Inside the Locker Room: Arizona

Head coach Trent Johnson and several key players shared their thoughts after the Cardinal's tough, but very satisfying, 75-64 win over the Arizona Wildcats in the Pacific-10 Conference Tournament Quarterfinals.

Trent Johnson:

Opening statement:

It's been awhile since we've gotten to being physical and rebounding the ball. Of course, Brook was Brook like he's been all year. This is an excellent basketball team quite frankly. Arizona is going to the Tournament in my mind.

On bouncing back from the USC loss:

It's the same as it's been all year long. Whether we've won one or lost one, we've done an excellent job staying on an even keel. We played two very, very good basketball teams and we got beat by two of them.

I ask about Fred Washington's big game:

Fred's been struggling, he's been banged up a little bit. His wrist. But that was the old Fred Washington. It was nice to see. Nice to see.

On Washington State:

I think we match up well and I think they matchup well with us. They like to grind and go inside-and-out and we're the same thing. It should be a close basketball game

Johnson said the opposite for Stanford's last three opponents that they all presented matchup problems, and he was right. I think in between the politeness, he and the team are pretty glad it's Washington State tomorrow. I know they're good, but I'd much rather play them than, say, USC again. Especially after Cowgill, Low, Rochestie and Weaver each played at least 36 minutes tonight. Tonight, Arizona's starters received similarly ridiculously high minutes, and perhaps that's part of why they fell apart down the stretch.


Brook Lopez:

On the rebounding edge:

We did a good job of offensive boarding. It's just good for my confidence to know the team's got my back on the boards.


Mitch Johnson:

On the keys to victory:

I think, like Brook said, sticking to the game plan and sticking to our shots. They have a whole bunch of guys and we did a great job making it tough.

On building momentum with a win:

We definitely want to get that taste back in our mouth. Two tough losses to two very good teams, but we wanted to get our winning ways back before the NCAA Tournament.

On the key tonight:

Like I said, I don't think we have any magic tricks or secret weapons. Our gameplan is to play on the boards and pound it to the guys down low. What happened tonight, they played a heck of a game, but we kept sending our bigs in.

On Washington State:

I think they enjoy playing the same tempo as us and they're kind of similar because they like to get down, and lock guys up, grind it out and play to a similar style.


Fred Washington:

On bouncing back from last week:

We worked so hard, and for someone to take it away from me like that, there's nothing you can say to bring back a Pac-10 title. I'm not take anything away from USC, but Coach said it was not a hangover game, and I might disagree a little bit. It was one of the toughest losses I ever had, to lose in L.A. in that fashion.

On dominating down low:

We got back to what got us successful, which was rebounding. We know what we're capable of. We know there are people other than the twins, we've got people who can rebound.

On what allowed Stanford to pull away:

We started getting stops. That's what's going to win us games in the Pac-10. Everyone can score, so stops in key moments is what's going to get wins.

More on last week:

I don't think anybody stopped and talked about last week, it's kind of a rough subject. I just want to move on. And it's hard to beat a team three times in a row. I don't think any Stanford team's ever beat Arizona three times. They're great competition.

On defense:

My job is to chase around the scorer. They have five over there. Just pick one and chase...I thought we did a good job of limiting their shots and making some tough shots.

On the Pac-10:

I mean this league is a monster. I think there's nine teams over .500. Find me a league with that kind of stats. It's not going to happen. Every game is a beast.

On five players reaching double figures:

I don't know how many times we do that because we're not a high-scoring team, but we did a good job of lessening the scoring burden on Brook tonight.


Robin Lopez:

Fred played very well tonight. [Asked whether anyone can beat Stanford when they're clicking:] When everyone's gelling, I think we're a very tough team to play.

On playing hard with a lead:

I think last year we dropped it against USC and we were even up for awhile. This year, we held on and pushed the score up more.

On whether he feeds off Brook:

Yeah we do we feed off each other emotionally. I feed off on everyone on the team.


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