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Lute Olson Press Conference Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 07, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Opening Statement

“With the NAU game, they have a couple of really fine three-point shooters that will be a concern to us - Kelly Golob and Steven Sir.  They shoot the ball well and shoot the ball quickly.  They also have a couple of good penetrators at the guard spots.  We will deal with preparation for them today and tomorrow.” 


“The starting line-up will be the line up that we had been starting with (Hassan) Adams, (Chris) Rodgers, (Kirk) Walters, (Ivan) Radenovic and Mustafa (Shakur).”


Isaiah Fox is still ill today and we sent him home again to make sure that we don’t have someone with the virus around the team.  We were expecting that he would be okay today but he went in and lifted weights today, tried to sweat it out, but became ill and dizzy.  He should be ok, I think, by tomorrow.”


“I really feel at this point that we are ready to get everything put together defensively.  We have been pretty solid all along.  Offensively we need to shoot a whole lot better than what we have been shooting, but I think that’s about to happen too.  We finally shot decent from the free throw line against Houston.”


“Its going to be great for us to have four of the next five games at home.  It’s important that we get into a rhythm and get some momentum going before we get started with league play on the road.”


On tweaking the offense:

 “The whole early season you are looking for the right combinations and things that will fit offensively with those people as well as defensively, so we are tweaking a number of things.  As I said, the next five games will be very important in trying to get the momentum with four of those five at home.  The one road game will be a tough road game, as it always is, at Utah.  We had a great practice yesterday and I just think it’s going to be good to be home for more than one game and then be gone again.”


“We’ll be using some 1-4 high, and we’ll be doing some new things and some old things.  In the 4-out we’ve been getting Ivan much more involved inside.  We felt he was roaming too much on the perimeter, so we’ve done some things to keep him more in situations where he has the on-ball screen and we are going to utilize him down and in post-up situations more too.  It’s just a matter of making sure that we’re doing what is going to be best for us as a team.  It has been a consistent tweaking.”


“The problem has been the shooting, and some shot opportunities.  I look back at the Houston tapes and it was not a problem of not having shots.  We had some wide open threes, but we just didn’t knock shots down.  On the other hand, we still have situations, especially with the freshmen, of over penetrating.  The problem has not been getting shots, it’s been making shots.  I don’t care what you are doing offensively, if people aren’t making shots than it’s always going to look like you have a problem.  I don’t care what you’re running, if the ball goes in the offense is good, if the ball doesn’t go in something must be wrong with the offense.”


It is still motion.  It’s just a matter whether we have one of the guys more involved on the inside.  The 4-out has really increased our ability to move and we’re moving better without the ball as a result of that, but it’s still motion.  It’s just a matter if you have three guys outside or four guys outside and we used four when we had Andre (Iguodala) and Hassan, where Hassan is playing the four and we did things where we got him out on the perimeter also.  It won’t be a difficult adjustment.”


On the Play of J.P. Prince:

“The game is played at both ends.  J.P. is suffering through the normal things that most freshman suffer through, which is that they have to learn how to play good solid position defense.  He’s long and he does a good job of anticipating, but he also needs to be in a containment situation where he’s not letting people penetrate on him.  A couple of those three pointers were by a guy that we said we can’t let shoot a three and he’s far enough off to where he normally feels he can affect the shot, but you can’t affect that on great shooters.”


“Defense is the biggest single problem that freshman have, and the second problem is over penetrating and getting themselves into trouble.  We like to use what we call the escape dribble, so we’ll make the fake and then we want one hard drive and pull-up.  But (if) you go to the second dribble and all of the sudden the help comes and you have no where to go.”


“I visited with the freshman today and indicated that it is an adjustment that everyone goes through, but you can’t get away with the same things on this level that you got away with in high school.  Sometimes they have to have that proven to them and that’s the great thing when you face a team like Houston that doubles the amount that they do and traps.  The other thing is that when they got into trouble on drives it was because it was the second dribble or the third.  It’s good when we hit game situations where they can understand that probably we do know a little bit about what we are teaching them. (smiles)”


How does Hassan factor into the tweaked offense?

“We still have back cuts and we can still go to the 1-4 where we can run him inside or out depending on the match up we have.  If he has a smaller guy on him, we can go with him in the inside in one of those two spots because Ivan is familiar with the perimeter.  If we have Marcus in with Hassan, we can go with one of the two inside.  If the big guy is on Marcus than we want him outside and if a quick guy is on Hassan we want him on the inside.”


“The need to be more flexible is based on the number of perimeter guys that we want to employ at one time, but it’s becoming more and more apparent now as we go through this that the rotation is going to start being a little bit shorter.”


On the play of current New York Knick Channing Frye:

“When I was talking with NBA people last spring, the question always came up that he has a reputation of being soft.  I said, ?'Yeah soft.  That means that he has never backed down from anyone in four years.  He hasn’t missed one practice in four years.  He hasn’t missed one game in four years.  So is soft being a guy that doesn’t go around tripping people or throwing cheep shots.  Channing has never been soft.  I am just happy to see that maybe now even the New Yorkers think he isn’t really soft.  He has had over 20 (points) in seven out of the last 8 or 9 games and I am just really happy for Channing.

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