Press Conference - 11/30/99 - Pre-BYU
On the Preseason NIT:
"It was a great opportunity for us to face some zone and see a lot of different looks. We saw a little bit of full court and 3/4 court pressure. At this point, one of our goals is to get a lot of different looks as you go along. We have been defensively solid so far this season, and we have faced some strong teams both inside and out.
"BYU will create more problems for us. They shoot the ball very well from the outside, and they also have a solid inside game. They play good defense, as well, both inside and out. They are going to be a lot like what we dealt with against Notre Dame.
"BYU will be looking at this as a great opportunity to come in here and beat a good team. This will be a good barometer as to where they are in the season. This is probably their first true test of the season. They play very hard, and play well together inside and outside. They zoned us a lot in Provo last year, so we will probably see more of that this year.
"To this point in the season, we have done a good job defensively, but generally defenses are ahead of offenses at this point in the season. We have been able to create a lot off steals, getting a lot of points off them. We have done a good job in transition of converting the steals into good shots or lay-ups.
"We looked at this (the upcoming games) at the beginning of the season and knew that this week-and-a-half stretch was going to be the toughest games before we get into conference play. These games are probably going to be great for us, one way or another. We are going to learn a lot from them, win or lose.
"We always try to play at least one game in a tough road environment before be start conference play. Texas should be sold-out with the way that they are playing right now. They are a very veteran team, and they have good balance inside and out, and we will be playing them in a very hostile environment. We haven't been in a hostile environment yet. I thought going to New York, we might be playing in more of a Notre Dame crowd, but I think that the crowd was mostly in our favor.
On playing UConn in the Great Eight:
"That is certainly going to be an exciting opportunity for us to play the defending national champions in the United Center. Next to Madison Square Garden, that is probably the most recognizable site because of what the Bulls were able to do for such a long time. It is going to be great for Michael Wright to get back in front of his neighborhood. Jason Gardner is going to face his biggest test at the point (guard) position. He will be looking forward to that to see how he is playing so far this year. This type of game is why guys come to play at Arizona.
On Richard Jefferson:
"I have been very pleased with Rich's development on and off the court this season. The reports that we have been getting back from his classes are that he is doing well and being very consistent there. We tell the guys that being consistent is not just on the court, it has to be both places. When you are consistent in the classroom, it follows you onto the court. Richard is doing a great job individually on the court, but he also has developed some strong leadership skills on the court. A year ago, you would not have expected that from him. He is also doing more than just scoring. He is doing a great job on the boards and is defensively solid."