Dec. 14, 2008
Wildcats Head Coach Russ Pennell:
"I thought that was probably our best overall game from tip to the final horn. I just thought the guys were really ready to play. We had a good week of practice. I felt like we had a good game plan coming in and it was just a matter of those guys executing it and I thought they did a phenomenal job of not only executing but keeping their poise coming down the stretch when Gonzaga made their run."
"It made a big difference having Nic on the floor which we didn't in the Texas A&M game. Also, our San Diego State game, even though we ended in a 7-0 run was a close game in the last couple minutes and I thought we executed well in that game too. I don't know if losing to UAB and Texas A&M helped us win. It would have been nice to win those also, but I definitely think we have learned some things especially with making sure the right people get shots at the right time. More importantly I think we're learning that you can win games on defensive stops and not just hitting shots. I think that's important for us. "
Wildcats Guard Nic Wise (21 points, 4 assists):
(On the difference in today's game)
"The difference today was that we had all of our starters. In the Texas A&M game it was without me in the game. We didn't have a point guard, so everybody's role on the floor had to change, and we had never had to work on that before. The difference today that was we talked about in the locker room before the game that us 3 had to make sure we stayed out of foul trouble, and if we get a foul in the first half then sit on it to make sure we were fresh in the second half."
Wildcats Forward Chase Budinger (14 points, 6 rebounds):
(On Team Defense)
We as a team played much better defense. We came out with a game plan to pressure them. We didn't think that they saw that yet this year. We tried executing that, tried trapping the ball as much as we could, force them into things that weren't really used to. I think that it really affected them.
"We're slowly become more active on the defensive end and becoming a more scramble type team, a more trap type team. Everyday we're working on it, working on it, and it's improving. We're trying to get to the point where we're sound and able to get a lot of steals like we did tonight. "
Wildcats Center Jordan Hill (22 points, 6 rebounds):
(On free throws)
"It felt good, I was concentrating more. I have just been working on it 24/7, and it seems to get better. All I'm going to do is to keep working on it and to try and improve, and try to get up to 80% or more."