February 20, 2001
On Conference Standings:
"Our situation is such that we are depending on other teams for help and we certainly don't like that. The critical thing for us is getting better each game.
"We still need to make sure that we don't have situations occur where we aren't as selective as we need to be with our shots. I thought at USC we were great and UCLA we weren't and that was more than anything else the reason why we lost. Defense continues to be pretty solid. We are taking better care of the ball and we all much more consistent board wise.
On NCAA tournament seeding:
"Earlier I was asked if these games are critical for seeding. All games are critical in terms of seeding. Particularly down the stretch. None of those decisions have been made yet with the seeding. I think it is premature to talk about seeding other than the fact that we need to continue to get better and eliminate some of the problems we have had.
"The good thing is that the defense has remained consistent. That is what it gets down to and that is the most critical thing. If you can defend and don't shoot well you still have a chance to If you shoot well you are going to win by a sizeable margin. The number of possessions and the offensive rebounding and minimizing turnovers need to be consistent for us."
"I think we have been a pretty good defensive team from the start of the season. I think that once we hit the league schedule it has been getting better and better. If we have been giving up a lot of points in a game it is because of the other end-being dominated on the offensive glass and not taking care of the ball. Right now I feel good about what we are doing defensively. We are getting consistent rotation when we need it and are stepping out on drivers to stop penetration."
On sophomore guard Gilbert Arenas:
"The thing that is good with Gilbert right is that we are getting good concentration from him on the court. He comes to practice with a purpose in mind. I think he has grown up a lot. That doesn't mean that he doesn't need to continue doing that.
"When we are preparing for teams he is probably as focused as anybody we have on the team. That is a big step in the right direction with him. I think is shot selection has been consistently good over a long time.
"The biggest difference for him is people have to get out and guard him on the perimeter because he has been shooting so well which allows him to penetrate to the basket more often."
"As long as we take good shots I think we can attack the zone as good as we do the man defense. As long as we take good shots we should take we will be alright.
On Arizona State:
"They have gotten a lot better. I think as individuals they have gotten better. (Forward Chad) Prewitt is back healthy. As a team they have gotten a lot better because they have settled on combinations a lot more now than before. I think (guard) Kyle Dodd does a great job of running the ball club. It has opened (guard Alton) Mason's opportunities up becoming more of a true shooting guard. (Forward) Tommy Smith continues to improve.