Arizona vs. UCLA
January 20, 2001
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson Quotes"This was a great team win. It was definitely a game of two halves. The first half was theirs, and the second half was more clearly ours because we outscored them 55-22. It was obvious that we became much more aggressive defensively as the game went on. If you defend long enough, things will work out, and they did because the harder we worked, the better we shot, especially in the second half."
"We had an outstanding second half, and the key to that success was the play of Luke Walton, Gene Edgerson and Richard Jefferson. Walton and Edgerson came in off the bench, and they played great and had great enthusiasm. (Jason) Kapono is a heck of a player, but Richard did a great job defensively and held him to only four points."
"Jason (Gardner) had some unbelievably open shots, and he couldn't buy a bucket. But, he did a great job defensively and did a great job of taking care of the ball for most of the game."
"In the first half, we were playing reactively on defense instead of proactively. We were reacting to them running their defense. We were letting them get the shots that they wanted, and we were playing too soft on their high post guys. We came out in the second half and put a lot of pressure on them, and we forced them out of the areas that they wanted to go."
Arizona Player Quotes
Junior forward Richard Jefferson:"Luke (Walton) had a great game. Gene (Edgerson) played great defensively. But that was only half of a game. We're trying to put together a whole game."
"That's why I was frustrated when I wasn't playing well offensively. The team wasn't playing well as a whole. But we're being more patient. Early in the season, we'd go one pass, then shoot or two passes, then shoot. Now, we're being more patient."
"We all stayed positive. We've stayed together. We have too many good people, good coaches and good players, to not do well. I think our team defense has been key. Your team defense leads to offense."
"We had a little bit more confidence after going to Washington. We started beating the teams we should beat. We have to continue to get better."
On Coach Olson:
"He is definitely able to pull the best out of players. He is a basketball genius."
Senior forward Gene Edgerson:"I come in the game to give all I have. My job is to play within my capabilities. Things are great now. I was making something out of nothing."
"On offense, we've got so many guys who can score that I don't need to fill that spot."
"Now that I have the opportunity to get out there and show what I can do, I'm getting the job done. Not many kids have the opportunity to play here, I'm grateful to the University of Arizona. I go crazy when I get in the game and people are screaming 'Gene, Gene.' That's my fuel, it makes me go crazy."
Senior center Loren Woods:"Basically, we just tried to wear them down. We know they have great talent and great athletes. We just tried to wear them down. That's the level we need to maintain to stay at the top of the Pac-10."
"We got all our guys back. The chemistry is there. We just need to maintain that intensity. We're playing hard for 35 or 36 minutes a game. We want to be at 40 minutes a game. But we've only got one Pac-10 loss. We're at the top of the standings and that's right where we want to be."
UCLA Head Coach Steve Lavin"We did good in the first half, but in the second half Arizona dominated us on both ends of the floor. We wore down and their pressure had created a frenzied pace. They played good smothering defense, which forced us into 21 turnovers.
"Arizona stepped up to a different level in the second half. They were well prepared.
"We have had a good run and won 8 of 10 games. We are going to go back on Monday and get ready for our next set of games.
"Ray Young was due for a break out game. He carried us in the first half with our 8-point lead.
"We miss Earl Watson in our defense, and once he is back to good health, he'll get back going."
UCLA Player Quotes
Guard Earl WatsonOn his injured back:
"When you start every game for your entire career, nobody knows your physical limitations. I am not exaggerating or being dramatic when I say my back really hurts. It is a very scary situation and I hope the x-rays I get on Monday show nothing serious.
On difference in the game:
"I think we lost our focus and togetherness in the second half. They (Arizona) beat us to the punch on loose balls and we weren't able to match their intensity in the second half."
Guard Ray YoungOn coming back:
"My focus was to get back and help my teammates win. I am glad to get back in the flow of game situations and I hope this will give some momentum to win the next time out."
"We knew that if we could sustain and contain the offensive runs that Arizona would make we would be in good shape. Going into the second half we knew that they could overcome the eight point deficit but we were focused and ready to play another good 20 minutes of basketball."
"In the second half we gave their (Arizona) players too many good looks and they capitalized on them."
Forward Jason Kapono"It was just tough luck for me out there today. The whole day I was rushing my shots and not getting my body squared for good looks. I was just never able to get into a good rhythm. The bottom line was that I played poorly."
"We started playing at a frenetic pace and it really disrupted the flow of our offense. As we forced shots it lead to big spurts for Arizona and were never able to recover."