Game Talk: Kansas 78, Arizona 75

Anaheim, Calif. - The Arizona Wildcats dug themselves out of big hole in the first half and again in the second half before rallying. It just wasn't enough and the season ends in 78-75 loss to the Jayhawks.

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Mellinger Vision 544-7513Lute Olson

Lute Olson Overview:
"It was obvious that both teams competed very hard. The two things that killed us, in the first ten minutes or so we just turned the ball over and ended up giving them a lot of fast break opprotunites as a result of the mistakes. In the first half I think that they had 20 points off of turnovers. Most of those came in the first 10 or 12 minutes. I thought that our guys battled back very hard. We got off to a bad start again in the second half, but I think that the way that the guys came back shows the type of competitors that they are. I told the team in the locker room that I don't think that we've ever had better leadership both on and off of the court than we've had from these seniors. They've done a tremendous job of carrying on the tradition of Arizona basketball. The young guys I think have learned a lot as a result of the seniors. Kansas played extremely hard and did a great job and really pushed the ball down our throats. Once we forced them into running half court stuff we actually did a very good job with our half court defense, but they took advantage of mistakes that we made on the other end of the court and 29 points off of turnovers is certainly a credit to the kind of effort that they put it."

On the game's officiating:
"I thought that they did a good job. It was a very hard fought game with both teams going at one another very hard. I thought that the outcome of the game had nothing to do with the officiating. I thought that they did an excellent job. The game was decided by the teams and that's how it should be." On defense down the stretch:
"We got a lot of stops where we didn't get the rebound. We had one that bounced out long and Hassan ended up with the foul. Michael Lee did a great job of sealing our outside wing and getting the long rebounds in the corner. Our problem was not in the half court defense. Our problem was stopping the run-outs and so many of those came off our turnovers." On Roy Williams:
"Roy has been one of the best coaches in the country for a lot of years. I don't think that he's been given the credit that he deserves. No one in this country has done a better job than Roy Williams has. If there's anyone who deserves the chance to win it, he does. I'd think that because of the job that Roy has done for years and years I think that there will be a lot of people who are neutral who would want to see him win it."

On the freshman:
"I think that it's obvious that (these freshman) are competitors. I talked with Hassan after the game that there's no question the kind of enthusiasm that he has for the game that he's going to be very vital to us next year. Andre doesn't show it probably as much as Hassan, but those guys did a great job. We got down and this has been a group of kids all year long that they're going to keep coming at you and most of the time that resulted in being able to come back and get it done at the end."

On the importance of luck in the tournament:
"I've said for a long time that you have to very, very good and you have to be very, very lucky. There's no question about the parity of college basketball. You have to be lucky and in Kentucky's case they were not lucky. In our case we got beat by a team who was a better team than us today."

Andre Igoudala

On the loss:
"It's difficult because of the seniors here, Luke has helped me so much throughout my college basketball career. If it wasn't for him I probablty wouldn't have had such success this year. The positive is that this is motivation for this summer and I'm looking forward to being a leader for this team next year and am looking back to coming back here and getting victory."

On what he has learned from Luke Walton:
"Everything. Leadership. He's helped me get through hard times with Coach O when he's getting on me. He's helped me on the court when I don't understand things." On the team's feelings after the game:
"I think that everyone is shocked when we lose because we come in thinking that we can come out with a victory. We have so many high expectations that we didn't think that they'd win like this." Channing Frye On the loss:
"It feels horrible right now. It's disappointing not only because we lost because we didn't play to the best of our ability. If we had played to the best of our ability and lost I'd be upset, but not as upset. I feel like, I can't even explain it, it's horrible." On the team's miscues:
"We were not going to go out easy. We kind of dug ourselves in a hole with all of those turnovers, myself included. I don't know what the deal was. I think that we were so eager to go out there and win and play our game, but things happen."

On the seniors' impact:
"I'm going to try to take everything that they gave to me. They have had such great footsteps and I'm going to try and walk in those now. It's too early right now to think about what I can do next year, but I've still got half a year and hopefully I can pick their brains and figure out why they do what they do, and how they got so good at what they do. I feel like these guys are like my brothers and I owe it to them to carry on the tradition."

