"Stats that really stand out, 29 assists with only 10 turnovers and one of those was an offensive foul that Andre (Iguodala) couldn't avoid because there was like three seconds left on the shot clock and he had to get the shot off. The shooting percentage was over 60 percent both halves, 92 percent from the (free throw) line and 46 percent from three-point range so it would be hard to improve on that. The second half we gave up only four offensive rebounds. The first half they had eight. That's definitely going in the right direction. One of our goals was to limit the number of opportunities that (Oregon State Center David) Lucas would get. When you have a guy that's shooting 67% you better not let him get a lot of shots, because that kind of percentage is going to beat anybody. He had five shots and was limited in time because of foul trouble. That was unfortunate for them but I thought we did a good job of keeping it out of his hands."
You must be pleased with the play of Chris Rodgers.
"Yes, Chris had seven assists and only one turnover. He shot the ball well and made good decisions, so that's good to see. Andre had seven assists and was much more involved tonight. He got a lot of defensive rebounds that he was able to lead the break with. When he's doing that good things are going to happen to us."
Talk about Salim Stoudamire's play.
"Salim just shot the lights out. The great thing to see with Salim now is that he's really looking for other people. We almost have to tell him to shoot it. It's an interesting thing, when look at it, he get's 20 points out of only nine shots. We said all along that if the guys make the extra pass or two they're going to have the same opportunities. It's just that they have to make the extra pass and their percentages are going to go up and points will take care of themselves."
Salim seems to playing with more enthusiasm. Is that the new Salim?
"Salim is in a positive mode out there. You can just see it out there. He's happy for the team playing well. His New Year's resolution of being positive is important to him and it's very important to us. He knows the second (the ball) leaves his hands that it's going in."
How is Ivan Radenovic coming along?
"I thought that Ivan played more relaxed tonight. We're starting to see some things really happen in practice situations with him and usually when we see things like that in practice you're going to start seeing it in games."
Were you pleased with the way the reserved played?
"I thought when Kirk (Walters) was in there with the walk-ons they moved the ball very well. Matt Brase's mom (Lute's daughter Jodie Brase) wants to know why he's not starting if he's got an assist and didn't miss a shot, but we still need to see more from him. She has my home number and she can be tough too."
How is Mustafa Shakur coming with his leadership role and how important is it to the success of this team?
"It's critical to us and he's being more vocal but we can still use him to be more vocal. There were two or three breakdowns defensively in the first half that came about because of a lack of communication between two guards. That really can't happen because we work on it everyday. We still need to focus better on communication and Mustafa is getting a whole lot better but he has to have help too. But we're getting there. Guys get sick of the little things, but it's the little things that determine how good you're going to be as a team. We still have a lot of improving to do but I'm pleased with the progress."
Do you still need to get better on the offensive glass?
"In the first half we didn't do a good job with that. We have to anticipate. The only advantage the offensive rebounder has is that he knows his teammates and he knows when the ball is going up. That's not where we need to be but we did finish better when we got the offensive rebound."
On playing Oregon State
"(Jay John) is a great coach and their program is going to come around with the recruitment that they're doing."
In the first half it was tied at 28, then you went on a 24-4 run. What happened?
"We just picked up the defense and played our game and had fun. We just went out there and played Arizona basketball. We were a little sluggish in the beginning. It was like we were going bucket to bucket, then we started to make stops. That's the way we play. We just want to get running up and down, get dunks. That's the way we play."
What's more fun, a dunk or a blocked shot?
"A block is way more fun than a dunk. It's good defense. You get a big block and it just rolls after that and you get dunks off blocks. A dunk is all love, but a block is good defense."
What were the contributing factors to shooting 64%?
"Team chemistry and just working together and getting the extra pass. We have shooters and people who can knock it down, we just need to make the extra pass and people will be open."
What happened when you guys went on that run at the end of the first half that continued into the second half?
"I didn't look at the score for awhile, but we just turned up the intensity. Intensity is the key. Offensively we were getting good shots."
Are you getting better ball movement now over the last two games?
"I think so. Coach always tells us to keep moving and some of the games we lost we just didn't make hard cuts. In two of the games we lost we didn't make hard cuts off of picks and things like that and that's what we did today.
Are you feeling more comfortable as a leader of this team?
"That's something I have to do because I have the ball in my hands the majority of the time. You see everything and a lot of things are going on. Coach Olson has asked me to take control. The team is just now getting used to me. I'm understanding what we can and can't do on the court. It's just coming gradually. I'd like to voice my opinion from day one, but it takes time to build the respect of your teammates. You have to earn respect. The more we play together, the more my teammates see what I'm capable of and the more they respect me.
How much differently are you playing now than you played last year in high school?
"I think I'm thinking the game more. Last year in high school I played more off instinct. That's what you do in high school because there aren't that many players at your level. But now everybody is at your level so you have to do a lot more thinking."
Being two games behind in the Pac-10 race, are you playing with more of a sense of urgency?
"I think you always have to play with a sense of urgency every game. We want to rip a team apart from beginning to end."
Playing some significant minutes has to be a lot of fun?
"It's great for me and great for my family. They got to see this game back home. It's exciting for me because I get to play with the top seven guys and playing with them is a new level."
Your father is traveling more to see you play. He made the LA trip to watch you. He must enjoy that a lot?
"Once he realized how much I was going to get to play, he didn't want to miss a moment. That's the first away game he's gone to and they didn't realize the kind of environment we go to, so they were really impressed."
It must be exciting for you to get some significant playing time after busting your butt in practice for so many years?
"My freshman year I was a little discourage, then my sophomore year I started to play a little more and had a few numbers. Now I'm getting to play. I'm excited to go out there and bust my butt in practice because I know I'm going to get to play. Coach O has been really good to me for getting me in so much this year."
What have you learned about playing at the college level thus far?
"Get lower, get low. It's something I could get away with in high school. I know I'll get stronger, and it is tough at times, but I just need to get lower and lower to make sure defenders can't move me. That's probably the main thing. (I've learned a lot) about post moves, rebounding, everything."