Coaches Corner: Olson pleased with UW game

Even though it was a closer game than many Wildcat fans were expecting, Lute Olson was very pleased with the way the Cats played against Washington. Olson discussed the positives in the win over the Huskies, plus the upcoming game against USC.

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Question: What was your opinion on the win over Washington?

Lute Olson:"I was looking at the Washington tape, and we actually played very well. We moved the ball the best we have moved it all year. We had some good passes. We can be a good passing team if we are patient enough. Usually it's Luke (Walton) who is passing, but in the Washington game, it was everyone, including the inside guys."

Question: What happened on the technical on Luke Walton?

Olson: "Luke was frustrated during the Washington game because there was a foul called on him that he thought shouldn't have been called. We can not afford for him to get fouls called on him out of frustration. Ricky (Anderson) did a good job in the Washington game of staying out of foul trouble. We went to the zone to keep him out of foul trouble. The first foul he got, he should have known better. With Ricky, he needs to know at all times how many fouls he has and needs to know how to protect them. Luke doesn't have that problem."

Question: What will you do to prepare for USC and UCLA?

Plson: "We need to work on our overall game. Defensively, we haven't been as consistent as we would like to be. Up until Saturday, Ricky (Anderson) has been in and out of so many games with foul trouble that we've been forced to play with three or four freshman. I liked what I saw Saturday night, but there are some exceptions. We need to get better on offensive rebounds. The problem is that we don't anticipate other teammates shots and do not make the move to the offensive board before the shot is released. I think that when I watched tapes, it looks like we are getting better. It seems that if there isn't one problem, there is another."

Question: What are the things you have been stressing for these two games?

Olson: "There are too many things that need to be taught and re-taught. I was pleased with Ricky (Anderson). He should be our best offensive rebounder. Against Washington, he was the most active that he's been both with his offensive movement and with his anticipation of the boards."

Question: What do you think of the way USC has been playing.

Olson:"They are playing really well on both ends of the court. They'll press full time out of the zone. They have been really affective with it. Their veterans guys are playing well. They are a very athletic team. Their team has a lot of guys that can shoot the ball. They don't make a lot of mistakes, and they play hard. USC also does a great job on the offensive boards. When (Desmon) Farmer is in the game, (David) Bluthenthal moves to the four and (Sam) Clancy to the five. When that happens, they are athletic in all positions. Errick Craven is doing a great job. The biggest difference between this year's team and last year's team is that they get more consistency out of (Brandon) Granville at the point. He has been playing like the senior guard that he is, and his assist to turnover ratio is outstanding."

Question: How strong is the Pac-10?

Olson: "UCLA's win over Kansas is a great win for our league. The Pac-10 is ranked right now one or two in the nation in terms of strength of conference. That helps our conference. Maybe it will make a difference for selection of the NCAA tournament. In the past, it seems that the Pac-10 has had to apologize for having four teams in the tournament. I think that win, especially being on national television and the way UCLA played will also help the conference. USC and UCLA are both having great seasons. I've said all along that the strength of the Pac-10 would be in California."

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