Jan. 22, 2002
Stanford, Calif. -
On the dynamic of two freshman point guards facing each other:
"It is very difficult. UCLA has been slowed a little bit in terms of offense. Bozeman is a good point guard and UCLA's stuff is not that complex. They run, get out and go, run a break and a lot of that relies on speed and athleticism. It is not hard for Bozeman to make the adjustment and UCLA is better with him in the lineup. We run a different deal, the point guard position is hard to know all the nuances of what we're trying to do. It's dependant on Chris Hernandez setting people up, a little less freelance and a little less athleticism."
On the kind of allowances you have to make for freshmen getting playing time:
"In an ideal situation, you wouldn't rely on freshmen having to be guys that are starters or playing significant minutes, but with the draft situation, those days are gone. Plus, freshmen are looking for opportunities early, they want to come in and play right away. The best ones, they look for the best opportunity to come in and play right away because like the kids now, they're looking to go two or three years down the road."
On being more patient when playing freshmen:
"You have to give the freshmen the opportunity to make mistakes, they already have enough on their plate. They are just learning the level of play and physical nature. It is not fair to expect them not to make a mistake, but you expect them to play hard. You have to keep their confidence up and allow them to go through that process."
On outside expectations of UCLA:
"If you are smart you don't pay attention to that stuff. The expectations at UCLA are always sky high and they understand that. The team just goes out and tries to play. You go in and try to play their best basketball."
On where the team is heading into this weekend:
"We are making progress, it is not leaps and bounds. I was pleased that we were more confident and we need that at home. We tended to business pretty well. We are making progress and you are seeing kids figure out how to play together."
On how far the team has come since the BYU loss:
"Learning about getting ready mentally. We are learning more about how to prepare for every game."
On Casey's dual with UCLA's Jason Kapono:
"Those guys are comfortable with their own games and I don't think they look at it any other way. Occasionally they will look at another box score and look at players they have played against across the country, but I think it is beyond that. They are comfortable in their own rights. They have probably matured enough that they are more concerned about winning games. They don't really match-up against each other that often."
"I would expect that they will play their best. Teams always do when playing another team with a reputation. They have always played better with their back against the wall, but losing at Arizona does not necessarily classify as that. That is a game that is going to be tough for a lot of people to get."
On Curtis playing against UCLA's Dan Gadzuric:
"I think that is a pivotal match-up. Curtis has been one of our go-to guys and Gadzuric might not be one of their top options. He is UCLA's inside presence. For both teams, it represents some real quality size. It is critical that Curtis does not get into early foul trouble."
On playing on the road this year in the conference:
"We have lost two and have been pretty good on the road. The teams that we have lost to have been better and we were not as good. If somebody is clearing dominate in the league, they will win on the road but it is harder because everybody is a little more balanced and experienced."
On Curtis muscling up in the post:
"Curtis just needs to get into the weight room. He is down to 230 and at 7-foot that is just not the strength that you need in this league to finish. He is shooting the ball from the outside and getting better shooting over people from the inside."
On being successful at Pauley Pavilion:
"There has been no particular reason. It has been a good match-up for us and the kids are really excited to be playing against UCLA. UCLA will always have a good reputation and it is a good environment and a great place to play. It is always a good opponent and our kids will get up for it."