Game Talk: Arizona 85, Boston University 71

The Arizona Wildcats did not play one its best games and the contest was closer than anticipated. Boston University hung close, but in the end it was Arizona's defensive pressure that wore down the Terriers.

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"There were a couple of things tonight that were nice. I'm proud of the ball control we had on the offense with minimal turnovers. And defensely, when we pulled it back to half court in the second half, we had them still looking for a shot with just three or four seconds left on the (shot) clock. When you look at the three-pointers (for Boston), it just isn't enough when you shoot 29 percent."

On free throw shooting:
"Free throws killed us. A number of times we got the ball in deep and got fouled and got nothing out of it. We are going to have to knock the free thorws down. But that's something that I think will be fine. The more you talk about free throws the worse it is."

On the play of Chris Rodgers:
"One of the key times of the game was when Chris Rodgers came in and just really picked things up defensively for us. Chris comes in and puts more pressure on the ball than anybody. He and Stoudamire created all kinds of problems. (Chris) does the best job of anybody of getting the ball stopped high at midcourt. Once you do that all the passing lanes are expended. It's nice to see him really giving us that pick up."

On Rodgers' offensive progress:
"I feel comfortable with Chris defending. I'm still not comfortable with him running the offense, but point guard is the toughest position you have. Offensively he's still forcing it and that's a problem he needs to correct. But I think he'll do that."

On playing Salim and Hassan together
"We need Salim in because of his shooting ability and Hassan gives us great athleticism. Defensively, Hassan should be our leading steals guys because he's so long and he's quick. He still defends like a freshman sometimes when he's not out in the passing lanes. But Hassan is a very coachable young man and that's the reason you see marked improvement."

On Hassan only missing four shots in the tournamnet:
"That should probably rub off on people. If you take good shots, you shoot a good percentage."

On starting Hassan instead of Ricky Anderson:
"Who would you sit down, Hassan or Luke? We couldn't talk (the officials) into going with six guys so went with them."

On stablizing the lineup:
"We've played everybody a lot during the eight games of the preseason to determine who can do what in a game situation. I think we'll stablize our lineup. Recently we've started Salim, and Hassan certainly has earned the time he's getting (at the three spot). I feel with Hassan and Andre (Iguodala) we're going to be in good shape at the three spot. Chris Rodgers gives that solid defense when we're resting Salim or Jason. Chris comes in and really puts more pressure on the ball than anybody. That's going to be a factor for us when we get into the Pac-10."

On Luke Walton reinjuring his ankle:
"He's just getting back to the point conditioning-wise where he can maintain and sustain. It's just really bad luck for him."

If Luke can't play, who will have to step up?
"The guys that have to step up are Ricky and the other post players. We've started Luke at the four spot in both (Fiesta Bowl Classic) games, so Ricky will go into that spot. I think we'll be fine at the three with Hassan and Andre. We just need to get consistant play out our front line."

On Rick Anderson and his bout with the flu:
"Ricky is the best shooter of the front liners and we need him to get back. When he came back on the 26th (of Dec.) he looked like death warmed over.

HASSAN ADAMS on the injury to Luke Walton:
"We don't like to see anybody go down. He's a part of our family and we're trying to win for him (when he's hurt). We've played a couple of games without him. We just need to hope for the best. We need him to be 100 percent. But we can't do anything about him being hurt. We just have to hope for the best so he can help us like he's been doing. He gets us fired up before the games."

"The biggest thing was we had the ball in our hands and gave (BostonUnversity)second opportunities. We would lose the ball after a rebound and give them  a second chance that kept them in the game."

On playing Oregon Thursday night:
"I'm pretty sure the guys are ready for Oregon. We haven't won there in three years, so I definitely want to go in there and get a W. I think the guys will be ready and step up. This is conference play and every game counts. I've been saying all season I want to be undefeated (in the Pac-10 Conference)." 

On what it will take to beat Oregon
"I think we have to be physically and mentally ready. The crowd is going to be on you. They shoot well, so we have to be ready and not give them any second shots."

On the play of Hassan Adams:
"It's fun to watch him. I get to watch him in practice playing above the rim. I got to see him in the off season. I saw how well he could rebound and run the floor and how strong he is. He's just getting better each game."

On Luke Walton's injury:
"It's very frustrating. He's a big part of this team and he's a leader of this team. But I'm sure he's going to be ready for Oregon."

"Boston (Univerisy) is a very good team and they've been to the (NCAA) tournament, so you know they're going to stick around. They run their offense very meticulously.."

On Luke Walton's injury:
"He's had kind of a bad luck season. He's a strong guy and he's going to get over it. It's kind of bad because it's Oregon week. Hopefully it's nothing serious. The coaches prepare us well enough not to depend on one person. I feel our team really is very deep."

On the trip to Oregon
"Everybody has been talking about this Arizona/Oregon match up, but personally I feel like it's just another step for us. I feel like it's the end of one season and the beginning of another. We been talking about (playing Oregon) for a long time."

"As a team we didn't play very well. Luke did a great job, but we need to get some kind of chemistry going to beat Oregon. That's going to be the key. We had that intesity for two or three minutes tonight out of forty minutes.When Chris Rodgres was in there is the only time we had a little intensity."

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