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Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/26/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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“With the health of our team Bret Brielmaier, provided there is no change in the practice schedule today, will play.  He’ll give us an additional rotation opportunity inside.  With his strength and physical nature, he’ll be a lot of help to us inside on (Tyler) Hansbrough because of Hansbrough’s strength.”

 

Jawann McClellan was held out of practice yesterday.  Today he’ll do only the stuff we’re doing in preparation for playing against Carolina.  The problems they create are many.”

 

“(North Carolina) gets the ball down the court very quickly.  It’s almost like playing Oregon, in terms of the quickness they get it down the court.  That’s on made baskets as well as on regular fast break opportunities.  It’s going to be imperative that we get back quickly and get people picked up.  They shoot the ball very well like Oregon does.  The difference is that they’re much more physical on the inside they have Hansbrough, which is a given but Brandon Wright has to be one of the top freshmen in the country.  He’s long, nice shooting touch, very good jumper.  They have good depth.  They can go nine, 10 deep or sometimes beyond that.  That will create a challenge.  With the game on CBS it means the timeouts will be longer, so I don’t think conditioning will be as big a factor as it is when Fox is doing the games.

 

“We’ll start with our regular starting lineup.  Obviously, the way Jordan (Hill) played the other night he’s going to get an early look.  We’ll see how Bret does.  Condition wise ?- he’s worked really hard, but the treadmill or bicycle is different from playing in the game situation.  I’m sure we’ll be able to get a few minutes at a time there.  Jawann’s knee responded very well from the game to yesterday so that’s encouraging that it’s not becoming more of a problem.”

 

On North Carolina’s depth versus Arizona’s:

“Anything if you go that deep I think it disrupts the continuity of the guys that are playing.  I would think because they’ve been doing it from the beginning, the guys have adjusted to it.”

 

“They’ll come off the bench with a couple of really good shooters, so we know they’re going to see time.”

 

On preparing for Hansbrough and Wright:

“We may have emphasized some things, but it’s not a case of changing what we’ve taught them fundamentally from the start of the year.  Yesterday and today we’ll work on specific things that they do that we need to be aware of.  It’s not new, it’s just a concentration on the things we feel we need to do against them.”

 

On Tyler Hansbrough’s game:

“He’s a load.  He takes up a lot of space.  He posts up well ?- runs the court really well, draws a lot of fouls.  He’ll give you a fake and then if you react at all he jumps in and through you.  That’s true with all their big guys.  Obviously, it’s something that’s taught and taught very well.  He goes to the line a lot.  It isn’t very often you see him in foul trouble.  He plays very intelligently.  He plays good defense but he’s not somebody you see reaching in there and doing things that aren’t fundamentally sound for a big guy.”

 

Do the differing offensive styles of Hansbrough and Wright present a challenge?

“Not really.  They compliment one another really well.  From the standpoint of defending, it’s not as much of a problem other than they’re two very talented players.”

 

On the benefit of Marcus Williams being fresh for the game:

“He certainly should be (rested).  Marcus is a really well conditioned athlete.  He works really hard at his conditioning.  From the start of the year, he’s usually the guy who beats everybody in sprints and takes a lot of pride in that.”

 

On the game’s ramifications for postseason play:

“I think it’s a big game for both of us in terms of the national recognition.  It’s the game of the day tomorrow.  I would think it’s important to both conferences.  The ACC, as I understand, is rated number one and the Pac-10 number two ?- at least by one publication I saw.  I don’t know if that’s true for all of them or not.  It’s an important thing for both conferences.

 

“We like the arrangement that we’ve had the last few years with an ACC team on the road and at home.  It gives you a better idea...  Then again you didn’t hear a great deal about us beating Virginia by 30.  That got forgotten pretty quickly, but the one people remembered was the loss at Carolina.  Through the years we’ve played well against North Carolina.  Our guys are really excited about the game, and I’m sure Roy’s guys are too.  Good teams like to play good teams.”

 

“Roy and I don’t really talk about the games.  When we’re recruiting, if there’s an opportunity to have dinner we do, but I don’t really recall discussing games other than his one time talking about (Salim) Stoudamire.”

 

On Marcus Williams’ reaction to his suspension:

“He took the suspension like a man and knew why.  There was never any question about it.  He handled it in a very mature way.”

 

“It could be a possibility that if we bring Jawann out, Marcus can move to a wing.  It gives us more flexibility.  If it’s a defensive thing on the perimeter we’re concerned about, Daniel (Dillon) is usually the guy we bring in.”

 

On Mohammed Tangara’s ability to emulate Tyler Hansbrough:

“We work on those type of things every day.  What we’ve done with this is we have Fendi (Onobun), who’s a left-hander, for Brandon Wright.  We have Kirk Walters working in Hansbrough’s spot.”

 

On Tangara’s timetable for a return:

“He’s having surgery as we speak.  It’s not a case of if he’ll have to wear a mask.  That’s the biggest thing one would have to get used to.  The titanium they put in there is a lot stronger than your skull is.  I don’t know how long it will take.  That’s up in the air. 

 

“He told (trainer) Justin (Kokoskie) just give me some medicine.  It’s a shame because he’s been so patient waiting to get in and he really played well.  I was worried because the first word that I had was a little scary to compared to what the MRI showed.  He will be on the bench tomorrow.

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