VIDEO: Alford after San Diego

Dec. 7 -- Head coach Steve Alford talks about the 75-68 win over San Diego on Sunday...

Opening statement:
Before basketball, congratulations to Coach [Adam] Wright and his staff, the men’s water polo team getting 112. That’s bigtime, seeing UCLA get another national championship and beat USC today, congratulations to them. We have a lot going on right now with men’s soccer and women’s volleyball and the football team getting a bowl bid. So, it was a pretty special day on our campus with a lot of good things happening. But obviously, the biggest highlight was getting number 112, so congratulations to water polo.

On the game:
As for our guys, I thought we did some good things, but we got a couple quick fouls on Isaac [Hamilton] which put us a little out of rhythm. I thought he was tremendous in the second half which was really good for us. The play of Bryce [Alford] and Kevon [Looney] continues to be really consistent and we needed their consistent play today. We had some moments where we were struggling. We knew this was going to be a good test because coach [Bill] Grier and his staff do a good job and [San Diego] is a very dangerous team. Overall, very pleased that we were able to get that win in the second half, but I wasn’t pleased with our toughness in the first 20 minutes. I thought we our players came out and answered the bell much better in the second half.

On rebounding:
I think we’ve played nine games now and we haven’t been outrebounded in any of them, so I think that’s a strength of ours. We’re starting to develop identities, we’re still a young team and we’re learning. I talked to the players after the game about the things that we have to continue to learn. I talked about not committing fouls in inopportune times and having to deal with foul trouble. The board play has been consistent though. Other than two free-throw block-outs in the second half, our board play in the second half was really good.

On San Diego attacking in the first half:
With Tony [Paker] and Thomas [Welsh], I thought both of them were much better in the second half. In the first half, [San Diego] had their way with us, but the second half was much better. You have to do your work early, both offensively and defensively. You can’t play behind. We have to make catches in the post a little bit harder. We didn’t force very many turnovers or deflections in the first half, but I thought in the second half we were much better.

On Johnny Dee:
He’s such a good shooter. He comes in averaging 21 points a game. He doesn’t come in and impose his will at 6’5”, he’s about 6’0” or 6’1”, but he cuts extremely hard. This is an individual that if he stays healthy, you’re looking at a 2000 point scorer. He’s special and he’s doing it where he’s getting everybody’s best.

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