Arizona Post-Game Quotes & Notes

If you were looking to Saturday's game against #1 Arizona for a lot of answers about this team, there certainly was much we learned. For more detail on what transpired in the game, including quotes from Stanford players and both coaches, plus a collection of notes and analysis... read on...

Stanford head coach Mike Montgomery

"There are an awful lot of things to pull out of that game, even though you hate to lose.  I thought we competed and we played with a lot of heart.  We just didn't shoot well."

"It hurts you to leave 11 points at the [free throw] line like we did today.  You just can't do that in big games."

"People never give enough credit to Arizona's defense.  People also never give enough credit to their rebounding.  They are a big and physical team, tough on the boards."

"It was a tremendous challenge, and the kids are disappointed but they aren't down."

"The name of the game is still production.  We missed free throws that could have put pressure on [Arizona] at the end of the game."

"I thought it might happen, given the talent and reputations of the two teams.  The officials saw that this was Stanford versus Arizona and let the game be decided by the guys on the floor.  This wasn't like what we've seen from Pac-10 officials earlier this season.  And I think we adjusted to it after a while."

"I saw us pass up some shots late that we might normally have taken.  I think that's because of misses a lot of guys had early in the game."

"I thought early on we took a lot of shots we couldn't make.  I felt we rushed a lot of shots.  Though I think we settled down in the second half."

 

Arizona head coach Lute Olsen

"It seems all too typical.  We've won four in a row here, sure, but every one that I can remember went down to the last possession."

"I thought our two guards did a great job versus [Julius] Barnes and [Matt] Lottich.  They communicated well and made sure to switch off screens."

(On Stanford's unique ability to play Arizona so tough) "They're just a very good team, and they're a very good team every year.  I've always said this about Stanford: Mike Montgomery and his staff do a fantastic job and will never beat themselves.  I think Mike has just done a fantastic job this year.  I mean, he does a great job every year, but this year is something special.  I remember preseason at the Pac-10 media day when Stanford was picked seventh.  When it was my turn to speak I told everyone they had to be crazy.  This is Stanford we're talking about."

"People say Stanford isn't talented this year, but four out of those five starters are guys I tried to recruit."

 

Stanford sophomore forward Josh Childress

"I was just trying to stay aggressive, and hoped my teammates would get aggressive, too.  And they did.  I'm just happy we played hard."

"I had a lot of adrenaline coming into the game, and I think others probably would have too if their shots had fallen for them."

"The team philosophy is to just keep playing defense.  That was our focal point as a team.  When Coach talked to us during the first half timeouts, he told us to keep playing tough defense and hit the boards.  Offense isn't as much a concern for us as defense and rebounding."

"I think guys came out too hyped.  That's definitely why you saw early shots off the back of the rim, or too high on the backboard."

 

Stanford senior guard Julius Barnes

"We came out really hyper in the first half.  It was uncharacteristic in that we forced a lot of shots.  They're the #1 team in the land, and that probably had something to do with it."

"We played our hearts out and gave it our all.  Just didn't work out for us."

"Even though shots didn't go down for us, we had a chance at the end, and you can't ask for much more than that.  I thought that last shot was going down.  I really did.  It felt good off my fingertips but was just long."

 

Stanford redshirt junior forward Justin Davis

(On Arizona playing more physically than Stanford) "I don't think that's exactly right.  They're not more physical than us.  If we were to go down to the weight room with them, I think you'd see how strong and tough we are, plus it's been shown on the court.  No, what they are is more athletic.  They have a lot of guys with a lot of talent.  I mean, look at Hassan Adams.  He's six-foot-four but plays up in the air like he's six-foot-nine."

"I think there were some ticky-tack fouls, and also some really physical plays that didn't get called."

(On the phantom fifth foul) "I have no idea what they called on that play.  I saw the ball come over the Arizona player's head and knew he couldn't get to it.  So I stepped back for the ball and the next thing I knew they blew the whistle.  I don't think anybody in the house liked that call except Arizona.  It's just Pac-10 officiating."

(On the 4-of-10 free throw shooting) "It's probably my legs being a little tired.  I had a bad ankle sprain Monday, and I'm wearing the sleeve on my knee again.  But in close games like that, you have to make your shots at the line."

 

  • Consider the battles Stanford and Arizona have had this year.  Consider the back and forth they have had the last few years, including four straight for Zona at Maples and three straight for Stanford at McKale.  There are rivalries in the Pac-10 founded on animosity and outright hatred between some schools, but there is no question that this is the preeminent rivalry in the conference today.  Talk to the two coaches; talk to the players; talk to a wide sampling of fans - and you find an unparalleled amount of respect toward each other's program.  That respect is built upon so many years of unbroken success that has outlasted the other programs out West that are up and down.  It was tough to walk away from this game feeling down about a loss, and that can't be said about Stanford matching up with any other team in the conference.  You just know these battles are Final Four quality and only served to improve both teams' preparation for NCAA tournament runs.
  • Julius Barnes and Matt Lottich have combined for a lot of strong shooting and scoring performances during Stanford's strong February run of games, so you might be tempted to point the finger when they combined for 5-of-24 shooting in this loss, including 1-of-13 from behind the three point line.  It is easy to conclude that Stanford will live and die on the fingertips of this streaky backcourt pair.  But I believe this Arizona game proved much the opposite.  Despite such a poor shooting day from these perimeter players, Stanford was so incredibly close to pulling this game out.  If one more shot goes down, their numbers still look awful, but the Card take this game to overtime.  And that was a game against the best team in the country, when the Cats hit some ridiculously tough shots.  No, I think this game proved that Stanford's tough and disciplined defense and unrelenting rebounding can keep them in any game.&nbs

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