Jan. 9, 2009
Washington State Cougars
WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the game- "I thought the guys battled hard and fought longer, didn't unravel early in the game. We fought for the most part, took better care of the ball, stuck in there. A couple of times when some balls were on the floor, either we dove too late and they got kicked and bang they stuck the dagger with a three."
"For the most part we were in there, and then all of the sudden it was a tough shot, we don't have guys at the end of the shot clock that can go in and create. All of sudden it was one mistake on defense, then it's a turnover, then it's not a transition defense. All of a sudden it happens quick, then bang, there we are."
"I'm frustrated, I thought we got really great looking shots for the most part. I liked it. Aron had a tough time, they were very physical, he had a tough time finishing. We got some clean looks at the 3-point line, but just have got to keep fighting and keep trying to get quality looks, keep trying to make it hard for them to score and last longer, not break down, down the stretch."
On the team's improvement- "I saw improvement, I guess it's a little bit of a consolation, but I want to win. Everybody wants to win. I thought we lasted longer. I thought better quality shots tonight than we did in the last game or two, but it wasn't enough and defensively was better, but there were a few breakdowns. We've got to be close to perfect defensively if we're not going to shoot the ball better than we are."
On California- "They have a nice ball club, they really do. I was impressed with them on tape. Rock solid defensively, they have some play makers."
On Cal's inside play- "Boykin is a lot better...some people say, `well their inside guys are more role players,' but they do what's necessary, he's good. He can play. Harper Kamp, he's real physical on the interior, you could see that battle going on. That's what high major basketball is all about."
WSU Guard Taylor Rochestie On the team's performance- "For me a loss is a loss. We talked to each other at the last media timeout and we said, `it's not enough just to be tied with three minutes left or be close, we want to get over that hump and get a win.' We know how tough wins are in the Pac-10, we came close. We had 37 minutes of close basketball and the last couple of minutes we kind of let it go. We're still looking for ways to finish, we're still looking for ways to win. Today we came close, but a loss is a loss."
On Saturday's game with Stanford- "Stanford beat us three times in a row last year, so for the guys that are returning, I think that's enough motivation to come back and play well. Last year on our home floor, I personally had a shot that could have taken it to (double) overtime and I'm constantly reminded of that shot by people that aren't WSU fans and so I think we're going to be motivated. For the younger guys, it's a chance to play Stanford, they're a team that went to the tournament last year and they're a big time team. They've had some success against us so we'd like to return the favor and try and have some success against them. We've got to start protecting our home court. Last year, the last two years, it meant a lot to us and this year we're letting it slip away a little bit, but hopefully we can get it back."
WSU Guard Nikola Koprivica On Cal down the stretch- "I don't think that they surprised us, we need to execute much better down the stretch. It's really tough because when it's clutch time, the last two seasons we executed really well, and right now it's not working great, even though there's a lot of improvement, we're still not quite there. They didn't surprise us, we just have to execute much better."
California Golden Bears
California Head Coach Mike Montgomery On them playing against Washington State- "Washington State is a hard team to play against, they grind you. They're hard to score against, they're very good defensively. We made mistakes early on the defensive end and gave them baskets."
"We made some plays late and made some shots late. We just weren't as sharp, but I think that credit goes to Washington State, that's what they do."
"When someone just lets you do what you want to do, we're pretty good, but Washington State's not one of those teams."
"They are guys we thought we could defend, but we made some mistakes and they shot it in against us. So, it allowed them to get back in by making baskets. Fortunately we bounced back."
On the play of Jerome Randle- "Well, they obviously made an effort to defend (Randle) and we didn't react as well out of the pick and rolls as we should have."
On the play of Jamal Boykin- "Jamal Boykin was very good. He really controlled the boards and gave us some buckets early when we weren't able to get much."
California Forward Jamal Boykin
On playing in close games-
"We have had close games where we have been able to pick it up, get our composure and get up 10 points or go on a run. That means a lot because we know that when teams start getting close, we can pull out close games and tough games. Especially on the road, that means a lot."
"The coaching staff is definitely keeping us calm, keeping us focused late in the games and we practice these things and now we see it in the games."