Nov. 30, 2012
California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb Thanks for being here. It was a great atmosphere. We appreciate the support. A Michelangelo it was not. A Picasso it was not. I don't think the basketball hall of fame is going to ask for film of this anytime soon. There were just a lot of missed shots on both sides, but I think that's a testament to how Old Dominion plays. I'm really impressed with the turnaround they've made in a year. This team is going to win a lot of games. We'll be rooting for them.
I liked our kids' toughness. I liked our resolve. We haven't been in this situation yet. We haven't been on the road. We haven't been tested this much. There are some great things for us to fix. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with free throws and turnovers, but it's a great learning experience. We're very happy to leave here with a win. We learned a lot from it. I'm proud of the way our kids hung in and pulled away at the end.
On if it was a good test before Duke
In a lot of ways yeah. I told the players in the locker room, when we first thought about this trip, we wanted to play Duke and anyway else. Probably just another game to get our legs going from the west coast. We couldn't get anyone else to play us, but Old Dominion said they'd play us and we said OK. All of a sudden it became a tougher trip. I just told them in there I wouldn't trade it for anything because this was really good for us to be tested like that. Duke is obviously one of the best teams in the country and we'll have to fix some things, but I would much rather have been tested like this and have some things exposed. They are all things we can fix in a day and a half, no question.
On the rebounding edge
One of our local Cal writers said something to me the other day about how our rebounding numbers were slightly down this year, but I think the clear thing is that our shooting percentage has been way up. There were a lot of missed shots on both sides. When there are missed shots, our Cal Bears are going to get the ball. That's just what they do. I don't take any credit for it. We don't do drills. That's their natural instincts and ability and toughness. I still write on the board and say rebound like only we can. Tonight was a game where that was a difference just because it was a tough night for us putting the ball in the basket. Twenty-seven offensive rebounds and 19 second chance points. That's huge. Of course if we make a couple of free throws it's not that huge and we don't need that cushion, but to be really good you have to win any number of ways. We went through foul trouble tonight and won through a rough shooting night to a team that threw a lot of things at us that were troubling.
On the quick turnaround to play Duke
If I asked them right now, they'd be ready to go. That's how this group is. It's a good amount of time. That's what we always play in the Pac-12. It's a Thursday-Saturday or a Friday-Sunday. As a staff, I have terrific assistants who are already prepared for Duke from a coaching and game plan perspective. We'll do some things there tomorrow in practice. Then we'll have a shootaround, and it's going to feel like an eternity until we play them.
On taking it one game at a time
The second I watched film on them, I said we have to beat Old Dominion. This is a trap game, right? Our players are good about - If I had focused on Duke, I'm sure they would follow my lead on that. But we talked about Old Dominion and talked about how good they were. They were dialed in on this game, and it didn't take long for them to believe me on that. I'm pretty realistic when I say a team is good or we should do this or that. They bought into being focused on this.
On finishing the game in good style
That was a point where the game slowed down a bit more and we just started getting stops. Talia did a good job stopping number one (Shae Kelley) at the end and we just honed in and really bought into our `white' principle. It was really hard for her to drive at the end. We had help-side. Sometimes you don't settle down until that far in the game. I think things kind of clicked and we got a stop.