Coach's Corner: Pac-10 Tourney is near

Lute Olson may not like the idea of a conference tournament, but he isn't taking the event lightly. Olson and the Wildcats realize how tough it will be at the Staples Center this weekend. Olson discussed just how competitive the event will be.

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Question: Arizona State appears to be a very difficult opponent for a seven seed, does this indicate how deep the league is?

Lute Olson: "I think ASU is a very good team. They've had problems getting over the hump. ASU has not had many bad games. They lost some games they should have won. They really haven't been blown out by many people. Some of their eight and nine point losses were when they had to foul at the end and the teams made their foul shots. I just think ASU is a very good basketball team, a very deep team, a very experienced team."

Question: No one really gets a break in the seeding do they?

Olson: "USC and Stanford play in the first round and you could see those teams being in the final. You'd think the No. 1 seed (Oregon) would get a break with Washington, but they beat them up there and gave them their toughest game at Oregon. Every one goes into it with the idea that they will have a fight on their hands. Four will survive. I don't see a game that won't be competitive."

Question: With the NCAA Tournament so close, do you play these games any differently than you would otherwise?

Olson: "You just play as well as you can. We play the same way we would any game. I think all the teams will go in with this strategy."

Question: The top six clubs appear to be tournament locks, does that mean their isn't the sense of urgency that maybe there was last time there was a Pac-10 Tournament?

Olson: "I don't think it will have the same sense of urgency as it has in last years. The sense of urgency rests with the two bottom teams, ASU and Washington. There seems to be a natural cut-off for who gets into the tournament."


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