Game Talk

After the game Cat Tracks was able to catch up with <b>Mustafa Shakur</b>, <b>Channing Frye</b>, <b>Chris Rodgers</b>, <b>Andre Iguodala</b>, <b>Salim Stoudamire</b>, <b>Lute Olson</b>, and UCLA Head Coach <b>Ben Howlands</b> for their thoughts on the game. Here is what they had to say.

Lute Olson

"Even though they shot 66 percent from the field, we definitely forced a lot of turnovers, and it was great that we scored 50 points off of those turnovers. UCLA was shaken by the press, and it totally destroyed them. We also did a great job on the defensive boards. UCLA had only four offensive rebounds, and one of them was a team rebound which means it hit the floor first. I was glad to see that we had 23 assists compared to 12 turnovers, which definitely is a step in the right direction. I was very pleased with the fact that we shot over 50 percent because we now have had a number of games where we shot that well. That is an indication that we got a lot of steals and capitalized on their mistakes, and that we had a much better job of having people make the extra pass on each possession."

On Salim's shooting

"Well, we had six players in double figures, and that just shows what we are capable of doing every game. For Salim to take 17 shots and score 34 points, that is really impressive. Overall, there was only one shot that he should have not taken, but he selected his shots pretty well. I am not surprised at all that his shooting percentage goes up as the teams' does. We need to do a better job of finding him and he also needs to do a better job of moving without the ball."

On the fallout of the zone defense from Syracuse having so much success with it

"There is not much zone used in our league. I don't really like the zone and our players don't really like it, either."

On using more pressure on defense

"We don't have the depth to do it all the time and sometimes our guys just go braindead. Maybe it is because they are getting too many minutes. We simply do not have the depth for a full-court style defense. It is easier to do at home because the players can feed off of the adrenaline from the crowd to keep them going. If we were one deeper at the guard position we could use it more. We do work on it everyday in practice, but just can't use it all the time for obvious reasons."

On Chris Rodgers starting

"We inserted Chris into the starting lineup, and his defensive pressure really ignited us, once again. He played 37 minutes and he played very well. He also hit some big three-pointers when Salim was out with foul problems."

On Andre's triple-double

"Andre played very well tonight and got his third triple-double of the season. His shooting was not where it needs to be, but on top of the triple-double, he did shoot very well from the free throw line. Andre had a big game, and he also added five steals to the triple-double."

On Channing's foul trouble

"The biggest problem for us was that we had to play without Channing for 13 minutes because he was in foul trouble. It hurts us when we don't have him in the game, especially because of his size. We really need to have him on the floor."

Guard Mustafa Shakur

On the press defense

"When we press other teams it really energizes us a lot out there. When we put pressure on the ball, all five players move around more, and that helps our defense out. Our guards do the most work when we press. We have a lot of guards who can come in and put pressure on the other team. We are a lot more focused when we put pressure on the ball."

On Chris Rodgers

"Chris Rodgers is a big spark for us. Coach Olson wants him to be that type of player, and he is doing a great job for us."

On the 10 minute stretch when UA played poorly

"We had some big mental lapses out there. Coach Olson got on us about that, and we came back out and executed. We still made some mistakes, but we feel good about our performance. All of our guys were able to step up."

Center Channing Frye

On the team defense

"I thought our defense played great today. If we can keep doing that we will get a lot more wins."

On Chris Rodgers

"Chris is doing excellent. He is really enjoying himself and is relaxed out there. He brings a lot of energy to our team."

On the ten minute mental lapse

"The mental lapses we are having out there are happening because we are not staying focused. In all, I think we played well though, and I am happy with the win. Everyone is having fun out there and we are playing good, team basketball. We got away from that, but now we are playing more as a team."

Guard Chris Rodgers

On getting the starting nod

"You know I just play hard and do my job. It doesn't matter who starts for us, we all just need to keep up the intensity. I always come into the game and try to do my best each time out. I try to help us win, no matter what I have to do."

