March 8, 2003
Head Coach Lute Olson Quotes
"When you win the Pac-10 title with two games left in the season, there can be a chance for a letdown. I thought that there was a chance of that on Thursday against Oregon State, but our players were not going to lose today. We were very pleased that we could get over this hurdle."
"Except for not hitting some of our shots, I thought that we played very well in the first half. We got a lot of good high-percentage shots, but we just did not make enough of them. Defensively, we did a good, solid job, and we forced them to commit 10 more turnovers than we did."
"We were very unselfish throughout the game, and we were much more patient with our shots in the second half. We continued to defend well in the second half. We kept them to 3-of-12 from 3-point range in the second half, and we had 27 points as a result of their turnovers."
"The seniors were not going to be the first ones to lose their last game at home. They did a really nice job, and it was great that Salim (Stoudamire) gave them a little help. They may not have shot very well, but Luke (Walton) and Ricky (Anderson) certainly did their job in other ways. Jason (Gardner) really stepped up big time for us. Finishing 17-1 in the conference is a great accomplishment for them."
"Now, we have to make sure that we don't tire ourselves out in Los Angeles and take it one game at a time. I think that we are ready to make our move."
Arizona Player Quotes
Senior Jason Gardner:
"I think we played better defensively in the second half. In the first half, we stressed out too much about not hitting shots."
"It's very satisfying. Oregon gave us a really close game. To go out in my last game, hearing the fans chant my name, it was a great way to go out, a great feeling. It's kind of sad to be my last game here, but we've got a long road in front of us."
"My role on this team is different than Luke (Ridnour's). He's got to score, but I've got to get the ball to the other guys and be a leader."
"He (Salim Stoudamire) did a great job. He showed why he's one of the best shooters in the nation."
Senior Rick Anderson:
"Our intensity on defense in the second half (was the key). We got into them in the second half. His (Gardner's) heart, his attitude, his desire to win is so good."
"It's fun having those spurts (referring to Arizona's 18-4 run in the second half). It's unexplainable. We have to create turnovers, that will be key to us on our run in the tournament."
"Over the last couple of games, we haven't played to our level. But the whole season has been great. It (losing only one conference game all season) is a big accomplishment. We take a lot of pride in that."
Sophomore Channing Frye:
"We still need to be humble and work hard. We've got three games in three days. We need to come in on Monday and work hard for whomever we're facing in the Pac-10 tournament."
"This is very big-to have the seniors go out like this is important not only for the fans but for us because they've meant so much to us and to this team."
Sophomore Salim Stoudamire:
"Jason (Gardner) showed ultimate confidence in me. He really could have taken over the game, but he passed it to me instead."
Freshman Hassan Adams:
"I was just out there having fun. It was the seniors' last game, I just wanted to help take them out on a good note. I've just been playing within myself and playing team basketball."
"It was another test, they are a great team and they played hard."
"It's been great (to play with the three seniors this year). I've been friends with them and I'm happy for them, but we're not done yet."
"He (Jason Gardner) deserves it (the Pac-10 Conference's Player of the Year award). He's been working hard for four years. I'm happy for him and I'm happy to have played with him."