On the win over CS Fullerton:
We just came out and tried to build an identity on defense. We didn’t like the way we played against Oklahoma and North Carolina, and Coach talked about this being an identity-builder game, getting mad when somebody scores on you. We took a giant step today defensively as a team, so I’m really excited about that. I think that was the lowest shooting percentage we’ve held an opponent to. That’s great for the guys. We’re building trust in our defense. It’s going to be interesting how we build off this game.
On ironing out mistakes:
We’re just trying to get better every day and learn from our mistakes, learn from the losses and get better in practice and take it on our chests to be hungry and be one of those defensive lockdown teams. We have a couple of games before Gonzaga and Kentucky to get there. These guys are really hungry and really focused on getting better each and every day, and we’re just going to take it one game at a time and one practice at a time.
On close games:
No, not at all. Coach talks about situationals all the time in practice. They do a great job of putting us in those types of situations in practice similar to what’s happening in games. I don’t miss having close games. We’ll take a 20-point win, a 10-point win, whatever it is. It really builds character and shows us our weaknesses and flaws. We’re just trying to build on that, so when we get into situations we know how to perform and come out on top.
On the difference from the defense:
We were more ready, more focused. It was something we needed to work on. We came in real energized and wanted to make a statement.
On what the defense ironed out:
Just being more consistent. A lot of times we play defense in spurts and then let up and give up an offensive rebound. We did a better job of that. And we took better shots. Today we made sure we focused on that.
On if they had a chip on their shoulder:
It was just a learning experience to see where we were at. We played two great teams, two top teams in the country, so it was our first time playing someone at that level. It was a great learning experience. We learned what we needed to do. One thing was defense, which we tried to do today.
On he and Tony Parker:
Tony and I just wanted to make a statement early that we control the paint. We wanted to lay down the law. We played better inside-out. We wanted to get our guards going. Rebounding is a big thing for us. We wanted to control the boards, and we did that today.
VIDEO: Players after Victory
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