Oregon State Post-Game Quotes

It was one of the ugliest first halves of basketball in recent memory, highlighted by Stanford's 16 turnovers. Then the Cardinal collected themselves and stormed to a 20-point lead before winning 70-55 over Oregon State Thursday night. Sophomore Lawrence Hill (23 points) and freshman Brook Lopez (20) commented on both the offense and defense, along with head coach Trent Johnson.

Head coach Trent Johnson

Opening statement:

"A win is a win.  It is very obvious that we were struggling early.  I think the kids were a little tight on one end of the floor, the offensive end.  We had some unforced turnovers, but they relaxed and came out the second half and played better basketball.  A win is a win, and a win is a good win in this league."

On how he felt up four points at halftime after 16 turnovers and shooting 34.8 percent:

"I felt good.  I felt good from the standpoint that I knew we weren't playing well.  Like I said, we were tight on the offensive end of the floor in terms of unforced turnovers, but I think for the most part that's what happens when you have a group of guys who have a tendency to over-try and want to win too bad.  It's easier said than done to relax at this time of the year, when the stakes are so high.  This is a basketball team, as we all well know, that is for the first time in the position of so much speculation and so much talk of tournaments - NCAA and NIT.  Third in the Pac-10 or second in the Pac-10.  Again, it's another step for us.  I don't think we played particularly well in the first half.  I didn't think we played particularly well over the weekend.  But we found a way to win at home, and now we have to get ready for a very, very good Oregon team."

On the Pac-10 results earlier in the evening (Cal over Oregon, USC over Arizona):

"It doesn't really matter.  We're more worried about ourselves.  We're more worried about playing better basketball.  I thought defensively we were pretty good today.  From a rebounding standpoint, we were pretty good.  42 to 29 on the glass; we were good.  And then Brook [Lopez] was good on the offensive end.  So was Lawrence [Hill]."

On telling his team that defensive performance can outlast offensive struggles:

"Well, I don't tell them anything.  I think they realize that.  I think we were all disappointed that at times last weekend, we got out-hustled and out-worked at crucial times in games.  For the most part, these guys are not going to let that happen again.  We know we can defend with anybody in this league.  We know we can rebound with anybody in this league.  The stats are what they are.  We just have to not worry about the offensive end when shots don't go down, and do a better job taking care of the ball.  We'll be okay."

On shutting out Sasa Cuic, Oregon State's best player:

"I thought whoever guarded him did a good job.  Brook started on him, of course.  I thought once Taj [Finger] came in, Taj does a really good job defensively, as we well know.  I think the main emphasis was making sure he didn't get off to a good start.  Rotate because they set a lot of on-ball [screens] for him, and he slips and spots up at the three-point line.  I thought for the most part, the adjustment we had coming into the game is that we wanted to squeeze all of their on-balls - bigs on littles, littles on littles, so on and so forth.  We did a pretty good job.  We also put a lot of pressure on our perimeters.  When we squeeze, now they have to go underneath to get in the lane at the point of attack.  But for the most part, we took their number one and number two guy out, which I thought was Cuic and [Marcel] Jones."

On the recent quiet productivity of freshman center Robin Lopez:

"I think that there has been more emphasis on him defensively, but also I think he's playing well [gestures to Brook Lopez] and scoring more points.  He's scoring more points [gestures to Lawrence Hill].  I think Robin is fine.  I said this, and I'll say it again - it's amazing the young kids in college basketball across the country.  They're freshmen.  They're freshmen.  We expect them to be world-beaters right out of the gate, but they're still learning the game.  I said about a week ago that Robin had hit the wall.  What I meant that 'he hit the wall':  he's been out here all spring and all summer.  He hasn't missed a possession, offensively or defensively in practice.  It's going to happen.  But as far as his effort and commitment in practice, it's consistently good.  And he gives us other things defensively and rebounding.  Offensively, I'm not worried about him; it's going to come back around.  Brook is in a situation where he is just starting to round out into shape.  With a lot of kids across the country, they're starting to struggle.  You look at the upperclassmen, sophomore and juniors, and they've been through it.  They know what to go through."

On Brook Lopez continuing to get stronger:

"Yeah, he's getting stronger."

On the update with the high ankle sprain of Anthony Goods:

"He's in a walking boot.  I would be surprised personally - I'm not a doctor - if he's available when we play the Arizona schools.  Those high ankle sprains are tough to deal with.  My only experience with one of those was Michael McDonald when I was an assistant here, and that lingered for a month and a half to two months."

On what walk-on Kenny Brown brought to the court:

"A lot of energy.  He wasn't afraid to shoot it.  That's not something Kenny is.  What did he get up - five shots in about four minutes.  I know he played 17 minutes...  Kenny, like Landry [Fields], knows that they have an opportunity to shoot the basketball.  That's a pretty good position to be in.  I can't foresee any college player who wouldn't want to be in a situation like that, where you have good inside outside scoring and Lawrence on the wing.  All you have to do is come in and shoot the ball.  He's taking advantage of his opportunity.  We'll see what happens on Saturday."

Sophomore forward Lawrence Hill

On the team playing tight:

"Yeah, and then other times too loose.  We just have to find the happy medium.  We're working on it, trying make sure we can get better.  We know it's there; we know what our mistakes are.  We can't hide it.  No matter how it happens, we're just trying to fix it...  It's playing within ourselves, while making plays.  There are times when we have to go out there and take advantage of what the defense gives us.  There are times when we have to go out there and play for each other, as far as running the play.  It's been a long season so far, so it's not like we don't know what we have to do."

On the chance to play Oregon on Saturday:

"It's what we're going to be working for the next 48 hours.  Every game from now on, since what we did last weekend, is all us.  Go out there and win games.  Payback is always good, just like Cal.  And we get to have Arizona later."

Freshman forward/center Brook Lopez

On the first half full of turnovers:

"It was just kind of frustrating for me personally.  We came off the tough games up in Washington, and I really wanted to bounce back quickly.  I feel like we came out a couple days in practice and competed really well.  We worked really well against each other for two hours.  I felt that we could come in here right away and go from there - just dominate, really.  But it was kind of a slow start."

On missing Anthony Goods:

"Obviously it's a big hurt.  Anthony is a big time player.  He helped us a lot.  I think we can definitely step up.  We got big minutes from Kenny Brown and other players.  Offensively, we may not score as much, but defensively I think we can hold down as well."

On the difference between turnovers in the first half (16) and second half (six):

"I guess we had butterflies at the beginning.  With Anthony out, it's kind of a different lineup - a whole different setup.  After we played that half, we still had the lead, as poorly as some of us felt we had played.  We felt we could come back in the second half and play really well."

On the spurt in the final 10 minutes from a one-point lead to 20 points:

"I think we just picked up our intensity.  The bench did their thing.  The crowd was in to it.  We tried to lock down defensively, and that just led to fast-break points."

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