Head Coach Lute Olson Press Conference
January 16, 2001
On his return:
"I met with the five kids to give them advice that they should get back to work and get on with their lives and they turned that around in my direction. Vicky, our oldest daughter, made the statement 'You know what mom would want you to do it at this time. She'd want you to go back.' I wanted to do it soon to get some of the emotion out of the way before the game on Thursday. That's the reason I came back yesterday morning.
"Basketball has never been a priority over family. It's my job. Family never detracts me from doing my job but family has always been a higher priority.
"The team needs stability back in terms of what they're doing. (Associate Head Coach) Rosborough and the staff did an unbelievable job, given the circumstances and pressure they were facing. The team was very shaken by Bobbi's passing. The players are coached by the whole staff and they stepped in and did what needed to be done. They did an exceptional job.
"We had a great practice yesterday. Adversity can either breaks teams or makes them better and it's made this team better. I think the team responded in a positive way. Getting back their normalcy now is really what they need.
On watching the games instead of coaching:
"It's difficult to watch the team. I would get my input in at the end of the first half, right before halftime. But it's hard because you've been involved with that team and what they've done and suddenly you are watching them like everyone else, but at least the input that I wanted was included at halftime.
On reaching preseason expectations:
"I think we can. There are some things that need to happen. We need to do a better job at putting pressure on the ball and work on both the offensive and defensive boards. They have a lot of potential and it's our job as a staff to do what we can. The player's job as individuals within the team is to understand what they can do to help the team and what they're doing that's not helping. They are going to continue to get better.
On walking onto the court on Thursday night:
"I haven't thought about it yet. But the McKale crowd is going to help that team win. That's been the one consistent thing that we can count on here. I just hope the fans will come here with one thing in mind and that's help the Wildcats win.
"This is a very good basketball team which creates a lot of problems defending them. Their big guys are good, (Brian) Scalabrine can shoot, pass or put it on the floor. (Sam) Clancy is powerful guy who's not that different from Michael Wright in terms of what he brings to the court and they have good leadership at the point. They are a good team and that can be determined by their record."