Pac-10 Tournament Post-Game Quotes

The post-game press conference after Stanford's 83-79 overtime defeat in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinal was different from most we have seen for the Cardinal this year. There was some discussion of how Stanford slipped late versus USC, but more questions of Trent Johnson surrounded his team's NCAA Tournament credentials. Also, Anthony Goods discussed his return to action and 37 minutes.

Head coach Trent Johnson

Opening statement:

"Tough loss.  We had an opportunity down the stretch to put the game away, and we didn't make the necessary plays at the offensive end and the defensive end.  So we came up on the short end.  I can't fault our effort.  Kids were out there trying to make plays and just let it slip away."

On any question whether Stanford will garner a bid to the NCAA Tournament:

"No, none whatsoever.  Going into this year, we probably were the youngest and the most inexperienced team in this conference.  Quite frankly, this conference as good as the conference has been - as Coach [Lute] Olson said, in the last 25 years of existence.  Everybody talks about our 'bad losses' against Air Force and against Santa Clara.  Against Air Force, we didn't have our best post player and our backup in Peter Prowitt.  Then you look at our road victories.  We beat a Fresno State team on the road when they were 9-1.  We went into Virginia, and the last time I checked, nobody has beaten Virginia there.  Then we got into situation where we were playing pretty good basketball.  We beat probably the best team in the country, when they were up 17.  We managed to score 50 points against them in the second half.  Then we were beaten by a Gonzaga team that was playing well and had their best player, [Josh] Heytvelt, at that time.  Then Anthony goes down.  Anthony Goods is probably as valuable to our team as anybody, whether it be Darren Collison or Gabe Pruitt to their teams.  The goods did a good job of adjusting, picking up the slack and playing well.  We managed to beat an Oregon team pretty handily at home.  When you look at the full body of work, it would be hard for me to sit up here and say that these guys don't deserve to be playing in the NCAA Tournament.  But I don't control those things.  We had opportunities to take it out of the judges' hands, so to speak, and we haven't done that.  So shame on us."

On whether Anthony Goods' injury was the biggest reason Stanford has lost four of its last five games:

"Anthony, when he went down, was probably one of our top three players.  He had evolved into our point guard situation.  Anthony Goods to our team is probably more valuable than Darren Collison to UCLA when they went back and played West Virginia - that's how I look at it.  But I can't fault Kenny Brown's effort in terms of how he has played.  Mitch Johnson, out here running around with plantar fasciitis, can barely move.  Then Fred [Washington] has done a heck of a job all year long in [inaudible].  We aren't a program - never have been and never will be - that makes excuses, especially anybody else will give us anything.  Regardless, we are going to play basketball in some tournament next week.  Hopefully it will be the NCAA Tournament."

On this time finally getting healthy with Anthony Goods back and going in the right direction:

"Yeah, we're healthy but didn't play well the first 15 or 16 minutes.  Then Anthony's team got in a little rhythm.  As much as I want to give credit to USC, it's hard from the standpoint of how well we played on the road - and it's a road game, man.  It's a road game.  Whoever makes the decisions, if they can't evaluate that, then so be it.  The thing I'm frustrated with - and it is frustration - is that we had a couple situations where we should have gotten stops and should have gotten rebounds that we have been making and have been doing.  We had a couple situations where we didn't knock down free throws.  You have to live with that.  I have no reservation about how I feel about my team.  I don't have to defend anything, but if this conference is as good as everybody says it is - last 25 years of existence - then why wouldn't a 10-8 team and 18-win team be in the Tournament?  Also mention the fact that USC is on a run.  They're good."

"I'm disappointed and defensive because this is a game we should have one, pure and simple.  Just look at the full body of work.  Everybody talks about a bad loss here and there.  Well, Air Force wasn't a bad loss.  We didn't have one of the best freshmen in the country, and Peter Prowitt was hurt.  It's a fact.  We beat Oregon without Anthony Goods, which is a pretty good basketball.  UCLA up 17, and we score 50.  That's good enough for me, and it should be good enough for anybody who looks at the facts."

On why Stanford can win if they play in the NCAA Tournament:

"Well because we have beaten UCLA.  We've beaten Oregon.  We beat Washington when they were ranked.  We beat Washington State when they were ranked.  We beat USC when they were ranked.  We lost to Gonzaga in overtime when they were playing with their best basketball player.  We went to Virginia and beat Virginia, when they were playing as well as they have all year.  We beat Fresno State out of the WAC with [inaudible] young team.  We have a talented team and can play with anybody on any given night if we do certain things - defend, rebound and take care of the ball.  Pure, plain and simple.  But we'll see."

On the game turning in the second half:

"Our inability to take care of the ball against quickness hurts us.  We have Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez and all of the freshmen.  Kenny Brown is a walk-on who stepped out and was playing against Gabe Pruitt.  Anthony just comes back.  Mitch has plantar fasciitis.  These are facts.  These are not excuses.  Did the game turn?  I thought we did a helluva job battling to get back and to take control over it.  This is not a comment about the officiating, but they went to the line four or five times because they were the aggressor, and that put us back on our heels.  We tried to go into the post, and we couldn't get it done.  That's it."

On 37 minutes for Anthony Goods a heroic effort:

"He's a young man and a kid who likes to play.  'Heroic' - I don't use terms like that.  [Is it beyond what you would have expected?]  No because I asked him how he felt, and he said he felt fine.  He looked fine.  He took every shot in rhythm.  His free throws - the first one went down and out; the second one was short.  It happens."

Sophomore guard Anthony Goods

On whether he tired down the stretch:

"I wasn't really tired.  I just didn't make plays."

On the difficulty playing defense in the later minutes:

"No, it was fine.  They were just making plays, and we weren't.  I was alright."

On Stanford slipping late in the second half:

"We bailed out shooters and left a lot of open jumpshots.  And we just weren't making plays on the offensive end."

On whether he saw Taj Gibson when he took the last shot in regulation:

"I saw him for a split second.  I tried to plant down on Gabe, and he popped up.  It was a good defensive play."

On his expectation for minutes in this game:

"I thought I would come in for maybe 10 or 15.  But I'll just do whatever coach asks.  I felt like I could do it.  I was kind of worried to see how long the ankle would hold up, but it did alright."

On how the ankle feels afterward:

"Fine."

On whether he played more minutes because of his production or because of the ankle feeling good:

"The ankle was holding up better than I expected."

On how the players feel about Stanford's bid for the NCAA Tournament:

"We would love to get into the Tournament, but like Coach said, it's out of our hands.  There is nothing we can do about it but sit at home and wait."

On why Stanford is worthy of the NCAA Tournament:

"We beat some good teams.  Then again, we lost to some teams we probably shouldn't have lost.  I don't know.  It could go either way.  Just have to hope and pray."

Senior forward/guard Fred Washington

On whether USC's effort had an ebb and flow:

"Not really.  I just thought we played well and were beating them pretty good, and then we started making dumb mistakes on defense.  We couldn't get a stop, and that killed us."


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