Nov. 6, 2008
Arizona Interim Head Coach Russ Pennell:
I thought we got off to a slow start, especially on the defensive end, which is what I am most concerned about. The offense was good, we moved the ball well.
We'll have to shore up the defense if we are going to be a good team.
Overall the guys played hard, especially in the second half. Players we were counting on stepped up and did what they were supposed to do.
They understand the urgency. We have 40 minutes to get a job done. When they tip the ball off, no one is going to stop and ask us if we're ready to play.
In the first half we weren't containing the basketball. In the second half we changed our strategy. We did much better at contesting shots in the second half.
We just have to get better at the fundamentals if we are going to be a good team.
Arizona Player Quotes:
Junior Forward Jordan Hill:
On tonight's performance:
We were a bit shaky at first, but clearly in the second half we became more outgoing on the court. The tempo of the second half was a big factor. We wanted to jump right in because we knew they could shoot. They are a very good shooting team, especially for a D-II school, and I have to give them credit.
After I came in I did what I always do when I am on the floor, and that is compete. It doesn't matter if they are ranked 300th or first, I am always competitive.
During halftime I was thinking, "I can't believe this." But I know we were just shaky with all of our freshmen, it being their first NCAA game. For my personal adjustments during halftime, I just wanted to focus the second half on my defense and helping my teammates.
Freshman guard Garland Judkins:
On tonight's performance:
Obviously I was really nervous as every freshmen playing in their first NCAA game, but I got my jitters out and it was a really good thing. I was worried about winning and it felt good to get the win.
In the second half, coach just told us to keep working through it. We did and everyone just turned it on at the right time. We want to be known as a defensive team and we are constantly trying to improve on that.
On playing with Nic Wise and Coach Pennell:
I wasn't too surprised that I got to play with Nic, and we have played before so it felt very natural. As far as our roles go, we both just get the ball to who can score and try to create things for the others. Coach Pennel is a great coach, one of the most intelligent I have every played for. He has us in the right place at the right time.
Sophomore Forward Jamelle Horne:
On Arizona's performance in the second half:
It can take teams a half to see what they need to do. We came together at halftime and made the necessary improvements. We can't be a second half team like we have been in the past. We need to put forth the effort in the first half.
On Arizona's playing style this year:
Last year we set screens for each other. This year we run up and down, we love the fast faced offense. Defense is our focal point. I love the 1-1-3 press, it's a pressure defense.
On Coach Pennell:
Coach Pennell is a really calm, cool and collected guy. He will tell you you're messing up, but follow it up with something positive.
On the play of the bench:
Everyone came off the bench with energy, they came ready to play. The toughest thing to do for freshmen is adjust to the speed you have to play at on defense, they did a great job.