Feb. 12, 2009
Interim Head Coach Russ Pennell
"I'm very proud of the team tonight. This was probably one of our most rewarding wins. We had a lead early, lost it, and had the resolve to come back and play tough to get the win. USC is a very talented team, and they kept coming back. They definitely killed us on the glass tonight especially."
On No. 13 Nic Wise
"Nic is becoming a great clutch player. You have to not be afraid to take big shots, regardless of the outcome, and that's exactly what he does. He feels that he can make plays, and if he misses a shot, then he just moves on to the next play. His steal at the end was a big factor. It changed the pressure off of our team and on to USC. They had to stress about tying the game back up, and we just had to defend, which we did."
On No. 43 Jordan Hill
"Jordan tweaked both of his ankles tonight, and he wasn't up to top strength, but he really stepped up well down the stretch. He made a couple great baskets, and there were a couple blocked shots in there that he wasn't physically up for, but he was able to come through for us."
"I see our team getting better and better every game. They're playing with confidence, having fun, and understanding their roles. In sports, it's very difficult to find good chemistry, but when you find it, you can do some great things."
"Myself and the staff are very good at keeping them from getting too confident. We'll look at the tape, and see all the good things, but we'll also correct the mistakes. There were some mistakes tonight that we will have to work on, and we will. The No. 6 team in the country (UCLA) is coming Saturday, coming off of a loss to Arizona State, and we just have to be ready for them."
Arizona Player Quotes
On the difference between this time around vs. last time at USC:
"More confidence. We're just more confident down the stretch."
On how limited Jordan Hill was due to his ankle injury:
"It definitely affected him. You could tell from the way he was running and in his facial expressions that he was in a lot of pain, but he really manned up for us. He battled hard and was a beast for us, especially in the last few minutes. He got some key blocks and rebounds to help us pull it out."
On the hot start:
"We were on fire at the beginning of the game. Percentages always have a way of evening out. I knew we couldn't shoot like that. I told the guys to just keep playing hard defense, keep putting pressure on them, and we did that. We started missing some shots and we had to rely on our defense. We did a great job with that."
On the hot start:
"We had a very productive warm up and that contributed to our good shooting. We've been getting extra shots up before and after practice and that really helped us out as well."
On hitting the go-ahead three:
"I knew he would jump on my pump fake. I've been using that move all season. Guys see a little guy going up to shoot and they have a tendency to want to block the shot. I used that to my advantage. I threw a nice pump fake, went around him and put it up. It's a move I learned this summer playing with Damon Stoudamire , they always go for it."
On traditionally playing well vs. USC:
"It has something to do with Dwight Lewis. I've known him since we were in seventh or eighth grade. We've always been very competitive. We've always been close, even when he stepped over me at SC, I didn't like it, but we're still close."