Arizona Men's Basketball
Head Coach Lute Olson- Weekly Press Conference
February 27, 2001
"In looking with where we are at this pont with our team, defensively I think we are playing well. I think we can still play better if we can get a little more consistency in forcing opponents out further to start their offense. I think has become pretty consistent for us."
"The other two areas that you've heard me talk about that are concerns have to do with the number of processions each team gets. That is going to be determined with your offensive rebounds, offensive boards you give up and the number of turnovers you commit. We are at a situation where we are averaging giving up almost 15 offensive rebounds a game in league which is too many. That is a number we have to cut down to single digits."
"The other area is the turnover area. We will have halves where we will have four or five turnovers and other halves where we will have nine or 10. If we cut it down, way down like we did in the second half against Arizona State, there is no reason why we can't sustain it for a game. These areas need to be shored up for us to be a team that's going to have the opportunity to beat anyone we play."
"We had a good practice session yesterday. You can sense the fact that we are getting down to where things really count."
On Oregon State:
"With Oregon State at this stage I think very competitively. They had a big win over USC and a great chance against UCLA and probably should have won it. As you can see in the point totals against the two southern california teams they have become a very patient offense. They are defending well which I think they have done all along."
"Looking back at our game up there (in Corvallis), they had good looks, they just could not hit their shots. We need to do a better job defensively than what we did up there. Their (Oregon State) has been coming up the past couple of games."
On cause of turnovers:
"Sometimes we try and make a great play and those are the ones we need to cut out. We don't need to make the great play. Sometimes it is a case of try to make a great pass, a low percentage pass and when you make that if the play is completed it looks great. More often than not it will get you in trouble. I think our guys have enough confidence in our offense in getting good looks that they don't have to make the great play."
"Our situation is that we have to take care ourselves game by game. If things break right, great. If not, we just look back at 1997 and look back and see what is more important, winning the conference title or the NCAA tournament title? It is not that ancient to these guys that they don't recognize that. Our practices have been very good. You can just see that they are getting primed. We have played really well ever since the Oregon game. I think our progress has been very steady now."
On senior forward Eugene Edgerson:
"The thing you can always count on out of Gene is that he will always play hard. That is one great thing about his play. As soon as he comes off the bench he is ready to go. He told me when he came back that he was glad for the leave of absence because he realized how much it meant to him. That really opened his eyes of what he wants out of this. What he has done since then is he gets in and plays and is shooting a good percentage because he is very selective with the shots he is taking are very selective. He recognizes what his role is and is doing it very well."