VIDEO: Alford after Stanford

Jan. 8 -- UCLA head coach Steve Alford talks about what went into the win over Stanford and discusses the play of the bigs...

Opening statement:
I couldn’t be more proud of that group of young men. They’ve really been fighting like crazy. We’ve been saying it for 26 days; the team’s we’ve been playing are outstanding. We got a lot thrown at us; this is the first time since 1972 that UCLA has gone 26 days in between home games. We’re doing it with an awful lot of young, inexperienced guys and we’ve been right there, we’ve been seeing it. They have had incredible attitudes. They have fought and fought and fought. To be down 14 with nine minutes to go and you find a way to win. We have some young guys in there that grew up and matured. We had so many different things happen in that game. Guys made incredible contributions. GG (Gyorgy Goloman) comes off of the bench, has his best game and was terrific defensively when we needed it. Norman (Powell) gets hurt and tries to play again. Bryce (Alford) fouls out after hitting what we thought was a game-winner. We deal with a tough situation at the end. Tony (Parker) and Kevon (Looney) had career games and Noah (Allen) and Thomas (Welsh) came in. Isaac (Hamilton) has to play point guard the last five minutes. I just couldn’t be more pleased with that group of young men because they’ve been through a lot.

On overall impression of the game:
I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve been proud of an awful lot of teams after certain games, but no more proud than I am of this group of young men. They’ve battled and had great attitudes. They’ve been working on their emotion because they’re not really an emotional group. Even our bench, I talked to our walk-ons and the guys who didn’t play, we had great emotion. We talked about the student body. We’ve lost five games in a row, it’s pretty easy to just kick us, but our student body didn’t do that. Our students came out and really helped our guys. The energy in the building was really good. We came out and made a couple of plays in the second half and we needed that.

On importance of keeping Tony Parker out of foul trouble:
We really rolled with him tonight, we didn’t get Thomas (Welsh) into the mix like we like to. Tony (Parker) was really going. I think he really hurt them (Stanford) in this building last year. It’s one of those matchups where he felt good. He had been really good in practice. 42 minutes had to be a career-high for Tony. If you look at his numbers, he had 13 shots, 12 free-throws, 12 rebounds and 22 points; his stat line was really good. In a game where I thought he was terrific, even his foul-shooting went up. He’s only shooting about 42%, so if you shoot 50% your free-throw percentage goes up. He did a great job on (Stefan) Nastic. Nastic is a good big and he fouls him out. I thought getting Nastic out of the game was big.

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