March 5, 2002
MikeMontgomery: (2:07 PM ET ) Hi, thanks for stopping by.
6th man (Stanford): What do you think about the team's ability to play zone?
MikeMontgomery: (2:08 PM ET ) I think we're getting better at our zone. I don't have the confidence in the zone that I do in our man to man. It is hard to rebound out of a zone and sometimes we don't sustain our effort.
Pac-10 Champ (Stanford): Will the team be working more on its full-court press?
MikeMontgomery: (2:09 PM ET ) The full court press has hurt us particularly against SC. We need to be more confident and try to attack to make them pay for pressing us.
MaplesLover (Stanford): Will the team be making another trip this summer like the Australia trip?
MikeMontgomery: (2:09 PM ET ) We are only allowed to make a summer tour once every four years.
John (Woodbridge): What is your opinion of the play of the three freshmen thus far this year?
MikeMontgomery: (2:11 PM ET ) I really like our three freshmen. I think the future of our program is in good hands. With our style of play it is difficult for freshmen to pick up all of the things we do however they have really helped us. They are great kids and have great futures.
Ryan (Fresno): Coach congratulations on a great season and good luck in the tourney. After the UCLA game your backup point guard, Hernandez's 3-poing shooting in the second half was about the only thing that kept you guys even close in the final minutes while everyone else was ice cold. After seeing his ability to handle the pressure in the big games along with his playmaking ability and superb hustle, do you see Chris possibly getting any starts in any of the upcoming games?
MikeMontgomery: (2:12 PM ET ) We really like Chris Hernandez and he will continue to get quality minutes. However, I've tried not to make starting a big deal and will probably continue to start our senior point guard Tony and use Chris as the situation demands.
Carolyn (Canby, OR): Hey Monty, What has been the most challenging aspect of coaching this year?
MikeMontgomery: (2:13 PM ET ) Dealing with the expectation level that we have created and trying to blend some interesting personalities together with four new starters has been particularly challenging.
Carol (Portland, OR): Best of luck to you and the team in the "Madness of March'.. Any thoughts on the PAC Tourney? I know you are not one of the coaches that was wild about the idea.
MikeMontgomery: (2:14 PM ET ) The PAC-10 tournament should be great for the spectators given the quality of the games. Four games on Thursday are all great matchups and should make for great watching. Whoever wins the tournament will have stood up to some great competition.
Washingtonian: Coach- I've been watching the progress of your big man Curtis Borchardt throughout his career. He seems to be getting more and more comfortable dominating games. My question to you is how good can he be? A possible first team all-american, a top-five pick?
MikeMontgomery: (2:17 PM ET ) Curtis has made great progress this year. It's the first season he's been able to complete. With a good offseason program to increase his strength, Curtis should be a first-team All-American, an Academic All-American and a top five round draft pick.
John in Oakland: Hi Coach. Just wanted to say I love the way you lead this team. I'm just starting out as a basketball coach and have a quick question: How can a senior point-guard (Giovacchini) on a D1 team get away with picking up his dribble so much? Isn't this something a point guard should learn not to do when he first starts playing? Thanks a lot! John Kreiter
MikeMontgomery: (2:18 PM ET ) Playing point guard in this league on this level is a very difficult job given the quickness of the people we play against. It's not always Tony's fault when people aren't open when they're supposed to be. Being able to attack and retreat to buy yourself time is a great asset for a point guard.
Mike (Agoura, CA): Coach: In the two previous games this season against USC, it was apparent that USC was bigger and stronger--and played that way. In light of Stanford's gritty physical wins in Arizona last weekend, do you think the team now has the physical tools and the fire in their eyes (that was clearly missing in the last SC games) to make a difference this third time around?
MikeMontgomery: (2:19 PM ET ) USC is big and strong, physical and experienced. We need to step up and match their intensity for us to have a chance to win.
Scott in Fresno: What did you say Saturday to receive the T? It looked pretty "touchy" to me on TV. Good luck, beat the Trojans!
MikeMontgomery: (2:21 PM ET ) The officials by March become pretty sensitive and have about had it with us coaches. For some, it doesn't take much to set them off. I don't like technicals and always feel bad. But certainly some are more deserved than others.
Brad (Cincinnati): Mike - I drove to Indy to watch the Purdue game and Josh Childress had a great game. I flew out to watch the Oregon series and Joe Kirchofer played great against Oregon and Teyo Johnson played great against OSU. How do you decide who gets the playing time?
MikeMontgomery: (2:23 PM ET ) Different match-ups provide different problems for our team. Sometimes not being able to defend certain people limits their playing time, other times, the confidence based on past experience and practice performance will get a guy more playing time. The more productive players that you have, the better off we are.
m.b. in l.a.: Your team returned to your style of basketball last weekend. The team was aggressive,played hard-nosed defense,and was mentally tough. What was the catalyst for change? why has this been so difficult to achieve this year? your fundamentally sound, hardworking style of basketball is a pleasure to watch.
MikeMontgomery: (2:24 PM ET ) Our team seems to play best when we come off a loss and are backs are to the wall. That seems to be a trait of younger, less experienced teams. Getting this group to a consistently high level of play has been difficult. When we have been physically challenged, sometimes we have been backed off. I think we are tougher now than when we started the season.
Denver: I've always been impressed with the teams' consistency from game to game in years past. However, I've wondered if this has disabled the team from "peaking" at tournament time. They play as they have all season, but don't have the ability to achieve the greater level of play required to go deep in March. Do you think there's something to this? Do you do anything to achieve a 'peak' in March? Tom
MikeMontgomery: (2:26 PM ET ) Good observation. My philosophy has always been to try to win every game. As a result, what you see in the regular season, is pretty much who we are. Teams that can coast and still win, or get into the NCAA tournament, always seem to have the ability to play better in big games. We try to play hard in every game.
Pat, Nashville, TN: Coach, with the PAC-10 so evenly balanced this year, do you think it's fair to say that seedings in the PAC-10 tournament aren't very important?
MikeMontgomery: (2:28 PM ET ) I think it's fair to say, that each team could make an argument that they have the toughest first-round game in the tourney. The fact that four teams tied for second shows the balance of the league. To win the tournament, you're going to have to win three tough games.
Lewster64: Could you expand on what you mean by "interesting personalities," from your answer to Carolyn from Canby.
MikeMontgomery: (2:29 PM ET ) You'd have to be around the team in the locker room and in practices to understand. It's much too complex.
MikeMontgomery: (2:30 PM ET ) Sorry, I have to run but I have a teleconference to go to, which you can listen to on gostanford.com Thank you for your questions.