BTTV: Cuonzo Martin Talks Colorado Win

BERKELEY -- Colorado's zone proves to be an unexpected boon for the Bears, said head coach Cuonzo Martin.

BERKELEY -- California head coach Cuonzo Martin breaks down Charlie Moore's ball security, Colorado's unexpected zone and more after a 77-66 win over the Buffaloes.

Opening remarks: “We got off to a good start. I thought it would be the opposite. When you have two starters for Colorado who are not in the lineup, I felt our guys would let up a little bit, I thought we did a great job in the first half, especially the first 15 minutes, being assertive, being aggressive on both sides of the ball. I think once they settled in, they did something we didn’t want them to do. They went with a smaller lineup. We feel like they would have the advantage, unless we played zone, especially with George King King at the four, who’s a physical presence, scores the ball, makes plays. The zone really helped us out, but we felt like, if they went small, obviously we’ve got to put one of our bigs on the bench, and that’s not always a strength for us."

When did he know Xavier Johnson and Wesley Gordon were out: “When they put the lineups in the game. I would imagine probably 10 minutes, 15 minutes before game time.” that change your prep: “What happens is, I think it oftentimes affects the players playing the game, especially when you have key guys out. You game plan, you understand what they're trying to do, you scouting report is based on those guys. Almost like a quarterback you've never seen before. [He] comes into the game, and you didn't game plan for him. We felt like their advantage, because we like to play teams with bigs out there, because it helps us. We felt like, if they went small, then they could make it tough on us, and we'd have to go to the zone. Again, the zone worked out for us."

You had some guys who normally don't play big scoring roles (Sam Singer had nine points, Kameron Rooks had nine point, Stephen Domingo hit a big three to halt a 10-2 run by Colorado): "I thought they did a great job. I think we might have scored five possessions in a row with Domingo, Sam, Kameron. Kameron's a guy, if he's healthy, he's a better scorer. I think if Kameron is healthy, and he's getting in there, he's a double-figure scorer. He's just getting his body more conditioned. He's getting there. With Domingo making a shot, he's a guy who spends a lot of time working on his shot, and we expect him to make those shots. He made it tonight. He made two free throws. We expect those guys to play and be very effective, but it helps us, just because of the way teams defend Ivan. I didn't think Ivan had one of his better games tonight. The way teams defend Ivan, corral Ivan, make it hard on him, you have to be able to step it up a a ballplayer."

"I expect those guys to perform. Domingo, in my opinion, is a better shooter than his percentages, especially in practice. I see a lot of those shots going down. Now, it's a continuation of translating to game situations, because he puts the time into it. Sam's a guy who's a better player, as far as scoring, than you see, oftentimes. I just think Sam, by nature, would rather make passes and make plays."

On freshman Charlie Moore's 17 points, and eight assists: "He's doing a great job. I think in the last three games, he's had 23 assists and maybe eight or nine turnovers, if that, which is pretty good. We want to continue to get those turnovers down. He's doing a great job, just really settling down. I think what helps [is] our guards being shot-ready. Keeping the ball in Charlie's hands, and keeping balls alive -- I think, earlier, he was making plays and giving the ball up quickly, as opposed to keeping the ball alive, probing the defense and making plays that way. Our guards are doing a great job of continually moving to be in position to receive balls. Then, when you have your bigs corralling, diving to the rim and making plays, it's tough. We've just got to continue doing a better job of moving, to allow him to make plays." has let up in the second half quite a bit (and a 23-point lead shrunk to 5 on Sunday). How much stronger are you guys now than you were at the beginning of the year: "They might be stronger, but my heart is getting weak, though. I just think, the great thing about it, and again, we talked about the end of this game in the locker room, we've got to do a better job of maintaining and taking those leads up higher. For some reason, I don't know, we just get in situations where we get a little fancy, we go off script, and then some crazy stuff happens. We get the leads and we think it’s OK to let up. The thing for us, we get the leads because of how we defend, rebound and play hard. We can’t get consumed with whether shots fall or not fall, and I think that is the biggest key. We have to defend from start to finish, the same way, and again, continue to make plays. Oftentimes, we know when teams can score on us, when we have certain match-ups and certain things we're willing to give up. You hope it doesn't happen, but sometimes, that happens. Again, I think the great thing about our guys, they don't put their heads down, and say, 'Oh, man.' A year ago in that situation, or two years ago, guys put their heads down, but these guys keep plugging. They keep plugging."

On Kingsley Okoroh playing with the mask, has he worn it before: "Not a lot, because it happened, he got hit, the last game [against Utah] he got hit, and I can't remember. We just played. Man, he got hit the last game [on Thursday], and he had the mask on [Sunday]. He hadn't really practiced, though, because of the short turnaround. We had a walk-through, got shots, but we haven't really gone five-on-five like that in practice, but he'll be fine."

Dontae Coleman did not play (back): "We've got to get him healthy. I think he'll be ready next game. I think he'll be ready." Top Stories