Olson on Sonoma State

The Cats take the court for the first time against someone other than themselves. Small school Sonoma State comes to town for an exhibition game. Lute Olson met with the media to discuss the game and the overall status of the team.

On Sonoma State:

Lute Olson: "We plan on using a lot of people tomorrow night." "This is important to us. The Red blue game was great because it was game uniforms and regular pac-10 officials, I think we started out a little tight. We missed some shots we normally will make. That accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but this one will take us further. You want exhibition games that will help you get ready for the season.

"We need to see how we respond against other people's full court press offenses and those kinds of things."

On the new offensive sets:

Olson: "We are making good progress. The thing is we have four freshman and the sophomores. We have a lot of young people. I am pleased the way it has developed. We have spent the last week putting in set plays. We are certainly not running those well yet, but they are similar to the type of things we did last year.

"We are seeing better cuts every day and recognition.

"Once we sprinkle some newcomers with veterans I expect to see better performances from the younger guys."

On whether the press will mean more substitutions:

Olson: "If they play as hard as they need to play, there is not going to be a lot of guys who can't go more than five minutes at a time. It may not mean they are rested for a long period of time. We just feel we have the kind of team that can put constant pressure on. We have the depth we think we can.

Over the last four years we have scored more points than any other Division I program. It is not like we walk the ball up the floor. This will be even more wide open. We are hoping our defense will create even more openings than we have had in the past."

On Isaiah Fox:

Olson: "Isaiah's attitude has always been good. He has been our most inspirational player. He was disappointed the way things went last year. He also knows that had more to do with him than anything else. He is in the best shape of his life. He feels good about how hard he has worked to prepare for his senior season. No one wants him to do better than what our staff does.

Fox has had three knee surgeries-once there is any discomfort or swelling we cut back on his time.

"He (Fox) will hit some threes. As long as they go in I don't have any problems. He has proven it in practice he can shoot it. The only shots I don't like are the ones that guys cant hit in the practice situation or shots he is taking shots under pressure."

On the possibility of redshirts:

Olson: "We might hold somebody out if we are not sure if we want to redshirt him or not. The chances are pretty good we might have one or two guys in those situations."

On what he wants to see in the game:

Olson: "I want to make sure we are playing as hard as we can play regardless of who is in. Secondly, I want us to make good decisions on shots. I think we have good shooters but I don't think we have a lot of shooters who can take shots if they are under pressure. Last year we had Salim able to take shots even if he was covered."

I am anxious to see how good our defense is against somebody else."

On Hassan Adams:

Olson: "He is a much better perimeter player right now. The biggest thing is keeping the ball off the floor and making sure the shot is an open shot. He is still adjusting in those areas. Pass selection needs to be a little better. That can be expected for somebody who has only been out there for a year and a few practices."

On Marcus Williams:

Olson: "We knew he was good, but I didn't think he would be this far advanced as this point. He was not a good handler using his left hand. He was primarily right. He spent a tremendous amount of time this summer on that. He still needs to work on his mid range game. It is either too much a jump shot or taking it all the way to the basket. That is always a problem for freshmen. They were able to get away with it in high school. Here they are going to get charge calls."

On Miles Simon as a coach:

Olson: "Miles has always had a great feel for the game. That is very obvious in his coaching. He can be looking at the court and there is not anything. There are few things he is missing. That is a skill that is probably not taught as it is his understanding of the game. He also comes out of a great program at Mater Dei where he had good fundamental coaching before he ever got here. He has amazing ability to make people feel good about themselves even if he is getting on them about needing to improve on something. He says it in such a way that he is not taking confidence away. I think it also helps that the fact the players he is coaching they all know he was a mvp of the final four. He has been there, done that."

On Mohamed Tangara:

Olson: "It will depend on the shots he takes. We have people who can hit the perimeter shots. We have people who can hit the 17-footers. Right now with Mohamed we want him to develop the inside game. He does have a nice shooting touch. His shot is like night and day from when he came. When he came it was like we felt we had to take out insurance on the glass. There was very little arch and not a lot of touch. You watch him now and there is good arc and good feel."

On the new student section:

Olson: "I think it is the best thing we have done since I have been here. I have been unbelievably impressed with our students at our football games. They don't sit down. I don't care what is going on with the game they are enthusiastic. I think it will be great to have them floor to ceiling and nobody is going to be yelling, sit down. I am anxious to see it. It is first come first serve. The people who want to be here are going to be down on the floor and those who are late if they have a seat at all will be on the top and that is the way it should be."

On Jawann McClellan:

Olson: "The appeal hat Jawann made was turned down. He will not be eligible until Dec. 17.

"He has had some problems with shin sprints. What this means is we will continue to get him as healthy as we can and then pick up what he we need him to do in a practice situation.

"The way he is looking at it, his mom is looking at it, and we are looking at it, things generally work out for the best. He sincerely has that attitude and so does his mother. It will open time up for some other guys to get more experience. With Jawann's experience a year ago I don't think it is as vital to him as some of the young guys."


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