally ready to play and I wish them the best in the next round.”

On Cal’s great shooting night

“Well, we’ve got to compete a little harder. When you play upgraded competition that tendency tends to get a little bigger for them and you’ve got to get down in the trenches and compete, do a better job defensively than we did. Again that’s a credit to them.”


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