Coaches Corner: Here come the Devils

The Cats are coming off their unbelievable win over UCLA and now have to refocus their energies to ASU. The hard-luck Devils have been playing well, but are struggling to win. They would love nothing more than to knock off the Wildcats. Coach Lute Olson is trying to keep the Cats focused on the Sun Devils, as the young team suddenly finds itself in the middle of the conference title hunt.

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Question: The freshmen had a big second half against UCLA, especially on the defensive end. Is this an indication of their development?

Olson: "A big key to the defense was the play of our freshman guards. Will Bynum created a lot of problems for (Ryan) Walcott and Salim Stoudamire did a good job on (Jason) Kapono. They did the best job of any of our perimeter people.

"Channing Frye did a fabulous job for us today. He did a nice job of moving his feet and deflecting shots rather than blocking shots. Channing did a good job of being patient, and he was able to alter several shots as a result of his defense."

Question: Are you surprised with how well Channing is playing at this stage?

Olson: "There is no question he is going to be a big time player. He still has an awful lot to learn. He's a lot like Loren Woods was at this stage. He has a frame that can handle more weight than Loren could."

Question: What will ASU bring to the table?

Olson: "With ASU we know that this is going to be a tough game. The biggest problem with ASU is the way (Chad) Pruitt is playing on the inside. He's a threat to step out and shoot the three. He is very active.

"We know beyond that Tommy Smith can cause problems. (Kenny) Crandle is hitting 47% of his threes . He's very punishing if you give him an open look.

"It's tough any time you are on the road in this league. Both of their losses vs. UCLA and USC were games they could have won."

Question: Any changes to the line-up?

Olson: "We'll be going with the normal starting line-up. For the most part we'll go with the same rotation that we've had. We'll go three guards at times. ASU's three perimeter starters are all really guards. They list Crandle as a three, but he's really a guard. That gives us more flexibility."


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