VIDEO: Alford after California

Jan. 11 -- UCLA head coach Steve Alford talks about the two-game winning streak heading into the USC game next week...

Opening statement:
It’s always a key after you win the first game of a home stand to back that up. I thought our guys did a tremendous job of doing the things we needed to do. I thought Tony (Parker) struggled early, but we established post-feeding early in the game and in the second half he was really good. I thought another big key was Norman (Powell) and the job he did on (Tyrone) Wallace; holding him to four points, three assists and three turnovers. That will probably be the low game for Wallace all year. I thought that was a tremendous key to our defense. We held them (California) to 54 points and 40 percent shooting. This team came in leading the conference in assist/turnover ratio and they had nine assists and 16 turnovers. I was really pleased with our defense and I thought our offense did a lot of really good things as well. I liked the ball movement in the first half, but I didn’t like our pace, but in the second half our pace was much better. Overall, this is a tremendous win for us.

On Norman Powell:
I thought he was terrific tonight. He practiced hard yesterday. He could tell you what percentage he is, but I hope his percentage stays where it is. He had 14 points, four steals and guarded (Tyrone) Wallace the whole game. He knows it’s a team effort, but he’s mostly responsible for holding Wallace down. For him to sustain a bruise to his hip and practice as hard as he did yesterday, I thought he was terrific tonight.

On the team’s confidence:
If we’re talking about getting three wins in nine days, the mission is over if we don’t get the second one. We have a mission to get three wins in nine days and now we have a chance to do that. It’s not going to be easy, we have to go on the road again for three straight. If we do it, we’ll get this thing tilting back the right way. This is a very tough stretch and our guys know that. We have a chance to right it and we’ve gotten better in the last week. It’s great for the team because they’ve worked so hard.

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