Arizona State Post-Game Quotes

How much is there to say after you defeat the conference's 10th place team on your home floor? Plenty for Stanford on Thursday night, as they stayed ahead all game of an Arizona State team that had given fits to the best in the Pac-10 lately. Trent Johnson, Mitch Johnson, Fred Washington and Lawrence Hill discussed defense, scoring against ASU's match-up zone and feelings on the NCAAs vs. the NIT.

Head coach Trent Johnson

Opening statement:

"It's a good win for us against an Arizona State team that's improving.  We knew it would be a fight coming in, and that's exactly what it was.  But it's a good win for us."

On winning a tough game without much from Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez:

"It's a team.  It's been like that all year long.  Let's not be blinded because Brook has had four straight good offensive games.  There are two sides to the game.  This is a team.  These guys have been picking each other up all year long, so it's nothing surprising."

On what this team is doing now better than in December:

"In certain periods of the game, I think we are doing a better job playing with confidence and staying aggressive.  These guys have been very close to the vest in terms of their comments, but the bottom line when you lose a guy like Anthony [Goods] down the stretch - as important as he was to this team - it speaks volumes that these guys have been able to come out and compete at a high level both offensively and defensively and continue to play.  You ask them the questions about the NCAA Tournament and NIT tournament - well, this is a group going into this year that the expectations on the outside of the locker room, nobody thought that they could do that.  Articles and comments have changed from week to week."

"Going into this year, this was a group of guys on this team where they only guy with proven experience was Mitch [Johnson], in terms of how much he played last year.  Fred [Washington] was hurt.  When you look at what they have accomplished to this point, yeah, they have a reason to feel good.  But we have a saying in the locker room.  They'll echo my comments; I'm not speaking for them.  We're not happy.  We're not satisfied.  From that standpoint, with all the changes that have been made and the caliber of teams, players and coaches we have gone up against in this league, it's pretty pretty impressive that to this point this team is 18-10 overall and 10-7 in conference."

On the latest with injured sophomore guard Anthony Goods:

"He's still back in the pool.  He won't play Saturday, and he'll get reevaluated on Monday."

Sophomore point guard Mitch Johnson

On the difficulty playing against ASU's match-up zone:

"We knew, especially recently, that they have been getting out and pressuring the ball, even in the zone.  So we knew that even going against a zone, it would be like a man, where you have to break your man down and get into the lane to make other people better.  I think you saw that sometimes tonight, like with Freddie and some other guys, where they were in a zone but the guy guarding the ball would get so much up into him that you have to make a basketball play."

On ASU making it tough to put them away:

"Coach said earlier something that their past eight or 10 games have been decided by less than six points, or something like that.  They haven't stopped fighting all year.  We knew when we got up double digits, they were going to keep fighting.  That's what they did all the way to the end.  Like Freddie said, they're on the verge of being a very good team."

On his comfort now in quickly taking the open jumpshot:

"Yeah, I think so.  I am definitely shooting the ball more confidently.  I think a lot of that comes from Freddie making other people better by getting into the seams and kicking the ball out.  Lawrence and the big guys down low, when they get doubled on the box or the short corner, swinging the ball.  Yeah, when I have the ball and there is no one anywhere around me, I kind of have to shoot.  I'm definitely more comfortable."

On what Stanford did well in this game:

"I think we played hard.  I think we rebounded for the most part.  I think a lot of times, those two things make up for our mistakes.  We played pretty good defense for the most part.  They missed a couple shots which they might usually make, which would have made it a little different story in the first half.  But we play pretty good defense; we rebound the ball; and we play hard.  Those are kind of the three staples to our team.  When we do that, we are usually competitive."

On why it is important to go to the NCAA Tournament:

"That's every team's goal, I feel like.  You either go to the big party or the little party.  Everybody on this team didn't do that last year, and that's something that this school does every single year.  It's not our focus, but at the same time, when you look at it like that, everybody wants to go to the NCAA Tournament."

Sophomore forward Lawrence Hill

On this win as possibly locking up an NCAA Tournament bid:

"We're not really thinking about that.  Just win everything that we can.  That's up to other people to decide, and we just go out and play hard to win."

On the spark in the second half by Kenny Brown:

"He came in the first stretch and did everything coach tells everyone to do.  He came in and got the tough rebound.  He hit open shots.  And he played hard defense."

Senior forward/guard Fred Washington

On the team not caring if they go to the NIT:

"No.  Like [Lawrence Hill] said, we don't think about that.  We have one game left.  We can't worry about stuff on the outside, and that's that.  That's all we care about."

On why it is important to go to the NCAA Tournament:

"Because we want to play for a National Championship.  That's why we are here.  ('But you might have a better chance winning the NIT...')  Who cares?  That means you're the 66th best team."

On how Stanford played vs. ASU:

"We played alright.  They're better than their record shows.  People who don't play against them scoff at that, but they're an up-and-coming team.  They have talent.  They have a good coach.  And they've definitely been playing a lot better the last part of the Pac-10 season.  They almost beat UCLA.  They beat USC, who is a very good team.  They were close against Arizona.  They have been close against a bunch of guys; they just couldn't get over the hump.  That wasn't a bad team we played tonight.  They're on the verge of a good team.  We're happy with the win."

On the spark in the second half by Kenny Brown:

"That's what we expect.  That's what he does."

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