March 14, 2007
WASHINGTON STATE PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
On the analogy of this game being the tortoise and the hare:
We have to be who we are as a team. We have to play defense and take good shots. You have to play the game that gives you the best chance to win. You have to play within yourself to succeed at this level.
On the challenge that Caleb Green presents:
He's a great scorer, a conference player of the year three years in a row. He scores in a variety of ways. He's crafty and can get his shot. We'll try to double down him and limit his touches. But I've seen him hurt some really good teams. He can score against everyone.
On Oral Roberts' win at Kansas:
That gets your attention. That adds credibility to their team as an extremely dangerous opponent. When we're off, any team can beat us - and they're a lot more than just any team.
On the versatility of Kyle Weaver:
He's gotten physically stronger since his freshman year. He had our first triple-double. He's a bigger guard, can handle to ball, get on the glass. He's caused some matchup problems.
Junior Guard Derrick Low
On your decision to come to Washington State from Honolulu:
One of the main reasons I chose Washington State was I felt comfortable playing for the coaches. I knew I could get better and would be playing in a good conference. I kind of knew something that everyone didn't know. Other people were focused on their recent lack of success in basketball, but I just had a good feeling about this program and where it was going to end up. It took some time, but we got here. I wanted to be part of something special.
On the difference between playing for Tony and his dad:
Coach Tony makes you feel comfortable. Some of the players feel more at ease. Of course, Dick Bennett is a great, master coach. Their philosophy is the same, though, and they both hold you to high standards, especially on defense.
On being the hunted rather than the hunter because of your seed:
Even though we may be the higher seed, we carry the underdog mentality. We want to play with a sense of urgency despite being the No. 3 seed. Being in this tournament is where every player in the country wants to be. We're going to lay it on the line. If we lose, we go home.
On representing the state of Hawaii:
Yes, my dad and brother will be here. I proudly represent Washington State University, but I feel like I always represent the Islands, too. I'm one of the few from Hawaii lucky to be still playing in March.
Junior Guard Kyle Weaver
On coming to Washington State from Wisconsin:
Being from Wisconsin, I knew a lot about the Bennetts' reputations as coaches. And they knew a little bit about me as I played in Beloit.
On Oral Roberts:
It will be a major challenge going against two big-time scorers, Green and Tutt, on the same team. We haven't faced that before. We will really have to buckle down on defense against those guys. I'm sure I'll be on one of them, maybe both at times.
On being the hunted rather than the hunter:
We still have the underdog mentality. We have to fight for our basketball lives every game.
On your first trip to the NCAAs:
Sure, we want to enjoy the experience and have a little bit of fun. We've had time to prepare for this, thouth. We'll be ready to play tomorrow.
On being the trendy pick as a high seed upset victim in the first round:
That's the story of our year. Nobody expected us to keep winning. The negative stuff doesn't bother me at all. It doesn't shock or upset me. We just have to focus on Oral Roberts.
ORAL ROBERTS PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Head Coach Scott Sutton
On Caleb Green...
Caleb will go down as one of the best players, and most important players, in program history. He is the leading scorer and rebounder in Mid-Continent history and will probably be a three-time honorable mention All-American. As a local player, he has drawn so much exposure, not only locally, but nationally. He has put us back on the national stage, and local kids look at the impact he has had at ORU and that will help our recruiting the next couple of years.
On growing up as the son of a coach...
Some of the greatest memories I have were during this tournament with my father. I sat on the bench in St. Louis at the Final Four in 1973 and remember watching Larry Bird beat his (Arkansas) Razorbacks in 1979 and seeing U.S. Reed hit a halfcourt shot for Louisville in 1981. I have so many special memories of the tournament and realize how special it is to players and fans.
Sean and I used to watch practice for two or three hours a day and, obviously, coaching was in our blood. In fact, my parents discouraged me from coaching, but looking back it was a situation that was really in my blood and, fortunately, Bill Self had an opening and invited me to come over to ORU.
On what Oral Roberts needs to do to succeed in the first round...
Washington State is obviously a great team. They are not going to do anything fancy or try to trick you in any way. They are what they are. They are a great defensive team. They are so sound fundamentally and have tough, smart kids. For us to have success, we are going to have to get the ball into Caleb and are going to have to make shots.
On being predicted to win by some national media...
I heard about it, sure. It's good and bad. It's good that people have respect for our team, but it will probably give the Cougars a little more motivation. I have a lot of respect for Seth (Davis) because he covers college basketball as good as anybody.
On being back for a second year...
Last year was just a big relief for our players to get there. This year there is a different attitude, a different confidence. I think playing at Allen Fieldhouse and winning, playing Georgetown, Arkansas, and BYU has helped us. We have been in tough situations and have been tested. They're not going to be in awe or be intimidated. That is not a knock on Washington State, but we've been in battles before. We know we're going to have to play a great game to beat Washington State.
Senior Ken Tutt
On Washington State...
Washington State is the three seed, but I think sometimes you can throw the seeds out the window because any given team can win on a given night. They are a really good team. They are a Pac-10 team and had a good season. If we don't come to play, it will be tough. We have to play hard.
On how people usually try to defend Oral Roberts...
Most teams will try to either box-and-one me or try to double or triple team Caleb. Most defenses are geared to slow Caleb down, and he does a good job of finding the open shooters.
On playing with Caleb Green...
It has been a lot of fun to play with Caleb. Growing up, I never had a big man to play with, and when I first came to college it was exciting to have a big man. We help each other out in a lot of ways. He complements me and I complement him. When I first arrived in Tulsa, I didn't know anybody. He took me around Tulsa and brought me to his family and now it's like a second home away from home.
On the tough nonconference schedule...
We thought playing a tough schedule would help us in the postseason. The younger guys have now been in games with a tough atmosphere. Beating Kansas has given us the confidence that we know we can beat anybody when we play our game.
Senior Caleb Green
On Washington State...
I know they are a slow-down type of team and like to grind out the game. They are 13th in the country, and we are going to have to come to play. They can beat you bad if you are not ready to play.
On playing with Ken Tutt...
As an aggressive big man, like myself, you have to have a guy that can knock down shots, and that is exactly what Ken Tutt has been doing for the last few years. Off the court, he is a great guy to be around and is a lot of fun to be with.
On Washington State's transformation...
They're very cohesive. Coach Bennett has really turned their program around and has put them in a good situation. If you don't play well, they'll put you out of the gym.
On his first reaction to seeing the nonconference schedule...
When I first saw the schedule, I really enjoyed it. I like to play the best because that is how you become the best. I thought it would do a lot for everyone's confidence if we went in and played well in some of those games. When we got through with our non-conference schedule, we knew we wouldn't see any teams that were better than what we had already faced.