Gonzaga Post-Game Quotes

The Stanford team was as exhausted and disappointed at the end of Wednesday night's double-overtime loss to Gonzaga as you were. Things were clicking well in the first half before Gonzaga's zone defense tripped up the Cardinal, though head coach Trent Johnson puts more of the fault on Stanford's turnovers and defense. Sophomore forward Lawrence Hill also discussed how he went from hot to cold.

Head coach Trent Johnson

Opening statement:

"Obviously a tough, tough loss. But when you don't defend and you don't rebound at crucial times, as we all know, and don't take care of the ball - we definitely didn't take care of the ball in the first half of the game. We had some defensive breakdowns. They're good, though. They're really skilled, and they put a lot of pressure on us. That's pretty much it."

On Gonzaga pushing offensively in transition when Stanford's offense stagnated:

"First of all, our offense was stagnant from the standpoint that they were in a zone. We had open shots and didn't knock them down. Then when they went the other way, they ran and were really aggressive at breaking us down at the point of attack. That caused some problems in transition. We were getting some good shots. Lawrence [Hill] was getting a lot of the same shots he had in the first half. Mitch [Johnson] hit some open shots. They shaded Anthony [Goods]. Brook [Lopez] and Robin [Lopez] got the same shots in the second half they had in the first half. It just didn't go down for us. They go the other way, and they're tough to guard, as I mentioned earlier. They have five or six guys who are really skilled. And they're good. They were able to execute. The bottom line is that we got off to a good start offensively, but we weren't taking care of the ball. As I mentioned to the guys, we were in a situation where: when you play a team like Gonzaga, who wants to play fast, and you start giving them possessions, they get in a rhythm offensively. That's what hurt us at the start of the game; that's what hurt us at the end of the half. As much as we were stagnant, it had to do with the ball not going down for us at certain times in the second half and late in the first half."

On the team losing focus:

"This is a good group of guys. They don't lose focus. They come out and work for the most part all the time hard. As much as we hate losing this basketball game, I think you have to give credit to Gonzaga. Gonzaga is a pretty good basketball team. Our mistakes early on got them back in the game, so to speak. Then our inability to hit shots at crucial times throughout the second half and late in the first half hurt us. Like I told these guys in numerous timeouts, as long as you continue to shoot the ball with confidence and don't get tentative, I have no problem with it. This guy [Lawrence Hill] has been making plays for us all year long. We got the ball to him in a situation in the post; there was a lot of contact there; and he gets knocked down. You move on."

On Stanford's legs getting tired in the second half:

"For the most part, I thought they looked alright. Anthony is chasing Jeremy [Pargo] around, but he still has the legs to jump up and shoot a 35-footer and hit some threes. This group is in pretty good shape. You know, we had a guy have a career game against us. Pargo had a career game. That's his best basketball game ever, and that's what beat us in two overtimes. And they went to the free throw line 38 times."

On lessons for Brook Lopez in shot selection upon reviewing this game tape:

"When I get a chance to review it, I will. Sure, there are lessons for Brook, just like any college player when you are trying to hard and you want to do too much. You have to let the game come to you. Brook and Robin, like all of our freshmen - and I told the guys this in the locker room before we came out: this is a new experience for us. This was a situation coming off a huge win, with everybody excited. We had to see how we were going to come out and compete, and they competed. We competed our tail off. They were focused and ready. The ball just didn't go down for us, and we got beaten by a pretty good team."

On free throw shooting as a concern after a 61.5 percent night and missing key free throws late:

"Anytime you miss shots, I don't want to say it's a concern, but our free throw percentage and our shooting percentages are what they are. Free throws - we spend as much time on that as anything we do. It's not a concern to me. I would like to shoot 80 percent. I would like not to miss them. But I'm not going to sit up there and worry about it. As long I know that these guys are putting forth the effort and doing what they are capable of doing, that's all I worry about."

Sophomore forward Lawrence Hill

On what Gonzaga did defensively after Stanford's early offensive run:

"They stayed 'zone' the whole time. The one time they went 'man' was probably at the end when Anthony hit the shot to put it into double overtime. They progressively got better at talking. Nothing changed, though."

On his 6-of-6 shooting in the first half as his best at Stanford:

"I guess, if you go by numbers. But that's not what I pride myself in, so I can't say that is one of the best."

On the difficulty of this loss:

"They're a great team. Their record doesn't show how good they are. But I know we could have beaten them. I knew when we had our surge at the beginning. That's going to hurt. But that has happened in every loss this year. It's not new."

On feeling a sense of destiny to win when Anthony Goods hit the long three-pointer to send to a second overtime:

"No. It just made it another five minutes - just another chance to go at them. Also another chance for them. In both overtimes, they made runs at us."

On the team losing focus:

"No. Like Coach said, I feel like some shots just didn't go down, and they pushed it at us. Their style of play got the better of the foul situation. With them being in a zone, we had to push it at them - we did at the end. No, we had focus. We just didn't pull away."

On a change in his shooting rhythm upon the move from the small forward to power forward position in the second half:

"Not really. I'm more comfortable at the 'four'. I turned the ball over a lot and had mistakes that I have to work on at the 'three'. The way it turned out wasn't positive, but all the guys can play many positions, and that's just what I have to do, too."

On losing the flow when sitting with two fouls in the first half:

"The only time where I feel that I'm not in the flow, I guess, is when I'm taking bad shots or shots out of the offense - things that no one else can rebound or is prepared for. I was able to hit some of those kinds of shots today, but missing those same ones in the second half hurt me. Then they go down and take it to us. Missed shots, just like Coach said, I don't worry about."


Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up) and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!


The Bootleg Top Stories