Feb. 1, 2001
USC Head Coach Henry Bibby:
Q. Would you say that you have to shoot well from outside and get the Collins brothers in foul trouble in order to beat Stanford?
A. Well, I don't know because we didn't beat them and no one has beat them. So, I can't say how you're going to beat them.
Q. What was your game plan?
A. Well, my game plan is to not tell you what my game plan is. My game plan is to use it again when they come down and we play them at home.
Q. Was this the game you were looking for?
A. We had a lot of guys play well tonight, and this was what we've been looking for all year. We've had probably one game like this other than this game, and that was the Long Beach State game where we had four or five guys playing [well]. I thought everybody came ready to play tonight.
Q. Did you feel the team was calm coming into the game?
A. I felt we were very much under control. I felt the game plan we wanted to play played out. The kids knew that: the kids knew how they wanted to play. The kids kind of dictated how they wanted to play tonight, and they played a very good basketball game for us.
Q. Were you curious to see how this team would react in this environment?
A. I wanted to see more than one guy play well, and we finally saw that tonight. I think this is how good we can be, if we really focus on what we need to focus on every night.
Head Coach Mike Montgomery:
Well, if anybody has questions about SC being for real, just ask us - they are. They're good. We played well, I'm sure I can find something wrong with us defensively, but they had guys shooting the ball, putting the ball in the hole from a lot of places and isolating. They made it very difficult. We scored about nine out of the first ten times down the floor in the second half and didn't make a whole lot of ground up because they were scoring as well. For them to come into this building and play this well is a tribute. They are an excellent basketball team. We certainly feel good about winning this game, we had to reach down and suck it up a little bit. We made plays when we had to make plays, and they just came back and made plays right back on top of us, which didn't give us much margin of error. We made free throws, we made key baskets when we needed to, Mike [McDonald]'s three was huge, Casey's basket with four seconds on the shot clock was huge. We just made plays when we had to make plays. We're obviously very, very pleased with this win. It was a hard fought win. I don't know how much better we can play. We've go to try to get a little healthy here with Julius [Barnes] out because it put a little pressure on our substitution pattern - Casey played 40 [minutes], which isn't something that we like to do. [Ryan] Mendez has the flu and was having a tough time with David Bluthenthal, yet substitution-wise, we couldn't play two small wings under any circumstances because of their size. Jason Collins really played well - he was definitely a factor in every way. We went to him consistently. I thought Mike McDonald shot the ball very well, but again we played pretty well and they played just as well. Pretty good basketball game. They shot 50% - we had to shoot 50, we had to shoot 50 from three [point range], we shot 87 from the [free throw] line to win by six at home. They forced us to do everything we could to be successful.
Q. Can you talk more about McDonald?
A. He's been shooting the ball very well, and the other thing is that in making a concerted effort to take Casey out, they were switching everything and I think they lost Mike a little but on defense. If you leave a guy open - our people work really hard on the wings and our post guys have been really good. People worked really hard on our wings and tried to post and Mike was really good. I think that's what you have to do if you're going to be good. Mike's been the shooting the ball well and he has a lot of confidence. It's going to force people to take another look at how they play him.
Q. This is the second tight game that Stanford pulled away to win - what is it about this team?
A. Well, I think they have a lot of confidence in themselves. Casey used his triple and really took the ball of the drive and made some plays. I think that really helped us and Jarron and Jason Collins inside are just huge. They take up space and get boards and are smart passers. The passes they make to each other really help us inside. I just think this team has confidence.
Q. Will Julius be ready for Saturday?
A. I doubt it. He sprained his other ankle yesterday. He's got two sprained ankles and it was pretty swollen. He thought today he could go, but he didn't even really warm up, so I would be doubtful of him getting ready to go for Saturday.