"We shot it extremely well and I thought we did a good job of moving the ball for the extra pass to get good looks. Defensively we accomplished what we wanted, which was to keep the ball out of Ike's (Diogu) hands as much as we could. They weren't hitting the perimeter shots, so it wasn't necessary for us to get out on them and open the middle. I was pleased with the team effort in all phases. They moved the ball and when they did get shots they put them down. Board-wise, we felt if we did a good job on our defensive glass we would get break out opportunities with the fast break because they do send four guys to the boards a lot. That makes them tough to deal with, but on the other hand we're quick enough up and down the court that they're going to have a hard time recovering when we get the rebound. I thought it was very much a team effort."
What was the exchange between you and the ASU student section?
"I put up with learning all kinds of new words from that student section down there for years and probably they should learn to keep their mouth closed when you're down 30-something points. I've been called about every name you can be called and frankly I think the language is disgusting. So I think they deserved that and more. It's been 21 years of listening to that, so I thought it was probably time that they get a response. In the past I've just ignored it, but there is a time when you should just keep your mouth shut and enjoy the rest of the game. That didn't shut their mouth, it got them going more, but at least I feel better about it."
What was the reason you were called for a technical foul?
"I said ‘you're treating Ike (Diogu) like he's Michael Jordan' and in the league they say there isn't to be any technical unless there is cursing or unless you've been warned. Well in this case (the official) lost it, I didn't lose it."
On Channing Frye.
"I thought Channing played great all the way around. He fronted the post and made it very difficult to get the ball in (to Diogu). I liked the fact that he went up more aggressively and got banged around and still held onto the ball. I thought he played really well. I thought he was the best big man on the court."
On Salim Stoudamire and the outside shooting of the entire team today.
"Salim is a great shooter and that's why I've said to our guys before people will be making a big time mistake if they try to zone us. Ivan (Radenovic) is not feeling as confident or as comfortable as he needs to but he can flat out shoot the ball. Chris Rodgers can shoot it. Channing can shoot. We have a lot of guys who can shoot it, we just need to do a better job of getting to the open areas and making the extra pass. But when Salim gets on a run, there are times in practice he'll hit 20 in a row. Shooting is confidence. If you're wondering whether you're going to make it or not, you're probably not. Tonight he was sure every one he let go was going in. "
You had no problem with your shooting touch tonight.
"It's a New Year, 2004, and one of my resolutions is to keep it positive. If things aren't going good, I'm still going to find a way to smile because my teammates feed off of that."
When you drove the baseline for that dunk in the first half, it really got you going. Was that a stimulus to the whole night?
"I got real hyped after that. We were playing well and I finally started playing well."
What about Lute and the ASU student body exchanging words?
"I like shutting the crowd up. That was funny when coach (Olson) pointed to the scoreboard at the end. I've never seen him do that."
What was the mood in the locker room knowing that you just got Lute Olson his 700th career win?
"They're our rivals and the crowd was talking smack the whole time and it's fun to shut them up. We just congratulated coach Olson."
After getting shut out against Louisiana-Lafayette, did you expect to have a big shooting night like this?
"Definitely. The games count now (that we're into the Pac-10 Conference race). The game before were the preseason and I care but not too much."
Do you think the Wildcats plays better in a hostile environment?
"I don't think so. I think the key is me being an emotional leader out there because my teammates feed off me."
Is it always special playing in your hometown?
"These guys are my teammates and I'm not going to come home and disappoint them."
What did you think when Lute got into it with the ASU students?
"It shows a lot of character about coach (Olson). He's usually the solid guy showing no emotion. For him to do that means that he wants to win as badly as we do and he's just as into the game as we are and it make us want to work harder. It shows that he's up and down having fun with us."
Is it always a challenge for you to go at it against Ike Duogu?
"I can't make this a one-on-one battle. I think Ike's a great player and he does have to do well for his team to win, but this is a team game and I'm so grateful that my teammates support me in the things I do. The coaching staff is just great and the offensive schemes and defensive schemes are great and we just go out there and do what we do."
Is playing ASU special to you?
"Definitely. I don't care if they are 0-1000. To come back here, it's always a rivalry and the fans are booing us and that just gets me more hyped up. Hopefully we started off the New Year right and we can keep doing it against Cal and Stanford (next week at McKale Center)."
After playing some very close games, how did it feel to win in a rout?
"I think we had just not started out the games very well. I think this game we came out ready, we had a good sweat and I think me and Salim and Hassan and Andre – the starting five basically – we're going to come out here and get on them defensively. We're long and athletic, so we need to get our hands on some balls and get to breaking."
How important is it to get off to a good start in conference play and how does it set the stage for Cal and Stanford next week?
"It's very important to us in our win tonight. We just have to play the game the way we did tonight and if we don't get off to a good start we have to adapt and change, but (Cal and Stanford) are two very good teams. But coach will have us ready. We just need to be ready to play."
What do you think of when you look into the crowd and see so many Wildcat supporters?
"The type of support just makes me so glad I went (to the UA) and I'd like to thank them for coming out or for making the drive or wherever they came from and supporting us in this place."
How much fun is to play this well as a team?
"It's fun for everybody. I think coach (Olson) got into it. When Salim was playing good and everybody is playing good that's so much fun. That's a little bit of a change from what we been doing and hopefully we can take that as a stepping stone and go where we need to go."
What was your impression of the hostile environment of this game?
"When we first got here we were just excited to play. I just love places like this where everybody is against you because it just makes you want to play harder so you can prove them wrong and keep them quiet."
What was your impression of the way Salim lit it up tonight?
"He came ready to play. He did all, catch and shoot, off the dribble and he set some guys up. He did a great job today."
Did you think you would blow out ASU?
"We know we can play with anybody. The thing with us is keeping our composure and playing the way we did defensively. That's the key thing. I think we played pretty good defense today compared to the rest of the games we played. Sometimes we'll play a stretch where we'll play good defense then 10 minutes we'll bad defense. I think we played longer stretches of good defense today."
What were your thoughts when Lute pointed to the scoreboard?
"That's out of character for him but I love Coach O."
Do you get more pumped up to play in a hostile atmosphere like you faced today?
"I been thinking about that last year and this year. I think I'm a better player on the road. When you get on the court on the road everyone is doubting you, and that gives that extra push and lift in your shot at the end of the game. When someone is doubting you, you want to prove them wrong. They were rowdy fans, but we wanted to show them whose house this really was."
Is it that you're more complacent at home or is it that the crowd pumps you up?
"I think it's the crowd on the road. They're booing us and I don't know if they realize it or not but that pumps us up. As soon as we came out and we heard the crowd we just got an adrenaline rush right then"
Talk about the game Salim had today?
"Salim was hot. There was one point where I said to myself, ‘Salim has to touch the ball every time down the court.' If he doesn't shoot the ball he's going to get a look at it. I kept telling the guys to get him the ball and let shoot it. He was hot. He wasn't missing. I wanted to see him shoot it from half court because there was no possible way he could miss."
Salim was more emotional after the dunk than after any other shot he made.
"That dunk was crazy. That was the dunk of the day, a Sports Center highlight. I saw him catch, then hesitate and here he comes. He took that one big step and put it down."
Talk about this on the Cats' Lair MESSAGE BOARD