You're taught to lead with the most newsworthy item. So here goes…
Brook Lopez missed practice from this Wednesday on. He had a good reason this time: a right hand he jammed against Kenny Brown's shoe diving for a loose ball in Wednesday's practice. Taj Finger also sat out Friday because of calf issues as a precaution. Both looked just fine against Cal, if anything fresher with the rest. I would imagine they'll be fine for the future.
Well I sure hope we don't have to see Cal anymore. I don't know the last time
we've been outrebounded, both at the half and now 39-33 on the glass.
I think Johnson's the only coach I've seen to always start a presser complimenting the other team.
The rebounding raises a good point. Stanford only outboarded ASU 36-35 in the loss last weekend, though they did handle Arizona (40-26) and the Oregon schools on the glass in recent games. So not a full-blown concern for a team that is +10.6 on the boards, second in the country to UNC, but something to keep an eye on. I don't have numbers, but it also seems to my eyes that we're less aggressive on the boards with a lead.
On his team's performance:
I thought we were resilient. They made a run, I thought we responded well. Taj was banged up and Brook didn't practice all week with his hand. We knew coming into this game it was going to be tough. We played extremely well in Berkeley and were lucky enough to win by five.
On whether he was concerned by Cal's runs:
I just think they're so good offensively that they're going to go on runs. They're going to score. I go back to Berkeley, they shot 51 percent on us. A lot of it had to do with them, more so than us.
On Goods' 20-point game:
He's been doing what he usually does, coming in and hitting a lot of shots. He needs to come in and relax. Only one person this time of year needs to be miserable and that's me. It was nice to see him come in and shoot the ball well.
TV reporters are in the house en-masse, which means we get questions like these. [Print media and television reporters dislike each other everywhere, and the Bay Area sports scene is no exception from what I've seen.] Brook Lopez is asked about the ability to have four games worth of tune-up before the Pac-10 Tournament and NCAA Tournament. Trent Johnson fires darts out of his retinas at the guy.
They've trained you well, Brook.
On his right hand:
It's fine. I took a couple of days off, icing and putting pressure on it, I was excited to come out. … I think on Wednesday I jammed it against Kenny Brown's shoe diving for a loose ball.
On Ryan Anderson:
I think he did miss some opportunities. We try to play defense on him; he's a great player. He had some open threes, he o-rebounds very well, he had some looks off o-rebounds that just didn't fall.
On his emotions battling with Anderson and Hardin:
The games do get a little heated but I'm trying to keep from exploding again, I'm trying to enjoy a bit more. DeVon, we were going at it, he'd pass under the basket and I might have hit him a couple of times, but he's a tough guy. Basketball's supposed to be fun.
I knocked down some shots. I was able to penetrate and start using the pull-up. It was good to get the first couple of shots down and I was able to get into a rhythm. My shooting goes through slumps. My team, they've been sticking with me and building confidence in me, helping me build my confidence back.
On whether a tight game like this will help the team. Also from a TV reporter:
It's definitely going to help. The last couple of games of the Pac-10 Tournament, the last couple of games, everyone's played each other twice already and it's going to be close.
On whether he'd been shooting more:
Definitely a lot more than usual. When you miss you've got to shoot a little more.
I ask Anthony whether he thinks, like Coach Johnson's said, he's needed to relax to snap his slump:
You always get frustrated when you're not playing to your potential. It's always good to relax and calm. Usually you think too much, you've just got to let yourself go and live in the present.
We outrebounded them. We made plays. We started slow and finally caught up, we just couldn't put it together. We didn't have much poise. That's what it came down to.
On whether he rushed his shots:
Yeah, especially some off the O-boards. I didn't even give them a pump fake. I defininitely rushed on a few. I've just got to keep my head up and play the next game like we're going to win. Everyone has their off-nights. Tonight was definitely one for me. The crowd gets into it. It goes against you. Once again, I kind of rushed, but it goes with Robin sticking on you like he did.
It's not over. We still have four huge games left.
Score one for Robin and one for the Sixth Man.
The print media was whining, whining, whining as Braun took his sweet time meeting with his team and then doing his radio interview, before finally getting to the writers at 8:37p.m. (Ten minutes after the final horn is pretty standard.) Reporters were calling him "little Napoleon," which we need to incorporate into our message boards effective immediately. [For the record, I've always found him really nice and thoughtful, but let's not let facts get in the way of good fun here.] One scribe, killing time, pretended to be Braun and responded to mock questions with answers to the tune of "F--- it. We got killed in every phase of the game. That's what we get for coming in here every year deluding ourselves into thinking we have a chance. I've lost my will to live. But at least we shot free throws well."
Like all good art, it did somewhat mimic reality…
That's what we addressed: we really battled. We outrebounded them. That's what I challenged them to do tonight – rebound. We held Brook Lopez to two points in a half. Those were our goals. In the second half, we needed more poise down the stretch. Jerome [Randle] had seven assists. If he has 10, maybe that's the difference. We have to take advantage of stops. That's our goal. Or if you can't get points, get the foul. That's on us. I could tell you otherwise, but that's on us. I'm okay getting a couple of those shots blocked. It's better than throwing it up and not drawing the foul. We're the best free-throw shooting team in the league and need to take advantage of that.
Ryan struggled shooting but he stepped up and still got 11 rebounds and shot 10-of-10 from the line. I know he'd like a couple back and so would Patrick [Christopher]. When you play the Lopez twins, you probably rush more than you do usually. I think it's a mistake to say let's settle for the outside shot, and at times it looked like we did.
We gave him some looks and Anthony I thought knocked them down with a lot of confidence. He nailed some. Anthony's a big shooter for his team.
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