Olson on the Bruins

The Wildcats got the tough win in Seattle and now have to turn around and face a solid UCLA team on Thursday. The Bruins seem to be back in the national spotlight, despite an upset loss to Cal on Saturday. The Wildcat head coach discussed the Bruins, the big win and the play of a few of his charges.

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Opening comments:

Lute Olson:"It was a good weekend for us. I think one thing that is pretty obvious to most everyone is that will be the most difficult road trip for any team in our league. I would be shocked to see anybody going in there and getting two wins on that trip. It is a good road rip for us to have out of the way.

"We accomplished a lot this last weekend. We have to make sure we don't blow it protecting out home court. These games will be very big."


Olson: "Everybody is sort of shocked to the loss to Cal, but they have been playing well and doing a good job. SC showed their potential with that win over North Carolina. It was a case where they pretty much dominated that game.

"It is always a big game s far as our fans are concerned and players. UCLA still has that name recognition even though in recent years it has been us and Washington or us and Stanford. UCLA is always a big game, nationally because it still carries some of the magic from the wooden years.

"Our mental approach will be solid. Our guys know what it is going to take to end up on top of the league. It is a long haul. You can't afford not to be ready to play every time out, home or away."

On UCLA's Aaron Afflalo:

Olson: "I have always liked Afflalo. It seems like he has gotten stronger and become more proficient from the perimeter. There is no question in my min he will be an NBA player and he will play for a long time with that type of body. He is a great competitor and defends. He was their best defensive player a year ago, I thought. He plays with the same kind of fire that Hassan does."

On Ivan Radenovic's struggles:

Olson: "With Ivan we need to get him to make the same adjustment that Hassan did where he becomes a scorer and no somebody who is looking to be a shooter first and a scorer second. He needs to take the ball to the basket more. He needs to use his mid range game. He is relying too much on stepping out with the perimeter shot."

On returning to the AP poll:

Olson: "I still don't understand it. I guess the fact we dropped out of there is due to the schedule more than anything else. If anything should convince they should play an easy schedule and play a lot of home games that would do it….I am sure many of the voters we had the three losses were teams that were ranked and none of them were home games. I take that as a matter of voters not doing their job in checking."

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