Coach's Corner: Olson on Tourney

Lute Olson addressed the media just minutes after the brackets were announced Sunday night. After taking some time to watch his team practice and digest game film, Olson had a much better feel for what would be seen Thursday afternoon in Salt Lake City. Olson discussed a wide range of topics at his weekly press conference.

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Question: How was last night's practice?
Lute Olson: "Last night's practice was an excellent practice. It was not long, but it was spirited and the guys were really focused. We could see that they were well rested and it didn't look like anybody had any aches or pains. I was very pleased with the practice and I felt like they (the players) were too about how they had competed."

Question: How does the team approach its bracket?
Olson: "At this point, we have one-game seasons. And you hope you get another opportunity for another one-game season. We don't care who else is on our bracket, right now all we care about is Vermont."
Question:How will Jason Gardner rebound after a poor shooting performance against UCLA?
Olson: "Jason (Gardner) is a competitor. It's very difficult to go through a season without a down night. But all that is in the background. All we have to do is look at what's ahead of us."

Question:What do you know about playing in high altitude?
Olson: "The thing that concerns you if you're playing in altitude is if you don't have good depth. That should not be a problem for us. The only way, they say, that you can deal with altitude is if you're there a long time in advance and this is not long enough."

Question: How do you handle freshmen at this time of year?
Olson: "The biggest thing is that you can't make this any different form what you've done all year. The seniors called a meeting prior to practice last night and I'm sure that they just tried to let them know that this is just another game. You can put a title on it, but we've played a lot of games throughout the year and it's a continuation of what we've done all year."

Question: How important is the video department at this time of year?
Olson: "The video department is obviously really important. As soon as we found out who we were going against, we were able to pull out the semifinal and final games of their tournament-their two most recent games. We're able to get started immediately, if not you'd have to overnight it and it would have gotten here sometime this morning. But by then, Coach Tention has a scouting report and had done the break down."

Question: How much parity do you see in the NCAA Tournament?
"All you have to do is take a look at the fact that seven of the top nine teams lost last week. The parity and the competition points out how balanced things are. If you're wondering why did this happen in tournaments, tournaments are generally held at neutral sites. Winning at home is a whole lot easier than winning at neutral sites."

Question: What mindset do the seniors take into the tournament?
Olson: "The biggest thing for the three seniors is that this is it as far as your college career is concerned. Everyone wants to go out on a high note. These seniors have had a remarkable run. When I look back at last year and what they were faced with, those three guys with five freshmen, that was one of the most amazing years that I think I've gone through in my coaching career-to see the job they did, the kind of leadership they had to provide and not just leadership by example but leadership off the court and communication. When we look back at this group years from now, it's going to be a group Arizona fans are going to remember for a long time because of their accomplishments."

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