Jan. 29, 2002
ON THE RECENT PRODUCTION FROM FORWARD JOE KIRCHOFER:
"Joe has really played well in the last couple of games. He played that way in Australia and he was very effective following up shots, getting rebounds and making free throws. Joe is really at his best when he doesn't think too much and just reacts. We've been trying to get him focused on playing hard and not think too much about what he's doing."
OFFERING HIS THOUGHTS ON THE FOUR-GAME HOME STRETCH:
"This four-game stretch is really crucial. We haven't seen the Arizona schools yet this season. It's important for anyone who wants to stay on top of this thing (first place in the Pac-10) to win their games at home. Road games are tough enough in this league, and when you think about it, home games aren't always a guarantee either."
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING A CONSISTENT SCORER:
"Our offense is really an equal opportunity offense, and we run different plays on both sides of the floor. Julius Barnes is very good at the point of a attack, while a guy like Josh Childress has been the same way lately. A player like Casey Jacobsen is a little smarter and knows how to create shots and get in position to score. Curtis Borchardt is a bigger target and has skill underneath the basket. Our other kids just need to fill in around these guys and make plays. I've also been pleased with the play of Rob Little as of late. We're in pretty good shape when everyone is playing well, it just comes down to doing it consistently."
ON THE PLAY OF THE RESERVES:
"We have been able to run Julius Barnes from the point in some situations, and that's worked well. Josh Childress is a guy we've tried to use on the floor, he's not that big but he' s a guy who can make plays and is solid defensively. It's not as much a numbers game and trying to get everyone involved, but just being able to get matchups that you like and think you can exploit. Sometimes you need your best fundamentally sound players on the floor so they can get an idea what's happening around them."
ON WHETHER OR NOT TO EMPLOY THE PRESS ON DEFENSE:
"I think the press is more effective when you're playing at home. You have the crowd reacting to it and home teams tend to be more relaxed and poised. On the road, the court gets smaller very quickly. Although when teams that don't normally press suddenly decide to, they tend not to do as good of a job since it's just something they don't do often."
ON THURSDAY'S OPPONENT, ARIZONA STATE:
"Their guys are all very intense and give nothing away for free. Arizona State is a team with pretty good depth, and all of their players do a good job of hustling around. They rotate well on defense and do a lot of little things that make them a good club. Curtis Millage and Jason Braxton are very quick guards, while Kyle Dodd is aggressive coming off the bench."
ON SATURDAY'S OPPONENT, ARIZONA:
"Salim Stoudamire and Jason Gardner can both shoot the ball very well, while I think Luke Walton is the glue of that team and it's critical for him to be in the game. He has great court presence, knows where people are on the court and manages to find the open man. They have been going with a center by committee at times and play a lot of zone defense."
ON THE EMERGENCE OF JULIUS BARNES:
"He has that ability to do things regardless of what the defense has planned. Julius is a kid that can create a play and gives us a player who is solid at the point of attack. We're looking for a player we can go to in different situations to get a basket, and he's come through for us at times."