On UCLA

"I have to tip my hat to UCLA. They gave a good effort today. It is nice to see us take care of business at home."

On his eight points in 26 seconds

"It reminded me of my high school days."

On if he thought that was the turning point in the game

"I am not sure if it was the turning point but it definitely gave us momentum going into the half."

On if the last two games are a reflection of what they are doing in practice

"I think it is a big part of it. In order to play well we need to get it done in practice and we have had a good week of practice."

On the press defense

"When we press, we have to rely on eachother to get matched up defensively. When we press, it gives us more energy out there and forces us to play aggressive defense."

On the confidence boost these last two wins gives them

"It is nice to get two wins here at home, but we need to go on the road now and be road warriors."

Forward Andre Iguodala

On getting his third triple-double of the season

"I thank my teammates. If they don't shoot the ball well, I wouldn't be able to find them. I'm just in the right place at the right time."

On getting two wins at home

"Getting two wins at home is very important, especially right now in the second half of the season. This is good momentum for us going on the road next week."

On the defensive play

"Our defense has really stepped up. That is big for us when we run the full-court press. Chris Rodgers did a good job getting in the lanes and tipping passes. Our defense wasn't playing well the last couple of weeks. Our focus was to play better defense."

On getting a blowout win even with Channing Frye on the bench a lot

"Channing is a big, clumsy guy(laughing) and he can get out of position at times. But he is a big player for us. We have been teasing him all week in practice about his fouls lately. He is definitely a player we need in the game as much as we can have him."

On Salim Stoudamire

"We are a very good team when he is on. He's that outside threat for us. When he is hitting his shots, teams have to concentrate on him. That opens up things for other players."

Guard Salim Stoudamire

On his hot hand

"My shots were falling. I felt like I could hit anything. Our defense created easy opportunities for us to play offense. One of the reasons why I'm inconsistent sometimes is because some teams play me face up, and other teams don't."

On the team's play the last couple games

"We have been playing well. We need to keep that up. We have a little bit of that swagger back now and we have to remain focused."

On his three-point shooting

"A lot of people think that I'm just a three-point shooter, but there is a lot more to my game than that."

On Andre's triple-double

"He could do that every game if he puts his mind to it."

On going on the road again and not having swept on the road all season

"Well Oregon State is playing real well and they may be ready to pull some upsets, especially in the Pac Ten tournament. And Oregon is always good at home so that will be a battle. I have never played well at Oregon so I am looking forward to another shot at changing that."

On Chris Rodgers

"His defense is a killer. He has been playing real well and he really sparked us at the end of the first half."

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland

"This was a disapointing game for us. We had 28 turnovers and Arizona only had 12. The turnovers are what made the difference in this game."

On Salim Stoudamire

"Salim Stoudamire is a very good competitor. He plays tough the entire game and I have to give him credit for his ability to shoot the 'three'. He got into the heads of our players and took advantage of that. We had a lot of trouble guarding Arizona around the arc."

On Arizona's defense

"Arizona's defense is what made the difference in the game. It caused 28 turnovers and turning the ball over that much is what lost this game for us. Arizona is quicker than us and very aggressive. They made it difficult for our starting five to match-up with theirs, and they went on huge runs that we couldn't defend. They are a very good team here. We thought that we could come to Tucson and handle them. Throughout this entire trip between here and Arizona State, we have had about 51 turnovers. I am most disapointed in our turnovers."

On what else hurt them this game

"We got into the 'street ball' mentality, creating dumb fouls, and that can't be a positive thing during any game you play."

On the play of Josiah Johnson

"Josiah Johnson had a lot of fouls because he tried to defend with his arms. We try to tell him to move and defend with his body."

On what he was most impressed with regarding UA

"Arizona creates a lot of problems playing four guards at one time. I don't think anyone will be surprised if they make a run at the NCAA tournament."


Wildcat Authority Top Stories