Jan. 20, 2013
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Lindsay Gottlieb
"As I said to [UCLA] Coach Close before the start of the game, this is what we want - the Pac-12 to be multiple Top 25 teams. A lot of teams with a shot to do some great things, not only in the conference season, and I think that's a credit to their program and the people in our program as well. So I thought it was a good day of college basketball. I am really proud of how our players came out. We haven't played that style in a few games here, the up tempo, getting pressed, really physical, and I thought our players responded and did some nice things. And it was great to see Talia [Caldwell] step up, Afure [Jemerigbe] step up and knock down shots early. Obviously Layshia [Clarendon] always does a brunt of the scoring for us. We made some mistakes down the stretch that made it a little closer, but you always want to learn those lessons in a win and I think this team is hungry, not just to be good but be great and be championship caliber so we will use that to get better. But I thought that this was a really good win at home and a really good weekend for us, so we will take it and keep getting better."
On the team's positive start to conference play
"I think the great thing about our players is that they haven't looked at it from afar in that way. They just looked at the task in front of them because that's what keeps you being successful, you can't overlook anybody. It doesn't get any easier. Obviously we have Colorado and Utah coming in, but I do think that it speaks to the fact that we are a legitimate top-level basketball team; and I thought we blew through a couple of them with games where we didn't shoot the ball well. So I think that this team is learning that if we focus on what's right in front of us, we can beat anybody. But we also have to have a respect level of it's hard every single night and that's what you want. I mean, this is a really good conference and I'm just proud of our players for winning this weekend and putting a little string together."
On the final stretch of the game
"First thing is (UCLA is) a great team. They've beaten some really tough teams and we knew that they weren't going to go away. And not only that, in the end of the game the up tempo urgency almost feeds into how they want to play. And we made some errors and we knew that. Down the stretch, I thought that defensively we helped off in the wrong spot, and let [Kari] Korver their three-point shooter open. Obviously we made some turnovers and missed free-throws, but again you would rather be learning those lessons in a win. I think it speaks to how close we are to being really, really good, but it also makes you feel good that there's room for improvement."
On how the team responded to UCLA cutting the leads down.
"I think it's really important. I have so much confidence in this team that there's never an extended period where we can't get regrouped and back to what we need to do. I felt that way in the USC game the other day, where we were down and I just have so much belief in their collective ability to find a way, that you know it's coming. And that starts and ends with the fact that you never want anything to be for a lack of effort. We make mistakes and UCLA is going to keep coming and make a run, but as long as we keep that effort and energy level, and that togetherness and never hang our heads, I think you always have a shot. And we just have players on the court who can make plays. So if we keep that mentality, we know that something good is going to come."
CALIFORNIA GUARD Layshia Clarendon
On her journey here at Cal.
"It's kind of one of those moments where you sit back and see that it's all paid off. I am so thankful for Alexis Gray-Lawson, Ashley Walker, Devanei Hampton, and all of those people who paved the way. And then we kind of had a bit of a struggle, but just to see where we are, I'm just grateful, thankful, and patting my self on the back a little bit, like we did it, we have been bringing this program along. I am so happy for Talia, Eliza [Pierre], and Gennifer [Brandon] who have been here and the younger ones. So it means a lot and I'm just happy to see it all pay off after working so hard these past 4 years."
On leading the team down the stretch
"I think that I was just telling them that we need a spark. I kind of felt it at the ten minute mark, that we were in a little bit of a lull and the game was getting slow and I think Gennifer had a steal in there somewhere too, it was kind of just like come on, someone give us the something that we need. So it was me at that moment, it's Gennifer often, it's Eliza with our defense, so we just needed a spark and once we get going, you guys can tell that we are on the races."
On Cal's tough stretch of games to start Pac-12 play
"I think our team does a great job of taking every single game, from our first game against Saint Mary's to Duke to Bakersfield to Old Dominion, George Washington and just really focusing in, honing in on that one game because we knew that if we dropped games and came in and lost to Stanford or if we won that Stanford game and turned around and lost one of these, I think it means less. We do a really great job of just taking one game at a time. And I've said it before, we let Lindsey worry about the overall picture and all that stuff. So I think we do a really great job of honing in and bringing energy for just one game."
CALIFORNIA CENTER Talia Caldwell
On UCLA's defensive sets
"We knew it was going to be better (for the post players to not deal with a sagging defense). I know that for me as a post, the past few games have been brutal. But we watched film and knew that they were going to be aggressive and they played that game really well. They pressure you and they swarm the paint. So yeah, we weren't surprised because our coaches do a good job preparing us and we had seen a lot of film, but it was fun not seeing the sagging man for a little bit."
On the team's mentality this season
"It's maturity really. Everyone is really competitive on our team, but the coaches do a good job of teaching all of us that there is a balance between you wanting to do so well, but then you can't hang your head because you didn't do it. They show us examples and clips, or we will talk about NBA games or other college games like, look, if they had held their head, they wouldn't have had this next play so they do a really good job stressing that. About the balance of wanting it and competing, but you can't hang your head just because you want it so bad. So that's just maturity and really listening to them and seeing how it does work out."