Gonzaga Press Conference

SALT LAKE CITY - After Gonzaga's closed practice today, Blake Stepp, Ronnie Turiaf, and Head Coach Mark Few answered questions from the media about tomorrow's match-up with #1 seeded Arizona.

Mark Few
On playing
"I think you need to stay with what's worked for you all year. We're certainly not going to deviate from that. You can also make adjustments where you think you can take advantage of some match-ups. That's probably the most difficult thing with them. They have tremendous balance and they have so much fire power, you really have got to pick your poison."

On the impact of Rick Anderson, Luke Walton, and Channing Frye
"I've seen Rick a lot. I saw him in high school and liked him a lot then. He's a coach's kid, that's what concerns me the most. He's got a great feel for the game, they've done a great job in developing his skills and his strength and he's really become an efficient scorer for them and he's a guy that you certainly can't play off of. You have to make sure your defense is squared up and sticks to the game plan and we really have to do a job on him and Walton and then I think probably their most improved player is Channing Frye. I think he's a real force inside right now and a real key for their success."

On Salim Stoudamire
"He's from the Northwest and should've come to Gonzaga…he was born to score and we have to know where he is at all times on the floor."

On the Zags success in past tournaments and the strength of their schedule this year
"We played Kentucky earlier this year and a very good Georgia team that I think was a top-five caliber team. Even with some of the teams we've played in the past, we've been in big games. We've played against great opponents and this is no different. Along with that comes the task of trying to slow them down and trying to find a way for us to be successful on the offensive end."

On Gonzaga's inside game
"That's one area that, every game, we hope we can have success. That's one of our strengths and we're also going to try and look inside. With that being said, Blake Stepp was player of the year in our conference and our most valuable player. We try to look everywhere, we try to score any way we can."

Blake Stepp
On Arizona's talented backcourt

"Salim (Stoudamire) and Jason Gardner are two of the best guards in the nation in terms of shooting the ball and running the team the way it's supposed to be run. It will be a good challenge for us to try and shut them down and not allow them to get open looks, which is a lot of the way they score on offense is to get shoe open threes. But we have to concentrate on their inside guys too, because they are so good. It will be a tough challenge for us in the backcourt- me and Winston (Brooks) and Kyle (Bankhead) and Tony (Skinner) - to shut them down."

On the evolution of Gonzaga's program
"We're not scared of anybody in the country anymore. We've played a lot of good teams, in this preseason especially. We played Kentucky pretty tough in Maui and we felt we had a chance to win that game. And they've gone on a 23-game run since we played them. We're not in awe of anybody anymore. We know we can compete and play well against top-caliber teams like Arizona."

Regarding the motivation from losing in the first round last year to Wyoming
"Motivation from last year is huge. Personally, I played really bad last year against Wyoming, so to come back and get this first on under our belt is a big stepping stone for us. This is the time of year for players to step up and especially Winston Brooks and Tony Skinner making a big play at the end really helps our team out and gives us a good light on tomorrow's game."

Regarding the Gonzaga Program's popularity
"When we travel around the country, fans come up to us on the street and mention that they know we got to Gonzaga, and it's kind of funny that it wasn't happening a few years ago. We're a small school, only about 5,000 students, so people kind of look at us as the underdog in almost every game, so they come out and root for us a little more than normal. It's a good feeling to have people know how you are wherever we go."

Ronny Turiaf
On the staying focused despite the war going on
"It's really tough for us to stay focused on our goal of wining each and every game. But we're also thinking about what is going on in Iraq. We came here to play the NCAA Tournament; we've worked hard all year to be here. I think we've done a good job of trying to stay focuses on the basketball game, but it is really tough on us.

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