"Were excited about being here, and Im also pleased for our guys. Last week they played hard and beat two excellent teams (Boston College and Mississippi State). We look forward to the challenge that we have tomorrow against Oregon."
On being satisfied to reach the Sweet 16
"I dont think youre ever satisfied when you do what we do. Professionally, its your life and its what you do. I think everyone in this tournament wants to be the team thats last standing, the team that sets the goals the same as everybody: to win the big trophy."
On first impressions of Oregon
"You have to be impressed with any team that closes out the regular season on the road winning the championship, going to USC and UCLA and getting the job done. Theyre an extremely explosive team around the perimeter. They have an inside game that can really hurt you, too. They obviously like to run in transition and look to score on you quick. I dont think any team gets this far and does what they do unless they have versatile players."
On the teams injuries
"Were not going to play the what-if game. Were not going to do that. Were going to take what we have. Our philosophy has always kind of been that its a 40-minute game, and if we go out and play as hard as we can play and worry about the performance that were trying to get done, then well have a chance."
On the matchup of point guards T.J. Ford of Texas and Luke Ridnour of Oregon
"Its a great game when you have point guards who are point guards. I imagine that Luke Ridnour did for Oregon what T.J. Ford has done for Texas. T.J. could have gone anywhere in the country to play basketball, and he chose close to home. He put a stamp on our program. Luke chose to do the same thing. Youre looking at two guys who really enjoy passing the basketball and two guys who enjoy watching their teammates do what they do well. Obviously you are talking about two guys who are extremely unselfish."
How much pride is at stake being one of three Big 12 teams playing a Pac 10 team this weekend?
"I think that both conferences have great teams and great players. Both conferences do a good job of bringing teams like Texas and Oregon to this tournament. There is going to be some great games being played."
Is this the kind of challenge you look for?
Yes its a great challenge for myself and my teammates especially their play on the perimeter. You know you are going against great guards who can do everything. They can score and get each other involved, they defend, its just going to be a great game and its going to be a challenge.
Are you planning to try to run with Oregon or will you slow them down?
I think we are just going to play our principals. Coach Barnes stressed to us that we need to play Texas basketball. We can be a running team; we have guys that can go out on the perimeter. Weve got great post players. If the shot goes up Im confident that James Thomas and Deginald Erskin can tip it in. We have different ways of playing basketball. We played great teams earlier in the season that prepared us for this.
On playing Oregon guard Luke Ridnour
"Hes a really good point gourd. He is one of the top point guards in the country right now. He is doing the same thing for his team that I am doing right now. He is really leading his team and he has got them into a position where they havent been in a while. So youve just got to respect him for doing that. He is doing a good job changing the program around. As far as who is going to win its going to start with defense for us. That[s how I look at it, whoever is playing the best defense will win the game because with defense I think our offense will come.
Is there anyone you played against this year who reminds you of Ridnour?
"I think he has a little bit of [Dan] Dickau in him, a little Jason Gardner. Weve played a lot of different type of point guards this season and its really prepared us for the year and the type of point guard we have faced throughout the year. Hes really good, hes an open court player and he can really shoot the three so I just have to be aggressive and do the best I can on him.
On Freddie Jones and the Oregon perimeter players.
"Jones is a great player. Hes explosive, can shoot the three, passes it well, and gets his teammates involved. Their three guards are great. They are a guard-oriented team and they play well together and their chemistry is great. We are just going to have to defend them."