Cats gear up for ASU

It's a strange, important week for the Cats. They have nearly a full week off before playing their rivalry game with ASU. Not only are state bragging rights on the line, but the Cats are still trying to pad their tournament resume.

On the Pac-10 race:

"The league is getting down to what we said earlier, that it was going to be very competitive from top to bottom. I said you can't take a night off at home or on the road. Obviously cal was feeling very good about itself after beating us up there. ASU played really well, but there is no question Cal didn't have the zip they had two nights earlier, neither did the crowd."

On having a week off:

"Right now they need rest more than anything. That is the reason when we play the first round at ASU we schedule another game. The second round we want them to get a little more time off."

On ASU's Kevin Krueger:

"He does a very nice job at the point position. he is a good leader and very competitive young man. That carries over. He gives them a great perimeter threat that leaves a lot more space in there for the big guys. Last year when we played them they had Braxton at the point, we took his guy and put him in the lane and dared him to shoot it. With Krueger you need to be there when he catches it. You can tell he really understands the game and plays within his capabilities."

On the Devils' win over Cal:

"That was a great win for them there. If you take a look at how they played most of the teams, other than Cal at ASU, they have been very competitive with most of the team. If you gave them a few more points that record could be very different."

"Over the last couple of years they have played us tougher at home than they have up in Tempe."

On Chris Rodgers' return:

"He put a tremendous amount of pressure on the guard. What we did is we told Chris to pick up whoever was bringing the ball down Generally speaking he will get the ball stopped close to the center line. It takes them at least one pass until they get into what we call an operational zone. He did a great job of pressure."

" Great feet, strong, and very active with his hands. What Chris is doing this year that he didn't do in the past. He would put a lot of pressure but would get reach in fouls here and there where he would let them off the hook with the reach in foul. You don't' see him reach very often now. He is very quick and he is strong and he loves to defend. He really enjoys making it tough on other people. If you can have that type of presence on a guy that is supposed to get the offense started, they had people talking to themselves before they got the ball up mid court."

On the Cats being on the NCAA bubble: "At this time of the year obviously it is going to be something that will be a primary concern of everyone. We are just trying to get better every game, and I think we are doing that." we are in a position if we do our job at home we can have real momentum going in."

"If the NCAA pays attention to the teams that played tough schedule compared to teams that played really weak nonconference schedule than I don't' see any reason they could say we are a bubble."

On the Cats' NCAA Tournament appearance streak:

"We don't' bring it up. The whole thing we focus on is we want to get better and this I the time of the year that really counts. We don't' talk about any streaks."

On the importance of strength of schedule:

"If what the NCAA is trying to do is encourage people to play against good teams at your level, I think if we do our job the last three games I don't think there is any bubble involved."

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