Players at Oakland Presser

Arron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar and Cedric Bozeman answer questions from the media Wednesday at the Oakland Arena, about Gonzaga, Adam Morrison, Farmar's wrist, and more...

Jordan Farmar went through the public practice with a light wrap on his left wrist and didn't show any signs of favoring the wrist or discomfort.

Josh Shipp, who has been sitting on the bench for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, but not dressed, while practicing with the team, said he could be an "emergency option" for the team. "I've thought about it," Shipp said in regard to whether the UCLA coaches could ask him to play if UCLA was suddenly beset by a series of injuries. "I've talked to my mom about it. It'd be a sacrifice, to lose the year of eligibility, but if they asked me to do it, I would."

Jordan Farmar, Arron Afflalo and Cedric Bozeman took questions from the media. Here are the highlights:

Cedric, does it kind of surprise you that the team from Spokane has more national attention than the team from L.A.?

"I mean, I don't really know. Gonzaga has been pretty much under the radar for a lot of years. I think now they're actually getting a lot of national prominence. They've always been a good program, just under the radar."

Do you feel you've been under the radar this year?

"Under the radar? I guess. I mean, we don't really think about it as that. We just go along with our business and try to win ballgames."

Jordan, Gonzaga was one of the first schools to recruit you in high school. How hard did they come after you? Were you tempted to go there?

"They came very hard. It was actually one of my finalists, came down to Gonzaga, UCLA and Florida. They have a great program, great coaching staff, great kids. I like the community.

"UCLA has so much more than just basketball. For me, being from UCLA, knowing what wearing that four letters across your chest really means, it was a no-brainer."

Jordan and Arron, would you talk about what your knowledge was of the UCLA program before you got to campus.

Farmar: "We were very knowledgeable about our program. I think that's a big reason why we decied to attend UCLA, seeing the years just prior to us, being there, weren't going so well, being able to have the opportunity to come in and make an impact and really turn the program around to get it back on track to where it was back in the day. It was probably the most intriguing part about UCLA."

Afflalo: "Same here. Definitely knowledgeable about all the past greatness that's come through UCLA, all the banners and things, that was one of the reasons why I decided to attend that school. And I was definitely aware of the fact that the program had been down for a few years. That presented a good challenge."

How does Ben Howland get people to play defense as well as you guys do?

Afflalo: "He's an intense coach. He demands a lot of you, no mater who you are. Us three being the focal point, along with a few other seniors on the team. He just demands a lot of you. You just tend to go out there and play with a lot of pride and a lot of passion."

Jordan, you said you came to UCLA because of the struggles they had in prior years. Do you feel you're turning it around and what do you think about the future with so many guys coming back next year?

"It really is special. Especially seeing the growth that we've had this year. Last year we were a completely different team. Seeing where we started this year to how we're playing now, how we're really coming together as a family, becoming a unit, despite all the diversity we have on our team, guys from Cameroon, Canada, all over. For us to all come together when we step on the court feels really good."

Arron and Cedric, have you asked for a chance to defend Adam Morrison? If you get the chance, will you relish it?

Afflalo: "No, it's not really what I ask for. That's our job, whether it's Adam Morrison or whoever the top player is on the opposing team. That's what we do night in and night out. In that fact, we do relish the opportunity."

Bozeman: "Yeah, same here. You know, we just do what coach asks of us. We take pride in it."

Jordan, you said the wrist won't be a factor tomorrow. How does it feel today and what kind of apparatus will you wear for the game?

"It feels great right now. It definitely won't be a problem. I won't wear an apparatus. I might have a little tape on it just because it might get sore, just for some extra support. Other than that, it feels great. I'm ready to go."

Cedric, what would it mean to you personally to see this program restored to the status that it once had?

"Personally, it would be a great feeling, just to end my career on a good note. I've been through a lot of ups and downs. I've always been a team guy. Just to see this come to a place like this, it will be great and very special. I'll cherish it for the rest of my life."

Arron, what makes Adam Morrison so tough to cover?

"For one, he's 6-8 and he can shoot the three. That combination is definitely intriguing. Just gives him the ability to play all over the floor."

Can you ever imagine anyone every going for 40 against your team?

Bozeman: "Oh, man. You know, we take a lot of pride in our defense. To see one man go for a multitude of points that's pretty…that's kind of tough. Hopefully that doesn't happen against us. Hopefully we can do a good job."

Afflalo: "The same here. He's a good player, the focal point of that team. He's going to get his shots up. Sometimes you can't keep great players down. The most you can do is try to do your best. It's proven that a great offensive player usually, when he's on top of his game, will outplay a great defensive player. They just have the advantage of knowing where they want to be. Hopefully that doesn't happen to us. I think with the collective effort, we don't anticipate that happening."

Farmar: "We really take pride in our defense. Teams in general haven't been scoring 60 points. For one man to go for 40 would be an extraordinary performance. At this stage in the game, so much on the line for us, I think that's where it comes into play, that we're not going to let that happen."

What would happen if somebody went for 40? Farmar: "In film sessions, you hear the rewind and rewing and rewind over and over again if you let something like that happen. No one's come close to 40. Anything that's out of the ordinary does get shown in how bad, lack of effort we were playing defensively. Every time someone got up on us it's because we weren't really focused and playing hard the way we are now and the way we will be tomorrow."


Bruin Report Online Top Stories