Game Talk: Arizona 95, Davidson 69

Davidson shot 56 percent in the first half and was down only 45-39 at intermission. The "other Wildcats" might have thought they were within striking distance, but it was just a matter of time before Arizona's relentless attacking defense would take over.

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"In the second half it was obvious we had too much quickness and too much depth. When shooters lose their lift and lose their legs, all of a sudden good shooter are not great shooters anymore. Take a look at the way they shot it in the first half and how they shot it in the second. It was just a matter of our team's depth."

On the team's defensive effort:
"I thought we played with a lot of emotion on the defensive end. If you noticed, we picked them up from a three-quarter standpoint more so than full court because we felt we could bother them more in the half court with our size and quickness. We have to play with emotion and passion and I thought we did that much better."

On the play of Chris Rodgers:
"It was a great job by Chris Rodgers off the bench. I've said all along he's our best defensive guard and you can see that with his ranginess. He really did a great job of harassing people when he was out there."

On Rodgers' progress at learning the point guard position:
"He's doing a better job of getting the ball ahead to people. That's a huge adjustment for high school guys who have been "all everything" to their team to understand and see how important it is to include everybody else. It's not how many points you score, it's how good you make the other guys on the court."

Will Rodgers be seeing more playing time based on his play against Davidson?
"One game does not a season make. We'll see, but it's obvious with his talent that he can really help us. There's never been a question on the defensive end. (Chris) frustrates our guys in a practice situation too."

On the play of Channing Frye:
"I thought Channing's second half was probably his best half of the year to date. Last year as a freshman he was feeling his way. Channing has to play really aggressively. When he does, then he's a very good player. In the second half, anybody that came to the bucket he was a presence."

On starting Frye instead of Isaiah Fox:
"We started (Frey) tonight because we think he's ready and from a confidence standpoint we thought it would be helpful."

On Hassan Adams' 17 shot attempts:
"You don't realize at the time how many opportunities he's getting because I had no idea that he had 17 shots. But a number of those came off of the offensive boards and filling the lanes on the break. I thought he played well."

On having Luke Walton back in the lineup:
"It was great to have Luke back out there. Obviously, you can see what he makes happen with his leadership and his presence."

On the hard fall Jason Gardner took going in for a layup on a break:
"Jason took a pretty hard fall. His tailbone is sore and I doubt we'll even practice him tomorrow."

On why Rick Anderson did not play:
"He should be ready to go on Monday. He had the flu and just a personal matter that I thought we needed to be handled.

JASON GARDNER on it being such a physical game:
"We're going to play teams like that in the (NCAA) tournament that play physical like that, but we have to keep our composure and play through that. So in a way it was good for us."

"Basically, I'm just out there playing hard and having fun just to get this crowd going and get my teammates going because they feed off me."

On Luke Walton:
"I'm just happy to have him back. He's encouraging me and I'm happy he's back."

"I think today Coach (Olson) just needed a spark off the bench and I was one of the first options he went to. I just have to be patient and when the opportunity comes I have to be ready to play."

Were you more pleased with scoring 14 points or the extended playing time?
"I was more pleased with the victory. That's first and foremost."

Do you get discouraged not playing?
"It can be (discouraging) at times, but you have to stay patient and good things happen for you."

How do you stay prepared to play not knowing when or if you will play?
"I just want to come in and play hard in practice and hopefully it will just carry over to the game.Coach knows best for the team. So whatever lineup he wants to go with to win the game is the lineup he's going to go play. It was a good example of that tonight. I just tried to play hard, doing the right things and make as few mistakes as possible."

"I'm just kind of getting into my own right now. I think I'm getting used the rotation and used to my role on the team. I'm learning, constantly learning and trying to get better every game."

How do you feel about the way you are playing?
"Even though people say I played all right this game, I can still feel like there is a lot of things I can work on. I feel like right now I'm getting used to the team and Luke is back and that makes a lot of difference."

Are you and the team playing with more intensity?
"The intensity is getting there right now. In the second half we came out with a lot of intensity. I think the first play (of the second half) when Hassan got a steal and a dunk, I think that kind of opened it up. I think that kind of aggressiveness and tenacity are necessary.

On blocking Wayne Bernard's shot midway through the second half:
"(On the previous play) I felt kind of bad, because I'm the big guy in the middle. I feel it was kind of disrespectful when No. 22 (Ian Johnson) went in there for a little lay up and I was right underneath the basket and didn't jump. So I felt like I had to make my presence felt."

What was the difference tonight from the way the team played against LSU?
"I think this game was a lot of fun and I think that's another reason we played good. When you're having fun you're a little more relaxed. The last (LSU) game everybody was looking forward to going home. Now that we've had time to rest and see our families, we're going to be alright."

On having Luke Walton back in the lineup:
"It's big advantage. He creates big problems at the offensive end. He's a workhorse and he's always on the glass. He's always around the ball. Just having his leadership out there is a big help."

"Basically, I'm just out there playing hard and having fun. I just get this crowd going and get my teammates going because they feed off me."

On having Luke Walton back in the lineup:
"I'm just happy to have him back. He's encouraging me and I'm happy he's back."

"I felt remarkably fortunate at the end of the first half to be within striking distance. I guess my optimism turn quickly, very quickly in the other direction when I saw the way Arizona came out after us in the second half."

What was the key to the game?
"I think if you look at the bottom line our field goal percentage was the key to the game. Arizona made every shot we took difficult. Arizona, because of their defense, forced us to take difficult shots and perhaps shots we should not have taken. To me, that's the story of the game."

What caused the most difficulty for your team?
"I think it starts at the point position. Chris Rodgers came off the bench and set the tone for their defense by doing just a sensational job of corralling the point and corralling the transition game and making the entry into our offense extremely difficult."

Did Arizona surprise you at all?
"Interesting enough, we expected tremendous pressure during the whole game from Arizona. We were prepared for it, but they did not throw that kind of pressure on and that had been their calling card during the first month of the season. They didn't us use the full court. They used kind of a passive pressure in the backcourt that disrupted our rhythm. Then in the front court they put extreme pressure on every ball. They didn't deny the passing lanes, but when our guys got the ball they made it very difficult for him to do anything with the ball."

To what do you attribute your team's foul problems to?
"We were a step slow. More quickness by them and our reaction was slower. There were times when we got in position and there were times when we were not in position. When we came out of position we got ourselves in foul trouble."

You've played Duke and Arizona. Can you compare the two?
"You look at the final scores (of both games) obviously Arizona gets the nod.

What was the biggest difference in the two games?
"Wayne Bernard had 28 points against Duke, he had three points tonight. I think it was more Arizona than anything else. Their defense was superb."

What was it about Arizona's defense that caused so many problems?
"Arizona wore us out. They wore out because they constantly attacked us. They attacked us on the glass, they attacked us in transition, and they attacked us on defense. And to me that's what makes Arizona a top program in the country, because they were able to do all those things. And that makes them a very special defensive team."

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