Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin talks about Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, development of Kameron Rooks

BERKELEY -- Cuonzo Martin talks about his team's performance against UC Santa Barbara, as the Bears move to 2-0.

Cuonzo Martin Quotes:

Opening Statement: “That was a hard fought game and watching those guys on film, they have three legitimate scorers; guys that can make shots, make shots off the dribble. We thought that if they could win the game, those three guys had to beat us. I thought Jaylen [Brown] and Stephen Domingo did an exceptional job on [John] Green because he’s a big-time rebounder when you watch him on film. He keeps the ball alive, he’s very aggressive. I thought those guys did an exceptional job of keeping him off the glass. I thought Tyrone [Wallace] was really good as far of attacking and getting to the rim. I thought we got stagnant in the zone in the first half, didn’t move as well, didn’t post up, weren’t as aggressive, settled for three-point shots. I have to watch some film, but I thought we settled for quite a bit of 3s as opposed to having an opportunity to score. It felt like there were seams in the defense and watching film, we could attack the rim and shoot spot up 3s, but I thought we shot some deep ones and tough ones. Overall, good performance.”

Green went 3-for-9 from the field, and 5-of-11 from the free-throw line, with 12 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes. the play of freshman Jaylen Brown: “I thought he was locked in on [John] Green because Green was more about focus. [Gabe] Vincent was a good player, [Michael] Bryson too. Two talented players, but I think with Green - he’s averaging 13 rebounds. When you watch him on film, he’s aggressive, and he keeps balls alive. I think that was his focus more than anything. He knows he can score the basketball, but he made a conscious effort to keep that guy off the glass and I thought he did a great job.”

Vincent shot 2-of-7 from the field, and 1-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc for five points, with two rebounds, one assist and one turnover. Bryson was troublesome, shooting 8-of-18 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point land, adding a 3-of-4 night from the free-throw line for 23 points, and pulling down three rebounds, dishing out three assists in 36 minutes.

On point guard Tyrone Wallace: Tyrone is very talented player. When you spend four years in college, you’ve seen a lot, experienced a lot, battled and tested. He’s been in big games. With the way games are being officiated, if you can’t hand check a guy, he’s one of the toughest guys to defend. He’s a consistent three-point shooter. It’s hard. I got back to the fact to when you have a guy who struggled from the free throw line a year ago, but still wanted the ball down the stretch in games. That told me everything I needed to know about Tyrone.”

On point guard Sam Singer and center Kameron Rooks (who played 14 minutes, went 2-of-4 from the field and 1-of-1 from the free-throw line, pulling down five rebounds and adding two blocks): "Those are two really sound players. I think Kam is really playing with a lot of confidence. He took the brace off [his kee] about two, three weeks ago, and you can see the way he's running, the way he's playing. Sam is just sound. Sam, for me, I can look at the stat sheet, I can tell how Sam played. Sam can have 15 points or zero points, but I can tell how Sam played by the floor game. That's the most important thing for me, with Sam. If he had 15, great. If he had zero, it's how he played on the floor -- is he defending, is he rebounding, is he facilitating, running the team with his pass fake -- Sam brings a lot of those things to the table, so his gauge for me is not necessarily how many points; it's how he plays, because he brings a level of calmness when Tyrone's out of the game. Even when Tyrone's in the game, he becomes the point, so now, Tyrone can play off the ball."

What does Ivan Rabb need to do to stay out of foul trouble (he had three fouls on the night): "I just think going through it. It's so hard to do, when you're playing post defense, you're playing without fouling, you're moving your feet, you're aggressive offensive rebounding, you're cutting, and again, I have to watch the film to see exactly each one of those fouls, but he has to be aggressive. I don't want him to worry about that. I want him to play, move his feet, keep your hands off guys, stay aggressive, just keep doing what he's doing."

On the 43 fouls called in the game and the emphasis on hand checking, does it make it hard to get into a flow: "I think so. I think, when it's all said and done, everyone will play pack-line defense, and play zone, when it's all said and done, if it stays the way it is. I don't know you extend your defense. A guy drove past you, you bump him, you body him, a hand check is a foul. You have to call it every time, if that's the call. Hopefully, you have some guys on your team who can make plays off the dribble."

On Jordan Mathews' shooting: "You have to be ready to shoot, and, in my opinion [he is] one of the better three-point shooters in all of college basketball, so that's part of his job: To be ready to shoot when the opportunity presents itself. You don't have to tell him twice. That's the beauty about him: He's ready to let 'em fly."

Mathews ended the combined 0-for-11 start to the game by both teams with two three-pointers, and went 3-of-6 from long distance on the night, and 6-of-9 from the field.

"The one thing we were willing to give up -- and I shouldn't say willing -- in watching film of those guys, when they start running their ball screens, and they use the big guy to set screens and roll the set screen and screen and roll, we were willing to give up with their point guard shooting pull-ups -- one (Eric Childress) and eleven (T.J. Taylor). We wanted those guys to have the pull-ups. Normally, in that situation, we'd bump and recover, and get out to the shooter, but we didn't want the shooters to get shots -- 24 (Bryson), 2 (Vincent) and 31 (Green). Now, we broke down twice in the second half, because our ball screen defense broke down, and one time, Jabari [Bird] had to really over-help, and he did his job, because we broke down up top. We were willing to give their point guards those pull-up J's all night, because if they're shooing them, then that means those other three guys aren't."

On the team's ability to share the ball: “We try to share the ball. It’s very important. When you have multiple guys that can score and make plays, the most important thing is California winning the game. What they work on so much is who’s the next guy. If the next guy’s a better shooter, I know I need to make this pass. Now, the next guy’s a so-so then it’s different, I might drive it. It’s just a lot of studying, personnel and practice. If the next guy’s our best shooter, I definitely have to get the ball to the next guy. It’s reading and making plays. At the start of every practice, it’s about penetrate, pitch, and understand who is who. You make plays from that. You have to be aggressive, be willing to share the ball, and I think they’re doing great with that.”

How different a player is Rooks: "He lost some weight. He's playing with a lot more confidence. I think, when you're 300 pounds and you have the surgery, now he's 260 pounds, to be able to play without a brace, just to have the confidence to go through that, you have to see some success somewhere, to say, 'OK, I like what I'm seeing,' and I think, in the last three weeks, he's starting to see success. He's played really well in my opinion. Soft hands around the rim, can finish around the rim, makes good decisions. I think he'll just contiue to get better." Top Stories