VIDEO: Alford after Utah

Jan. 30 -- Head coach Steve Alford talks about the effort on defense in the big win over Utah...

Opening statement:
The starters did a great job tonight. Utah has been really good all year; I think eight of their last nine opponents were down six, seven or eight points in the first six minutes of the game. We did a good job in the first half to start the game and then we were terrific in the second half. Getting a double-figure lead a couple minutes into the second half was big for us.

On Norman Powell:
He’s a senior and he made a lot of big plays for us tonight. As a senior, when you get that kind of leadership, guys are going to follow. I thought it was even more than Norman; it was a tremendous team effort. Everyone trusted each other. I think everybody got a free-throw tonight except GG (Gyorgy Golomon). The guys that played got to the free throw line and most of the guys were making baskets, getting attempts and getting assists. It was a team effort of really trusting each other and that was the most exciting thing, but obviously it’s led by your senior.

On the mental difference:
It was huge. We’ve obviously been a lot better at home, but we haven’t had as many tough breaks at home as we have on the road. We’re healthy and we’ve been pretty healthy at home. I give Tony (Parker) a lot of credit. The medical staff pulled me aside and said ‘you need to know how hard Tony has worked on his rehab.’ Very few student-athletes have worked as hard on their rehab as Tony. You can see how much it helps Thomas (Welsh). We need Tony in there, he’s a presence for us and I really appreciate how hard he worked to get back to help his team. Just the mindset when you get beat by 30 on the road and you get the chance at a rematch, you want to play well in the rematch. I thought we really played well tonight.

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