On Kansas' resiliency:
"I knew that they were going to battle back. I thought that we were going to get that lead and expand on it, but they got some big turnovers and we didn't hit shots. I'm one of those people who thinks that things happen for a reason, so I guess that this happened for a reason, but I'm trying to figure out what reason."

On the play of the seniors:
"Those guys carried us on their backs, but I think that Andre and Hassan did a great job of stepping up today. This is really horrible the way I went out, because I know that I'm so much better than the way I played, but I'm not going to make excuses."

Hassan Adams

On the season:
"I think that this season's been great. We got this far and I'm glad. And we really wanted to get further and we just came up short. This season has been a learning process for me, and it's been a great being a part of it. I'm ready to be a part of this whole organization for a long time."

On the loss:
"This is great motivation to get me to work on whatever I need to work on in the offseason. Just so that our team can be even stronger and so that I can be even stronger as a player."

On the team's preparation:
"We scouted them right. They just hit their big shots and they just came out on top." On his feelings post-game:
"No team in the NCAA wants to feel this feeling. I'm just glad that we made it this far as a team. The chemistry got better and we tried to get better every game and we just came up short."

On the last sequence of the game:
"We have so much confidence in Jason, and if it falls it falls and if it doesn't it doesn't. He's our leader and he took us this far and the ball should be in his hands and I had confidence in whatever he was going to do with it."

Salim Stoudamire

On his frustrations early:
"Instead of using it as motivation I let it bother me and I took myself out of the game. It was an emotional roller coaster and they ended up on a high."

On the team's defense:
"We weren't playing defense. We played it in spurts and it was never consistent." On the team's hopes for next year:
"Obviously we want redemption and we think that we can get that but I just feel bad for the seniors." On whether the season can be considered a success:
"Of course it's not a success. We wanted to win the national title."

Rick Anderson

On the end of his career:
"I've had a great career and have put up good numbers and been a good leader, but the goal was the final four."

On his play against Kansas:
"I got kicked around, I admit it, I failed to complete my job and that's why I didn't play in the second half was because I wasn't all there and coach did that and I thought that we were going to win. (On the last shot) I was under the basket and I thought that it was in, but it was a little off." On the future of the Arizona team:
"I think that they've got a great future. You've got a Hall of Fame Coach with Coach Olson and with the athletes that we have right now, with Hassan and Andre, they're going to be exciting to watch."

On the play of Gardner and Walton:
"Jason and Luke gave it their all out there and I have so much respect for those guys. When we caught up and got on one of our runs I thought that we were going to pull away but Hinrich hit those threes. They just shot the ball very well." Luke Walton On the reasons for the Arizona turnovers:
"We've seen tough defenses before and they're definitely one of the better defenses but we turned the ball over and we should be able to handle any amount of pressure. It was more of us having mentally lapses and making bad decisions."

On the end of his career:
"It's already starting to sink in. I know that this is going to be my last time in the lockerrom with those guys and wearing my Arizona uniform, and with the coaches. That's the hardest part of everything is knowing that it's all over now and that we're not going to have another shot at it."

On the team's inability to get loose balls:
"You can't really rely on breaks and they did get a lot of loose balls, but that's usually a result from hustle. I don't think that you can rely on that to win a game. They did get the jump ball at the end but then they missed and we got another chance at it. It just came down to they beat us."

On Graves and Collison:
"They are forces down inside and we knew that coming into the game. We knew that we had to stop them and we did good at times, but whenever they made one of their runs it was because they were controlling the offensive glass. Together they were great down there."

Jason Gardner

On the game:
"We came out and gave it all we got. I think that when you come to college for is to come to a great program and get better on and off of the court and I think that myself and Luke have gotten that from Coach O and I think that we've both grown up as men. I think that we can keep our heads high."

On the play of Kirk Hinrich:
"Hinrich stepped up for his team and hit some big shots. I think that he's one of the better two guards in the country and he showed that tonight. He kept his team in it and whenever they needed a bucket he stepped up and hit that big three."

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