Feb. 12, 2002
TALKING ABOUT JUNIOR CURTIS BORCHARDT'S RECENT SHOT-BLOCKING SPREE:
"He's got a real knack for that, a natural skill. When he came in here, we were surprised how successful he was at being able to block shots. Curtis has real good timing and knows how to attack the ball when an opportunity becomes available. Sometimes he'll step off when he shouldn't, but for the most part he's done pretty well. He took a step back with the foot injuries and I think that hurt his ability just a little, but now he's just so confident and doesn't even think about it."
ON KEEPING THE CARDINAL FOCUSED AS PAC-10 REGULAR SEASON PLAY COMES TO A CLOSE:
"The trick is to get players to play at a high level, so that they are playing at 90-100% of their capability during the game. It's important to avoid the highs and lows that take place in a game, because then you suddenly lose games that you should not. Subconsciously, you feel like you've beaten a team once already so you think you're better and should be able to do it again. You just have to point out the importance of getting the wins and hopefully your kids are mature enough to follow up on that. Seventh place in the conference is not that far from third or fourth, so you have to be ready to play every night."
ON THE EMERGENCE OF JUNIOR CURTIS BORCHARDT:
"There's no doubt he's missed some continuity over the last couple of years, so he has been somewhat behind. We knew he would get a chance this year and get some reps and he's been very consistent. This is really the first full year that he's been able to play, so I think he's done a good job for us."
ON THE THEORY OF JUNIOR CASEY JACOBSEN BECOMING MORE OF A SECOND-HALF PLAYER:
"I would say that in the Arizona State game you could just tell by the way the ball was coming out of his hand and the rotation of the ball that he was on his game. Now our guys were able to recognize this and they were able to get him the ball. He's very opportunistic, good at running the offense and creating his own shot. Casey also has that kind of range where he can shoot it from deep. I don't think we are necessarily running more plays for him, but the kids are looking to him more. Sometimes we may get a little tentative and look for him more than we should, and that's something to be a little concerned about. He's just a very cerebral player who is able to figure out what is going to be made available to him and how to score off that."
ON THE HOMETOWN ASPECT OF THIS WEEKEND'S GAMES IN WASHINGTON:
"I think kids have pride in themselves and are acutely aware that their friends are at the game. Maybe there is a little more added focus or desire not to fail, but I don't think that it (coming home and playing in front of a home crowd) affects the way you play."
TALKING ABOUT THE POWER FORWARD-BY-COMMITTEE APPROACH:
"The one thing you have is your playing time. It's not like one guy is looking at me and saying 'coach, I should be in'. We are really trying to find somebody, but games change and game situations change and you have to adapt. Right now I'm more concerned about trying to win games and get the right combination out on the floor. If you're doing what I want and working hard, I'll find a way to get you in the lineup."
ON SENIOR KYLE LOGAN, WHO HAS COMPETED IN ONLY FOUR GAMES:
"He's had a plethora of injuries (shoulder, stress fracture in his foot and shin). Kyle plays hard and he's pretty athletic and can go out and defend very well. It's just been really hard for him because right when it looks like he can get in and contribute, he gets hurt and it sets him back. In a perfect world, you'd like to have your seniors be your best guys since they have given you four years but unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way."