Game Talk: Cats bounce back at UCLA

Arizona pounded UCLA in impressive fashion. Included are comments from UA players, a coaching legend and former Wildcat standout.

John Wooden:

On Lute Olson: First of all not only (is Lute Olson) a good coach but longetivity too. He's an outstanding coach, no question about it. If he stays in, he'll win a lot more.

On the importance of talent: As I've often said, I never won a game. My players won quite a few, but I never won one myself. You'd like to believe you're a part of it, but believe me if you don't have the players you're not going to win that many games. Talent, first of all. No one wins without talent, but not everyone wins with it. He's an outstanding coach.

On the difficulty of winning during his coaching days and winning today: You can't compare. We were among the best in our era, that's all. In some ways it was harder, and in some ways it was easier. You can say the same about every sport. Would Ty Cobb hit .367 today? Is Barry Bonds better? Well, he's one of the best of this era. That's all.

On UCLA's improvement: They're playing with more intensity and much better defensively, and I see gradual improvement. I think he's doing a fine job.

Luke Walton:

On life in the pros: I kind of learn every day. There are adjustments, but it's fun.

On the differences between college and pros: There are a lot of similarities. I think it's tougher, but so many of the similarities are the same.

On life in college: I loved college. I miss Arizona, and I've only been gone a couple months. I miss being on the court with those guys. It's definitely one of the better times of my life, but I'm enjoying my life now too.

On camaraderie in college: In college your teammates are the guys you live with and hang out with on and off the court. In the pros it's more a business. You're in the arena, but then you go do your own thing after that.

On information provided by father and former NBA player Bill Walton about life in the pros: He tried to, but you can't really completely prepare. You kind of have to learn as you go along.

On reuniting with good friend Richard Jefferson: I can't wait. End of February, I think. It will be one of the highlights of the year.

On the Lakers struggles without Kobe and Shaq: It's like trying to adjust to the loss of any of your stars. We're struggling a little bit, but we'll get better. It gives opportunities to people who normally wouldn't be getting big minutes. Our team is struggling right now, but hopefully that will change.

On the value of college: I'm glad I stayed all five years in college, especially when you have a situation like we did at Arizona. I loved hanging with the guys, playing with them, that was so much fun. You miss it when you're gone. I loved Tucson.

Salim Stoudamire:

We still feel we're the best team in the country, but it's a lot of little things like making the extra pass, defense and rebounding. We're not worrying about our offense.

We played inside out. Before we were passing on the perimeter and not getting it into Channing or Ivan. Tonight we got it in and defense collapsed, and that helped our outside people.

We had to get the fire back.

Channing Frye:

We had to establish that everybody gets to the boards, and I think everybody did get to the boards. Even if they didn't get the ball, they got a hand on it, and that opened it up.

That's the way we have to play basketball. I'm not a ballhog. I just want to do what I can to help the team win, get everybody involved, but at the same time I have to establish myself on the inside so we can get our great shooters on the outside open.

Before we were playing just to win, but now we understand each other and what we want at the end of the season.

Hassan Adams:

Shooting is going to come. It's the little things we need to do to get the game at our pace.

On his ability to fire up the team: I did the same things. I just want to get my teammates involved. I want to get them involved mentally. We've been intense, but not Arizona intense. After these losses, everybody was focused. This was a big game for us.

On playing against fellow Southern California standouts on the UCLA roster: It makes the game more fun when you're playing against your boys. If gives you something to talk about in the summer.

Mustafa Shakur: I've played teams like this with a lot of talent, and I love how we shared the ball. Every game our game plan is getting it into Frye. Everyone looked for Channing. Salim got it down to him a lot.

On challenging Frye to step up: We had a team meeting and I really got on him. I didn't think he played with a lot of intensity since Ike Diogu. I felt we had to come out with that intensity again.

That's the way we have to come out every night. We can't come out one night with intensity and the next night not.

It's just a case of all five players coming out with that intensity.

Lute Olson: One of the things we need to continue to do is be more patient. We made the extra pass and ended up with good looks. We have guys who can shoot the ball. We've had great shooters take good shots in the past. Tonight we had great shooters taking great shots. I was pleased with the team effort. UCLA had a hard time hitting its shots. I don't think we gave them an opportunity to go inside.

It's unusual for us to play zone at all, and we played nothing but zone. We got fastbreak opportunities, and we made really good decisions.

On team's intensity level: It always means more when they step up. They knew what the problem was. We made that pretty clear after the USC and Stanford games. You're limiting how good you can be with your patience. It's time we grow up and realize it's not about me, it's about us. We have guys who think about themselves on occasion, and they need to think about us.

We really needed this one badly if we were going to stay in the race.

On UCLA: They're completely different. They defend a whole lot better from a team standpoint. We said they're going to make you take five, six, seven passes, and that's a compliment to what Ben (Howland) has done with them.

On Arizona's inside outside game: We've got some guys you have to get out on. By making the extra pass or two, we got Channing free inside and he did a much better job of getting to the basket.

Talk about this on the Cats' Lair MESSAGE BOARD

Wildcat Authority Top Stories