Arizona Post-Game Quotes

After Saturday's tough overtime loss to Arizona, the Cardinal had plenty to talk about. Stanford could not defend Ivan Radenovic, and they were seriously challenged at several positions with food poisoning. On the plus side of the ledger, walk-on guard Kenny Brown helped key a comeback from 20 points down. Brown was joined by Lawrence Hill and Trent Johnson to answer questions in the press room.

Head coach Trent Johnson

Opening statement:

"Obviously, the first half hurt us, but the second half I thought we came out and played well at times and competed extremely well.  We just had some problems defensively to start.  We were lethargic, for whatever reason.  But again, you have to play two halves at this time of year to win a game.  We didn't do that, so tip your hat to Arizona."

On the effect of the food poisoning on several Stanford players:

"Fred [Washington] was under the weather.  Taj [Finger] was under the weather.  Mitch [Johnson] was under the weather.  Kenny [Brown] stepped up and played extremely well, I thought.  Lawrence [Hill] was his usual self.  We had some guys contribute.  We were in a position where we got the thing into overtime.  We couldn't get the necessary stops; we couldn't make the necessary plays to win the game."

On the decision to not play Mitch Johnson past halftime:

"He has been having problems with plantar fasciitis in his feet.  Then also, [Mustafa] Shakur is hard enough to guard without having foot problems and food poisoning.  I think it's a matter of me taking a look at him, along with our staff: we need to not put the kid out there.  It's hard enough.  Then the young man to my right [Kenny Brown] played extremely well."

On the foul by Fred Washington in the final seconds of regulation:

"I have no comment on the officiating.  I really don't."

On the difficulty of defending Ivan Radenovic:

"First of all, it's difficult for anybody when you can't be the aggressor.  But again, tip your hat to the kid.  We didn't do a good enough job adjusting to how the game was being called...  He's versatile.  He can play in; he can play out.  He shoots it.  He does a good job of turning and facing you on the block, bringing it through and inviting contact.  And he's a fifth-year guy.  He's playing against two freshmen where he has a quickness advantage.  He had a career game."

On the much improved team defense in the second half:

"Well, the energy.  For the most part, I thought for the most part we played like we are capable of playing.  And we didn't have as many breakdowns as we did in the first half.  We limited some transition basket opportunities.  Early on because of some of the turnovers we had and some of the decisions we made on the offensive end led them getting breakouts.  We were able to keep them on the halfcourt in the second half."

On Stanford a better team than a couple months ago with players (Brown, Finger, Landry Fields) developing and improving:

"Yes."

On the effect of this loss and a sixth-place Pac-10 finish on an NCAA Tournament bid:

"My sole effort and concentration is on the Pac-10 Tournament.  But if you look at the full body of work, why wouldn't these young men be in the NCAA Tournament?  If you want me to go into details, I will.  Everybody wants to talk about what happened at the start of the year - the Air Force loss or the Santa Clara loss.  Well, our best player in the post was not out there and our second best player in terms of returning guys was not out there.  You start talking about all of the ranked teams we have beaten, there are five of them.  There is only one team who has gone to Virginia and won this year, and it's been this group."

"More importantly for me, this group coming into this year had Mitch Johnson being the lone guy who was a returner that played any quality minutes.  And the improvement of this young man [Lawrence Hill].  And the improvement of Anthony Goods.  Granted, Anthony went down at a crucial time at the University of Washington when we were down five.  For these guys to respond and still come back and beat a ranked team like Oregon and be in a situation where they probably should have beaten a team in Arizona tonight at home that was probably ranked by many of you in here and by many across the country as one of the teams to go to the Final Four - and we're playing shorthanded.  For me, I don't make a lot of excuses and I don't worry about that stuff.  But if you look at it objectively, I'll ask you that question: why wouldn't this team be in the Tournament?"

"All of that being said, we have a Pac-10 Tournament to play, and we're looking forward to getting this taste out of our mouth, playing whoever we have to play on Thursday.  Then see if we can push that to the next game, and then the next game.  Sixth place, if that is where we're at - these guys don't feel good about that.  This is Stanford University, and we have a rich basketball tradition.  10-8 or 11-7, that's not what we play for.  The disposition in me and these young men - that's what you see and that's how they feel."

On the team's schedule the next few days:

"We're off tomorrow.  We'll have media at 3:30 and we'll practice at 3:45 [on Monday].  We'll get a good hard day's work in, and then we'll go light on Tuesday.  I think we leave Wednesday to head to Southern California."

On the things Kenny Brown provides beyond shooting:

"In the limited minutes that he has played all year, for him to come out there and be on the floor and play the game he played against Shakur, who is probably one of the better point guards in the country, let alone our league.  That's enough said right there."

Redshirt sophomore guard Kenny Brown

On the feeling starting the second half down by 19 points:

"We did it versus UCLA.  We just had confidence in ourselves and our team sticking together.  That's what we've been preaching all year - just to stick together."

On how the success he enjoyed helped his play:

"It just helps with the confidence level, but also you have to pace yourself and take the right shots.  Take good shots.  I think the coaches have also been preaching that to me, so I have learned to take better and more quality shots."

On the three-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime:

"We have been practicing that everyday.  It's routine to have fastbreak shots like that...  We just do the same play that we practice in practice everyday.  We executed it pretty well, and it just fell."

On the storybook day for him before the ending:

"I guess.  I was happy to get the opportunity.  I was happy to play.  I was happy to contribute.  But as I said earlier, we're a team.  We play together.  When everyone contributes like we did in the second half, we can be successful, even with guys under the weather and with Anthony out."

Sophomore forward Lawrence Hill

On the disappointment of coming back from 20 points to overtime and still losing:

"Yep.  We have to play two halves.  We didn't in the first half.  Just like coach said, we for whatever reason didn't have any energy."\

On the contributions by Kenny Brown in the second half:

"He let his defense hold them off on key possessions.  Then he turned that over on offense and brought us the offensive side.  We've seen that out of him the last couple days.  That's just the kind of guy he is - a hard worker who doesn't have to say much; he plays."

On how he felt going into overtime:

"We just talked about how we have to come out and go ahead right away, like Gonzaga did against us in both overtimes.  Arizona came in and hit some tough shots and got to the free throw line.  We had to do the same, which was tough to do."


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